Expect Family – Staying in a homestay means that you are staying with a family, in their home. This means you will be meeting new people and becoming close with them.
A New Culture – A new homestay means a new culture and new things to learn. This is exciting so embrace it! Go with the flow and be open.
Rules and A Routine – Your new homestay house will have new rules and the house will have a routine. Don’t try and resist this too much, just go with the flow. Maybe your new host family doesn’t eat dinner until very late in the evening and you’ll have to steal a snack. Maybe your host family eats their largest meal midday and you aren’t used to that. Just go with it and try and observe the new way of living.
What To Do To Make Things Go Smoothly
Eat Together – Join your homestay family for meals and eat with them. Eating with others bonds you and gives you common ground. Most likely you’re going to be getting something local and something different than you are used to. Try everything, even if you don’t want to. Not just so you’re not being rude, but to share something, learn and grow with your host family.
Follow The House Rules – This may be a no brainer, but follow the house rules even if you think they are silly. Rules are there for a reason and as long as they aren’t against your morals or values then living with a new family will be much easier if you follow the rules.
Bring A Thoughtful Gift – It doesn’t have to be price or cost anything at all but it is nice to bring something for your host family. In some countries bringing a gift is very standard practice and dare I say expected.
Do Your Research – Be Respectful Of Local Customs – Double check where you are going. Research and google where you are going and see if there is anything that you definitely need to know. Are there any hand signals that you shouldn’t make? Is there anything that you really shouldn’t say?
Things Not To Do
Don’t Be A Slob – The same rules that apply when living with someone, a roommate or a significant other apply when living with a host family. Don’t leave things lying around, pick everything up after yourself when you’re done using something.
Don’t Be A Diva – This just means, don’t complain about every little thing in the house. If the temperature isn’t up to your exact specifications – don’t mention it (maybe just throw a sweater on)! If the house smells different to your house – don’t worry this is totally normal! If something is making you uncomfortable, mention it politely but don’t make a big fuss about it.
Don’t Leave Without Expressing Gratitude – This is a simple one but say THANK-YOU! Say thank-you lots and lots! Don’t hesitate or think that you are saying it too much.