This week there was a potluck get-together with all of the host families from my program. Studying in France with EAP, you have the option to live in a homestay with a “famille d’accueil” (or in English, a host family). A host family is there to help you practice your French and to acclimate you to your surroundings in a foreign country. The first weekend I was here, my host mom helped me get my metro pass and also drove me around Lyon to get me acquainted to the city. Homestays are great because you learn so much about French culture (and you get to eat a home-cooked meal every night).

Most of the students in homestays hear tons of stories about each other’s host families, so having a potluck was a great way to meet everyone’s host parents. Every family brought a plate of finger foods, so we got to nibble on things as we practiced our French.

I got to meet my friend’s host mom, which was super cool. She’s a neurological doctor, and she owns her own practice. She does paintings in her free time (some of which I’ve seen when I went over to my friend’s house for lunch). We also discussed our mutual love for comedies and her love for classical music (I can do Mozart from time to time, but I wouldn’t say I love it).

Besides chatting up host families, we were lucky enough to be joined by a few professors and the director of our program. It’s always fun to be able to talk to French adults in low pressure situations – talking to teachers after class can be challenging! I’ve mangled many sentences asking about when homework is due or how long a paper has to be. It was nice just to chat.

Now that I have met all of my friends’ host families, I can start coming over to everybody’s houses more often! It’s way too fun to look at French houses, and I would love to get to know other families better. Homestays are cool – I’ll be sad to leave mine at the end of the semester. But I’m sure I’ll come back for visits and hopefully there will be more soirees like the potluck.