By on April 28th, 2017

6 Tips for Homestay Host Families When Welcoming a Student

Hosting an international student is a lot of fun. It will be an amazing experience like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. Still, if you’d like some extra help making the most of this opportunity, here are six tips for doing so.

Give It Time

From the moment you first speak with your international student, you’ll probably begin feeling some connection with them, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be best friends right away. This will take time, so just be patient and let it happen normally.

Aside from simply growing to like the person, the real reason you’ll begin feeling a stronger connection to them is because you’ll start getting to know them a lot better. At the same time, they’ll be learning a lot more about you, too. It’s only natural that this will lead to a deeper connection.

Befriend Their Parents

Don’t forget about their family back home. You’re being entrusted with their most important possession, so it only makes sense that they’d want to get to know you, too.

Part of doing a good job of this is to stay in touch with their parents. While this is a courtesy you should extend no matter what, they may also give you key insights that will better help host their children.

If they don’t speak English, try email. You can have your student translate or you can hire a translator online for extremely little.

Set Ground Rules and Enforce Them

If someone is responsible enough to travel to a new country and spend a year as an international student, you can probably safely assume that they’re going to be very respectful of your home and the rules you have regarding it.

Still, they’ll appreciate it if you make these rules clear from the beginning. They might just include things about what hours they have to be home by. Whatever the case, take a moment to let your student know about them and encourage questions.

Learn About Their Culture Beforehand

One of the best parts about hosting an international student is how much you’ll learn about their native country. You’ll receive an unprecedented perspective into what it’s like living there.

Still, you should probably take some time before they arrive to learn a bit about their culture. Your international student will get a real kick out of it if you serve them a meal made from a recipe that’s popular in their own country. You can also look for restaurants in your area that serve their native cuisine.

If nothing else, they’ll really appreciate the effort you make at trying to welcome them.

Let Them Plan Some Fun Events

When hosting an international student, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to show them around town, take them out to eat (like we just mentioned), and bring them to fun local events. These excursions are great ways to better get to know your international student and show them a bit of American culture.

At the same time, once they get used to your city, turn the calendar over to them every now and then and let them plan some fun events, too. Again, this is a great way to spend quality time with them.

Give Them Plenty of Space

Your international student needs to have their own time, too, so make sure you give them your space. After their first week or so, things will settle down and you’ll fall back into your normal routine. When you do, it will also be easier for your international student to spend time on their own – going to class, making friends, exploring your city, etc.

Hosting international students will be an extremely rewarding experience and it will be even easier now that you better understand the best ways to do it.