If you are thinking about applying for a host family program, it is essential to first evaluate how it will affect your family life. First, you have to be sure you would like to expand your family by one, because this young person will become part of your family during their stay.
To build a good relationship as a host family, it is important to follow some guidelines. Remember that, although the exchange student may bring some of their own customs and habits, it is still important that you establish common rules and understandings, just as you would do with members of your own family!
Get the most out of it! Tips to be the best host family
Make the student feel like a member of the family
Plan activities where the entire family can join, and invite the student to join you as well. Assign them some chores around the house (being an exchange student does not exempt them from basic responsibilities). Invite them to family outings that may arise, such as family parties, weekend barbecues, or attending church.
Making family meals
Perhaps it is not possible to share every meal together; however, try to have one meal per day where everyone sits down together and eats. You can make it a rule that all members of the household must be at the dinner table at dinnertime; this is the best time to share the day’s experiences and the opportunity for them to participate in conversations.
Set norms and allow for your student to participate in the choosing of those norms.
At the beginning of this article, we established the relevance that rules have during the student’s stay, and here we emphasize it. It is essential for a harmonious coexistence that rules are set and agreements are reached (always based on respect for both parties); make sure the student understands them and participates in the creation of some that benefit everyone, reach agreements that are really fulfilled.
Support them in any inconvenience that may arise.
Remember, always support your temporary member in the problems that may arise and help him or her solve them. And of course, we are always just a call away to offer support!
Allow yourself to show appreciation
A nice way to show appreciation is with details, you can ask him what his favorite dish is and cook it, take him to a place he wants to visit or treat them to an activity he wants to do.
Encourage him to stay in touch with his family.
Motivate him to stay in touch with his family and to make video calls often. Give him his space and privacy, show interest in meeting the members of his family, if possible, exchange phone numbers and keep in regular contact.
Share your cultures
The exchange is not only focused on teaching Canadian culture. Make sure you allow your student to share their own. As a family, show interest in learning how to make a typical dish from his country or plan an activity that is common in their family.
Hosting an international student can be very rewarding for both parties, not only will you get to know other cultures, but you will meet other people, make new friends and help form new friendships.