Homestay: What To Do?
Homestay has been one of the most popular choices of accomodation among international/foreign students. Doing a homestay program certainly benefits you a lot. Not only does it provide you a chance to experience the local culture itself, you can also learn to adjust yourself better in the local environment. Also, homestay is the best choice for them who doesn't want to spend a big amount of money on accomodation. After all, in most places, doing a homestay program would certainly save you up some money rather than living in an apartment or dormitory.
By living with host family, you will learn how to interact and communicate in a "local-properly" way. You would probably feel awkward anduncomfortable at the beginning since you are living with other people who have different cultures and customs with you. However, as time passes by, you will learn to accept those differences and finally adjust yourself to your surroundings.
If you want to experience homestay but are still hesitating on doing it, here are some tips for you!
1. Communicate your thoughts and needs
Communication is the best thing to do to avoid any misunderstandings and conflicts. Are you a vegetarian? Do you have any food allergies? Can you sleep with the lights off? Can you sleep with air-con off? Do communicate those things with your host family! You obviously don't want to accidentally offend your host family by not eating the meals they cook for you just because they don't know that you are allergic to certain food, right? So, do communicate!
2. Behave yourself
Living in a foreign country with different culture and customs would surely give you a lot to learn. If you are used to wear certain kind of clothing in your home country, you will need to learn whether those kinds of clothing are appropriate to wear in your destination country or not. You need to adapt to local customs. You are now being a part of the family, so try not to create bad impression of them. Behave yourself!
3. Speak their language
Try to speak their language as much as you can. It doesn't matter if it's only a simple thank you in their language, they will really appreciate it! Also, it will help you to improve your language skill!
4. Open up yourself
It is hard to leave your comfort zone (e.g family and friends in your home country), but it is also necessary to open yourself up to your now-surroundings. Do not forget to mingle with your host family members and join your family activities!
It should be a given to those who study abroad, but still, it's worth mentioning! Do not forget to bring thoughtful gifts for your host family from your home country. It might sound simple, but they would really appreciate it!
Do not hesitate and come experience your first homestay experience!