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My four tips for living with an American host family

Hello, everyone. I’m Hairou.

It’s a great challenge for everyone to leave their home alone and comfort zone. But living with an American host family will leave you with a lot of good memories. The relationship with a host family will impact the success of your study experience. Today let me share with you my tips from living with host families for three years in American high schools!

First, communication.
Communication is the most important part in living with a host family. Most host families have been looking forward to your arrival for a long time. They also hope to know more about you, your preferences, habits and so on. Try not to stay in your room, spend some time with them where they gather. This will also help foster and build a strong family bond. If you and your host family have different opinions, it’s important to be brave in your communications with your host family. Only by speaking out can we help our host family understand us more quickly and solve problems more easily.

Second, cultural differences and respect for host family members and rules.
When you treat someone with respect, that respect is often returned to you. Treat your host family as your own family, try to understand them and help each other. If you encounter cultural differences, share your feelings, but also try to integrate their habits and ways of life into your experience. Be respectful of the host family rules such as chores, cleanliness, and curfew.

Third, respect the beliefs of your host families.
Many families in the United States practice a religion. They may go to church on Sundays, celebrate some religious holidays, or pray before eating dinner so on. As international students, we can learn more about these religious customs and respect their beliefs. This is also a great opportunity to share your own culture and religious practices.

Fourth, do some chores and think of yourself as part of the family rather than as a guest.
American children always do simple housework to help their parents. Think about doing little things that might be extra help for your host family. It will go a long way towards fostering an atmosphere of gratitude between your host family and yourself. The experience can also help you integrate into your American host family more quickly.

That’s what I want to share with you. Always take good care of yourself.

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