By on June 2nd, 2017

What to Do When Your Host Student Isn’t Working Out

For most homestay parents, the thought of hosting an international student is absolutely thrilling. Unfortunately, it sometimes won’t work out. In which case, you’ll need to understand the following.

Understand That Sometimes These Things Happen

There are all kinds of reasons international students and their hosts families don’t work out. It happens all the time every single year. This is just the nature of hosting programs. It’s not perfect so these situations arise.

Also, just because there haven’t been dramatic fights or arguments doesn’t mean things still aren’t working out. You and your international student may be very courteous to one another. Nonetheless, because of cultural differences or some other reason, you’d both be better suited for another party. It’s not the end of the world.

Know That Moving On Is Best for the Student

You’re kind to worry that moving your international student out of your home may have a negative impact on them in some way. It’s only natural that you may put off the decision to some degree simply because you don’t want to hurt their feelings or make them think they’re unloved.

However, you also have to consider what the rest of the year will be like for them if you try to keep them despite obvious problems. They may also be worried about speaking up.

In a lot of programs, the student can’t simply demand a new family anyway. Unless they point to abuse or some other serious matter, it’s the homestay parents who have to pull the trigger.

Make the difficult decision and, even though things didn’t work out between you and the other child, you’ll still be doing them a huge kindness.

It’s Better to Make the Decision Sooner Rather Than Later

While putting an end to a homestay experience is definitely not something you want to rush, the fact of the matter is that it really is much better if you do so sooner rather than later.

For one thing, if this is your first time being a homestay parent, you don’t want this one bad experience to ruin your perception of this type of experience forever so that you never try doing it again.

Furthermore, if you both walk away from this soon enough, there will be time for both of you to find new opportunities. You can still be a homestay parent that year and your former student can find a new family to stay with.

Before Ending the Homestay Arrangement

Before you finally make the call to end the homestay arrangement, we’d recommend you do a few things.

The first is obvious: talk to your student about the issues that have you thinking this way. You shouldn’t be insulting. As much as possible, you want to frame this as a simple situation wherein you both just aren’t good fits for each other. No one is right or wrong.

Presumably, you’ve already done this before it got to this point. If so, you might want to give it one more try just to make sure the problem isn’t persisting simply because the student doesn’t understand your grievances.

In any case, you and your spouse should then set a milestone. This will depend on the nature of the problem and how far along you are in the program.

However, let’s say it’s a month. You both agree to give it one more month and decide what the situation has to look like then or otherwise you make the call.

For most people, the hardest part about ending a homestay experience with a student is feeling like they failed them. Again, you have to keep in mind that these things happen and you’re both better off moving on early.