Lessons Learned from Hosting an International Student
A Year in Review
With the academic year wrapping up, we’d like to take a moment to thank all of our hard working host families who make the Twinn Palms experience so incredible. And, for anyone considering hosting their first international student, we thought it might be fun to share some of the lessons learned over the year. So follow along with us as we share 5 lessons learned from hosting an international student.
“We’ve learned to get more serious about our family dinners.”
Chinese culture is structured around food, much more so than here in the States. In hosting their first international students, many of our hosts families have learned to change their eating habits. Instead of eating in front of the TV, families have learned to plan for regular, sit-down meals with their families— a more rewarding experience for everyone!
“Americans are much more open-minded than you might expect.”
At first, many of our host families report feeling slightly worried about how their community will react to their new family member. However, despite the sensationalism in mainstream media, our families tell us that their neighborhoods are overwhelmingly accepting and open-minded about foreign students.
“There’s more culture here, at home, than I ever imagined!”
You know that feeling where, once you decide to buy a new car, you begin seeing that same car everywhere you go? There’s a similar phenomenon that happens once you welcome an international student into your home. Not only will you begin to notice elements of different cultures throughout your daily life, you may also find yourself identifying different behaviors, customs, and activities as being distinctly, “American.” It’s an eye opener for sure!
“There will never be a perfect time — just do it!”
Over the years, we’ve spoken to many host families who are a little hesitant about biting the bullet and accepting their first international student. However, as any of our families will tell you: now is better than never. Your family will learn to adjust and adapt to its latest addition. Don’t wait for all the traffic lights to turn green, simply take it one day at a time.
“Your family life will quickly adjust.”
In the first week or two of hosting, your family may try to be as accommodating as possible. But, over time, routine will creep back in and you’ll likely find yourselves slipping back into your regular old selves. This is 100% normal. Don’t feel like you need to provide a picture perfect experience for your guests. They’re here to experience regular good ol’ American life.
Have a wonderful Summer!
Again, we’d like to thank all of our host families for helping Twinn Palms deliver exceptional cultural experiences to our international students. What other lessons have you learned? Please leave a quick comment to help our new host families out. And don’t forget to have a wonderful summer. We’ll see you next year!