Home > Accommodation > Living With a Host Family Abroad

Living With a Host Family Abroad

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 8 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Host Family Living Abroad Living With A

When it is good, living abroad with a host family can be very, very good. You can make new friends, see new places and immerse yourself thoroughly in a new culture complete with local languages and slang, foods, customs, music, books and even television programmes! But when it all goes wrong, living abroad with a family can be horrid. To make sure that you're host family experience falls into the former, follow the three C's of living abroad with a host family: Communication, Cleanliness and Caring.

Communication

Clear communication is perhaps the most important ingredient to successfully living abroad with a host family. Only when everyone involved knows what is expected of them - and what to expect in return - can honest relationships develop. To avoid cross-cultural confusion after you move in, make sure to iron out certain details before you descend upon your host family. Ask where you will sleep and store your possessions, if you will eat with the family or cook your own meals and where you will store any food or snacks you purchase?

Is is also important to arrange access to laundry facilities and cooking equipment, communication technology such as the Internet and telephone, your responsibilities regarding younger children and pets and any chores you will be expected to complete.

You should also ask if the family has any curfew expectations and how they feel about alcohol and tobacco use.

Cleanliness

While you are meant to feel like a part of your host family while you are living abroad, leaving your dirty laundry all over the floor will not endear you to anyone. Your mother won't be around to remind you, so be sure to up your cleanliness quotient while you are living abroad.

Putting all dirty laundry in a hamper or laundry bag washing laundry on a regular basis, hanging up wet towels and laundry and cleaning your bathroom regularly, will show the family that you are respect them and their home.

There are other clean tasks should do during your stay such as; changing your sheets weekly, washing up after you prepare food and/or eat a meal or snack, wiping down all kitchen surfaces you may have soiled, keeping all school or work supplies neatly tucked away, leaving any room as clean as you found it and pitching in during a general family clean up.

Caring

Even if you have spelled out all of your rights and responsibilities, and keep your quarters as neat as a pin, living abroad with a host family will only be truly successful if you put your heart into the endeavour. Anyone can pay rent and become a tenant, but becoming a part of the family and making lasting relationships requires caring. Show that you care in small ways, such as:
  • Bringing a host or hostess gift when you arrive.
  • Offering to cook a traditionally British meal for the family.
  • Helping to plan a day trip or family outing.
  • Assisting with family scheduling and chores.
  • Duplicating photos that you take of yourself and your host family.
  • Selecting meaningful parting gifts when it is time for you to return home.
Living abroad with a host family should be a time for you to truly experience a new culture. With a little bit of communication, cleanliness and caring, living abroad with a host family will be an exceptional experience that you will never forget!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Hitch-Hiker
    Re: Hitch-Hiking and the Dangers
    Having thought this over, I’ve realised the reason this post is so annoying is because of the stupid “safe vs. dangerous” binary…
    16 January 2020
  • Hitch-Hiker
    Re: Hitch-Hiking and the Dangers
    “hitchhiking puts travellers at the mercy of others” Yes. Unlike bus travel where you obviously know the driver and the other…
    14 January 2020
  • Gone_Hitchhiking
    Re: Hitch-Hiking and the Dangers
    Haha nice I think I feel so lucky right now as in over two years hh around the world I newer was robbed, killed not even subject…
    14 January 2020
  • Klim
    Re: Hitch-Hiking and the Dangers
    Agree with Masala. The dangers are being rather exaggerated. I was taught to hitch by a girl. Stay smart but don’t let fear limit…
    14 January 2020
  • Masala
    Re: Hitch-Hiking and the Dangers
    Been hitchhiking for almost 20 years, over 30 countries - Europe, Mid-east, South and Southeast Asia, Australia. I've had only one…
    14 January 2020
  • mplo
    Re: Hitch-Hiking and the Dangers
    Lady Hitchhiker and speakingasanexpert: If YOU want to take such stupid risks to your health, safety and possibly your lives,…
    5 May 2019
  • mplo
    Re: Hitch-Hiking and the Dangers
    Brandon Jackson, you're totally missing the point. The whole point is that when one hitchhikes or picks up hitchhikers, there's…
    5 May 2019
  • elifgul
    Re: Teaching Abroad
    Dear Author, I'm writing to let you know that I want to participate voluntarily in your institution's work. In this context, I would like to give…
    11 October 2018
  • mplo
    Re: Hitch-Hiking and the Dangers
    Listen, AnonAnon: I disagree with you here. As I pointed out earlier on this thread, hitchhiking crimes are rare, because very few…
    20 September 2018
  • mplo
    Re: Hitch-Hiking and the Dangers
    To jesse and AnonAnon: Just because there are more cellphones and other methods of calling for help if one gets in a nasty,…
    20 September 2018