How To Be an Awesome Host Family


Hosting an exchange student is not just a mind-blowing and eye-opening experience, but also a chance to level up and grow together. While it may come with a bit of a learning curve, these awesome tips will help you navigate the journey and make the absolute most out of this incredible opportunity.


Dream Big, Stay Real

small boy drawing rocket on wall with chalk

So, you're all set to embrace the world of hosting and have a blast, but remember, when you welcome a teenager who's practically grown up in a different universe – different family, different culture, different everythingget ready for some interesting twists and turns.


Expect the Unexpected

smiling couple on roller coaster

It's like discovering a whole new dimension of your home and heart. Your exchange student comes with a passport full of stories and a culture that's waiting to blend with yours.  Get ready for a rollercoaster ride through cultural curiosity!


Household 101: Navigating Your Home & Family

couple with kids on shoulders looking at house-shaped cloud

Your exchange student is like a fish out of water, eager to fit in but needing a hand. Time to school them in the ways of your home sweet home. Show them the ropes around your place – how to handle household gadgets, follow family rules, and jump into daily routines.   It's all part of making them feel right at home.


From Strangers to Fam

smiling family with exchange student

Treat your student like they’ve always belonged. Remember those expectations you've got for your own teenagers? Yep, sprinkle that magic on your exchange kid too, and watch them shine.


Chit-Chat Like There’s No Tomorrow

collage of brightly colored conversation bubbles

Communication isn't a one-off event; it’s an ongoing fiesta. Keep that convo flowing, especially early on. If they're looking more puzzled than a cat at a dog show, switch up your approach. Use real-life stories, paint them a picture – you'll see the lightbulb go ping above their head.


Tiny Problems, Big Solutions

smiling woman holding fly swatter

Don't let molehills grow into mountains. Tackle the teensy problems pronto before they morph into mega dramas, because in the world of hosting, a pinch of prevention can save a truckload of trouble.


You're the Culture Guru

couple in all-terrain jeep

Imagine yourself as a guru of your turf. Your exchange student is like an explorer in a brand-new land. Your job? Show 'em how to navigate the wild terrain of customs, language, and all things local. Who's the pro? You are!


Swap Some Culture

kids and Asian girl looking at photos

It's like trading stickers, only cooler. Dive into each other's cultures, swap stories, and unravel the mysteries of what makes us all tick. And remember, culture is a hodgepodge – not just what we say and wear, but how we think and roll too.


When in Doubt, Shout – to the Coordinator

woman shouting

Feeling a bit lost? Have questions pop up like surprise parties? Don't worry, your Local Coordinator is your superhero hotline. They’re just a call away, armed with answers and tips to save the day.


By following these tips, you won't just rock the role of hosting an exchange student, but you'll also create some mind-blowing memories and friendships that'll last a lifetime. Embrace the learning curve, stay open-minded, and enjoy the incredible journey of hosting an international student.


Tags: Host Families, Host an exchange student, cultural understanding

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