If you decide to travel or study abroad, I highly recommend staying with a local. During my trip, I stayed with a host family for six weeks. My roommate and I shared a bedroom and bathroom in our family's magnificent home. Not only did our family cook for us, do our laundry and make us feel at home, but they also engaged in conversation with us each night. I learned so much from them that I otherwise wouldn't have learned had I chosen to live in an apartment.
My roommate and I were extremely lucky to have been placed with the host family that we did. We lived with an older couple in their amazing home. While many students were placed with families who lived in cramped apartments in the city, we lived in a traditional Sevillian home. The house was four stories high, built with marble, had an elevator and was located just behind the famous Calle Betis. I could not have been more lucky!