If you plan on studying abroad, home stay programs are one of the best ways to sink the culture of the country you’re going to. Many students consider this option because they want to quickly adapt to the country’s culture and traditions.
Here are 12 dos and don’ts for any student who opts for a Home Stay Program abroad.
1. Make your needs clear- Right from the beginning make the basic needs of your lifestyle known to them. For example if you’re a vegetarian, you need to communicate this clearly as they wouldn’t know anything about you if you don’t tell them.
2. Have meals together- Since you are staying at someone else’s place, you need to spend the time that you can them, trying to know more about their way of living. After all, you will be spending a god amount of time in their company.
3. Discuss the basic rules in the beginning itself- There are a certain thing that you would want to go your way. In the same way even the host family might want a few things to be done their way only. Right from the beginning, ask them of the basic rules you need to follow while living with them, such as curfew, meal times, help with household chores etc.
4. Carry a gift- The best way to break the ice with your new host family would be to bring a gift for them, especially something that would represent your culture and traditions.
5. Be respectful- While staying with them, make sure you respect their culture and ideologies, no matter how different they are from yours. It will be difficult at first to adjust in case there are major differences, but as time passes, you will become more comfortable with their way of living.
6. Get in touch with the organization that placed you- In case you find it very difficult to adjust or there are things to your disliking in the program, get in touch with the organization that helped your find that program. These organizations usually have protocols that will help you resolve your issues.
1. Don’t be a slug- Doesn’t matter what you did at your own place or if you had others doing your laundry and cleaning your room, while you’re at home stay, take care of your own things instead of depending on the host family to get it done for you.
2. Don’t be too demanding- Asking for basic things that you need are fine but don’t made unnecessary demands from the family that will be a nuisance to everyone.
3. Don’t be a pushover- Most of the host families that take students, are warm and welcoming. They go out of their way to make the students comfortable, so do not take undue advantage of their hospitality to meet unnecessary demands you might have.
4. Don’t be afraid to try their culture- When it comes to speaking their language or trying their culture, it is obvious that you will make mistakes as you’re learning. Don’t be afraid of being embarrassed by this because even the host families will appreciate your effort and give you support only if you try.
5. Don’t be a loner- This goes without saying. Make friends while you’re there, mingle with the family you’re staying with. It is a one in a lifetime experience and do not miss out on it after travelling for miles and staying at a place where there’s so much to learn.
6. Don’t forget to stay in touch- By the end of the program, you will have spent a good amount of at least 2 years with the host family. In those two or so year, they were the family that took you in and made you a part of their family. So once, you leave, don’t forget to still stay in touch with them.
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