Many homestay hosts, especially the first timer, have concerns about hosting international students. Many hosts worry whether or not the student will adapt to their home and their culture.
If you are considering becoming a host or you are already one and still have some concerns regarding the students you will be hosting, here is a list of the most common concerns from homestay hosts and tips on how to resolve them.
Student won’t interact with host family…
Aside from cultural differences, every student you host will have their own personality. It’s important to always be honest to the student from day one!
What if your student doesn’t interact with your family as much as expected? Perhaps they spend excessive time on their computers and/or cell phones or they just don’t leave their bedrooms. First, try to understand why your students are not interacting with you. It could be they are simply shy or homesick.
A good resolution for this is to encourage your students to share their interests and culture and/or to participate in your family gathering, which allows the student to not only get to know you and your family better, but also to learn more about your culture.
Student won’t follow the house rules…
That is a very prevalent concern among hosts. They know the student is aware that each host family will have their own house rules and that they should abide them; however, sometimes the students do not follow the host family house rules.
A tip to resolve this issue is to not only provide the students with the house rules on day one, but also to take the time to explain them. Maybe your students do not follow the rules because they do not understand them or they think a rule is unreasonable. For instance, giving a curfew for a 26 years old student.
Having a conversation about the house rules will allow you to make sure everyone is on the same page and will avoid issues from happening.
Student won’t eat what the host cooks or provides…
Although not all students you will host require you to provide dinner, all require you to provide a continental breakfast. Though this may seem simple, why purchase a type of cereal your student will not eat, or take the chance of offering food items to which the student is allergic?
If your student contacts you by email prior to arrival, take the time to respond and ask for food preferences. That way you will avoid the problem of providing food the student will not eat. Perhaps you could provide the student with a food checklist so that they can check on things they do like to eat.
Of course, some students will not know what some food items are because their typical food might be very different than yours. With that in mind, you can always try to cook a variety of things so that your student will get to try new food and find out what they like.
I hope you find this post helpful and please let us know in the comments below what are some of your concerns as a host?