Homestay Basics for Students

Are you ready to Homestay? Take a minute and review the these Homestay Basics so that you have a more pleasant stay!
1.  Do you expect your American home to be the same as the one with your family or your dorm?

Most of us would say, no!  It is America and I know my homestay will be different.  Yes, but Culture Shock suffered by most travelers indicate that although we are prepared for a totally different culture, once we get there, it can be quite challenging.  TIP:  Give yourself time to adjust.

2.  Do you expect Americans to like your food better than their own?

America is a melting pot so Americans are used to eating all kinds of food – not just hamburgers!  Just like you, they prefer their own food but it is sometimes hard to understand what Americans consider as their own food.  Just like America has all kinds of people, languages, regions and cultures, we have all kinds of food from these cultures. It is all considered by Americans to be American food.  After all, all the cultures here are American.  If you give it a chance, you are to going to find things you like and things you don’t.    TIP:  Understand that Americans give you things they love.  The important thing is to be adventurous and communicate!

3.  Would you rather not say what you think?

Americans say they like direct communication.  Some do, some don’t, but you really have to try to politely say what you like and don’t like.  Your hosts don’t want you to have food you don’t like, go places you don’t want to go or in any way be uncomfortable.  At the same time, you need to be willing to try new experiences.  Remember, attitude is half the job – a smile and admitting that something is strange to you will cause your host to smile too.  Remember, your host wants you to be comfortable.

4.  Who needs to make sure you get what you need?

Well, you do.  If you are very particular about food, put something in your suitcase that you can snack on until you and your Homestay family get acquainted.  Remember, you will be jet lagged and if you need a particular thing when you first arrive, either bring it or email your family and let them know.  TIP:  Remember, we have people who speak your language – PLEASE tell your contact person any concerns you have – we want you to have a great experience.

5.  Do you think, “I am paying, so I can choose the food my family serves?”

Most Homestay families will try hard  but you are staying in a typical  home and you can expect American family cooking.  Tip:  Cook with your family and show them some easy dishes that you like.  Communicate!  Your family is not making any money on your stay as many of them will do extra things for you just because they want to.  If you want extra extremely expensive fruit or candy, etc., consider purchasing it yourself.  Your family is probably hard working and cannot afford expensive luxuries!  Living is  expensive in the U.S., so be considerate.

This is by no means a complete list of homestay basics, we will assist you as you adjust to American living. We think you enjoy the connection you make with your homestay family. Remember, these are families which have done well in our astringent interviewing process and who also come with good references. They are in the mindset of being a homestay family. Some will have hosted before, for others this will be their first time. Knowing the homestay basics will help you help them learn as you move forward.

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