Setting House Rules for Exchange Students


If you are planning on hosting international students, it’s important that you set a clear list of rules for them. Every home operates differently, and that is why each family needs to sit down with their visiting students and explain the house rules and expectations. It is also a good idea if you have a High School Student (part of the guardianship program) to include your student in the household chores. If this is common for your family, it will make them feel less like an outsider. Make sure that you are clear about the use of items such as: the telephone, the washing machine, dishwasher, oven/stove, internet, computer, etc.

Here is a sample list of rules and expectations:

1. No shoes on in the house.

2. No eating in your room.

3. International calls must be made with a calling card, and any Skype calls can be made on our computer, if you let us know ahead of time (so we can schedule around the computer time)

4. Wash your dishes after you are done using them.

5. Wash your clothes once a week, your sheets once every two weeks.

6. Help keep the bathroom clean.

7. We generally vacuum your room’s floor every Friday, so make sure nothing is left on the floor before you leave in the morning.

8. Always lock the doors when leaving the house.

9. No friends over without asking for permission.

10. Curfew (for High School Students): weekday 10:00 PM weekend 12:30 AM.

This list is just a basic example of some of the house rules you might apply to your international student. When writing your house rules make sure it fits your family’s lifestyle and the type of students that you would normally accept. If you have some rules that you think the student won’t understand, try to explain by telling the student the reason behind it. i.e. if you ask the student to not sit in a specific chair or not go in the basement.

Do you have any question? Let us know in the comments below.