Hints for a Successful Homestay
1. Don’t let too much time go by before you talk to your student about what you expect him to do while visiting your home. (Make bed, take dirty clothes to laundry, put breakfast dishes in the dishwasher, etc…) Tell your student what the house rules are. (Curfew, phone, refrigerator, etc…)
2. Don’t be afraid to say NO! Use the same rules you would use for your own children. Do NOT have two sets of rules—one for your children and one for your student! If you do not have teenagers in your home, don’t be afraid to set what you believe are age appropriate rules for your student.
3. Explain to your student that the program does not allow driving, operating a motorized vehicle or hitchhiking. Hitchhiking may take some explaining on your part as it is a widely accept- ed practice in other parts of the world.
4. For groups staying in the southern states, caution your stu- dent about the sun. Our biggest problem with discomfort and sunburn can be minimized with caution and a good sunscreen.
5. Smoking. If your family does not smoke, you may ask your student to smoke outside or in designated ares. Do not incon- venience your family with your student’s smoking habits. You may find that your student really only smokes when together with other students.
6. Allow a couple of days for your student to “settle in.” The student will need time to adjust to the heat, from travel time, to the time zone, and to overcome some shyness. He may not want to eat much for the first few days, but he will eventually get hungry and adapt to your routine.
7. Set limits on his use of the telephone. At home he will not use the phone daily for social calls and he should not do it here. Our phone system works so well that sometimes he will take advantage of it. Limit the number and length of the calls. Do not encourage him to call his friends. Avoid getting the students together constantly because it leads them to forming closer relationships with other students rather than with you and your family. All international calls should be collect.
8. Explain to your student that all girls must wear both parts of their bathing suit whether at the beach or at the pool. Sunbathing topless is not an option.
9. Set limits on the use of computer. We suggest no more than 30 minutes a day.
10. Be sure your student carries at all times your name, address, phone number and a quarter just in case…
11. Call the coordinator immediately if the student becomes ill or injured. He is insured. Follow emergency procedures.
12. Personal hygiene. Since we live in a warmer climate, often humid, it is necessary for your student to realize from day one that showering is a daily practice. This will help avert any problems with body oder.
13. Relax and Enjoy! Don’t try so hard that it becomes work. Kids are fun and flexible.