GET READY BEFORE EMBARKING IN THE ADVENTURE
Training module 4
Upon completion, you will have a clearer understanding of home life while in the United States, understand how their host family will care for them, learn how to care for their host family
YOU ARE NOT A GUEST, YOU ARE PART OF THE FAMILY
They will care for you, give you food, a warm home, a comfortable bed, and they will support you have many positive experiences as a teenager living in the United States. They are there to help and guide you. Your host family will take you with them on their vacations and when you go out to eat together, they will pay.
Being a part of the family means that you are a full family member. You will have chores. Chores are work that must be done around the house and are shared by all of the family members. Everybody does them and as a part of the family, you get to do them too.
Chores might include:
A family might take turns washing the dishes or loading the dishwasher each night. Clearing the dinner table of plates and food is expected of everyone.
A family might have weekly jobs like vacuuming the carpet, mowing the lawn, cleaning the floor, or cleaning the bathroom. In some families one person does this work, in other families the family members take turns. It will be up to you to learn the family system and be willing to jump in to help.
Your host family will appreciate when you offer to help. If you don't help, they could feel as though you are taking advantage of them. Get used to asking the phrase, "How can I help?" In the beginning, they may say, "Don't worry, we've got it." Be polite and accept their hospitality, but don't give up asking tomorrow or the next week, "How can I help?" As you and the host family become more comfortable, the feeling of being a guest will subside and you'll become part of the family - by helping out.
THREE IMPORTANT WORDS
There are three sets of words that you can never overuse. Americans consider you to have a high level of respect for them and for yourself when you use manners.
Saying please shows the difference between asking for something and demanding it. If you don't say please, you present that you are entitled to what you are receiving. Your host family is giving you all that they give you as a gift. It never hurts to ask for things and say please. "Can I please have a glass of water?" Is it silly to ask for a glass of water? Not at first, ask even for this. Soon enough, your host family will say to you, "You don't have to ask for these things, you're part of the family." Then, they will be later praising your good manners and happy for your respect.
Saying thank you shows again that you received everything as a gift and you are thankful for it. When your host family cooks you food, does the laundry, drive you somewhere, say, "Thank you."
I AM SORRY:
When you apologize, you show you care more about the relationship than yourself. Sometimes we make mistakes, sometimes we have misunderstandings. When we act maturely, we apologize if we make mistakes, hurt other's feelings, or inconvenience others.
Manners show we are aware of ourselves and other people.
THE FIRST IMPRESSION IS VERY IMPORTANT
It takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time.
HEAR ABOUT GEORGE AND LUKAS FIRST IMPRESSIONS
HANS & LAURA ANTICIPATE BEING A NEW HOST FAMILY FROM TENNESSEE
MANY FAMILIES SHARE ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE AS A HOST
HOST FAMILIES WILL HAVE RULES
Living in the United States means living by your host families' rules. Usually, these rules go along with the laws in the United States. Sometimes they have extra rules that help the family-run well. We recommend that you learn the rules early, try them before you question them, and learn why the rules exist.
CURFEW- Most cities in the United States have times when minors (under 18) are required to be home, usually 11:00 pm or midnight is the time when students are to be home. Your host parents may have a specific time they want you in and it may be earlier when you first live with them. Why? They are waiting up until you get home to make sure you're home safe. They are responsible for you. They may have to work early in the morning and don't want to stay up late waiting for you.
RULES - Especially early in your stay, don't question the rules and do your best to obey them. If you have reason to question them later, do so politely. By obeying their rules, you'll earn their respect.
Remember, the most important relationship for you to develop and maintain is with your host family. If you maintain a good relationship with your host family, you'll have so many opportunities for fun, adventure, friendship, and new experiences. When your host family trusts you, you can spend plenty of time with your new friends in the United States, exploring and enjoying the freedom of being in a new country.
ORGANIZING SCHEDULES AND CHECKING IN
A final remark about having a great relationship with your host family. Organizing Schedules - You will want to communicate often about your schedules.
They may offer to give you a ride. Share with them who you're with, where you're going, and when you'll be back. Not because they want to manage your life but for two other reasons:
They are interested in your life.
They can help you understand details in the American systems you may not know.
When you return home at the end of the day, families like to see you before you're off to your next thing. You may come home with homework or excited to talk with a friend... you may even be on the phone with a friend when you get home. It is polite to stop your activity when you walk in the door and say, "Hi. How are you? How was you're day." By acknowledging your host family every time you come and go, you are checking in on your relationship. Checking in helps keep your relationships strong and is a good idea for your family back home and your future family someday.
TRULY, we recognize that you're an independent person. If you weren't you wouldn't be ready to do a year of school in the United States. Did you know that there are three levels of maturity: Dependent, Independent, and Interdependent? Global economies are interdependent. Strong companies have workers who are interdependent. Healthy friendships and marriages are interdependent. The tips that we're sharing with you above is to help you become interdependent. By following the above advice, you'll earn loads of trust and with trust you will be independence, respected, and loved. You'll have a rich social life in the United States and lots of freedom when care for your host family.
THIS PROGRAM IS ALL ABOUT EXCHANGE
It is a 2-way exchange between you and your host family: you will learn a lot about their culture while showing yours to them!
HEAR ABOUT GEORGE AND LUKAS' CHRISTMAS IN THE USA