MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR HOMESTAY Emily Mollohan Basic Tips Spend time with them Learn about them and their family Hang out with them when family members come to visit Ask questions about them and their lives! Talking with them is also another way to practice the language Stay in more nights instead of going out all the time You can party with Americans in the United States, get to know your host parents Basic Tips Follow cultural customs that you learn ie. If the population follows a routine, do the same thing they do It is the easiest way to learn the language culture, and immerse yourself Don’t be afraid to try new things. It’s not good or bad, it’s just different. Be open minded This will give you the best experience! Basic Tips If you studying language, ask them for help with your homework. They want you to study, learn and be successful My host mom would check our homework and help us with our language practice constantly Some host parents, do it for the money and some do it for the enjoyment of hosting international students Make sure you figure out which one your host parents are in order to understand your boundaries Basic Tips When filling out a housing survey to be matched with a family, BE HONEST! Two parents vs. single parent? Kids vs. no kids? No smoking? No pets? Certain foods you can’t eat Family structure preferred Basic Tips Always follow cultural customs Some things that we consider polite are not always viewed the same in other countries. Use them to learn about their country Government History Sight-seeing and politics Basic Tips Ask them for tips: What to see/what not to see? How to get there Where to go/where not to go? Where to buy certain items? BE RESPECTFUL! Communication Talk to your host parents! Learn the language DO NOT expect them to speak YOUR language, you are in THEIR country and should be learning the language and culture If your plans change, call them and let them know when they can expect you home! Communication Let them know when you are coming and going If you are going out and not coming back until the morning, TELL THEM! If you are not home when you told them, they may call your program provider Your program provider will NOT be happy if they have to try and track you down while they are worried for your safety. Communication Tell them if you don’t like a food item that they cook They will not be mad, they will respect your preferences. They want to know how to make your stay enjoyable and successful. Answer food questions honestly It is better to say you don’t like the food before they cook it, than to not finish your plate Respecting Them Ask for permission In this case it is easier to be told “No” than to get into trouble for doing something wrong Treat their items better than you do your own Don’t wipe mascara on washcloths Don’t use items without permission Don’t touch items that are fragile or delicate Respecting Them Adjust to THEIR routine, don’t try to make them adjust to your routine! If you break something on accident, tell them. Always be honest about everything. DO NOT have guests over unless they are invited by your host parents. Don’t ask your host parents if you can have guest over. I had a great homestay experience and I hope you do too!