How to behave to get along with your American Host Family?

Are you flying to the USA soon and will be living with an American host family? Here is some information you should know before departure to get along well with your family!

  • Think of yourself as an ambassador of your own country! When you are in the USA, you will represent your country, so your behavior abroad will help forge an image of your fellow citizens abroad: be proud of it but don't act like your country is better than the USA: they are just different countries.
    Americans are really proud of their country, and they wouldn't understand if you were not proud of your own!

  • Share your culture and your feelings! Once in your family, you will see they want you to feel comfortable, like a true member of the family. Call your host parents the same way their children do.

  • Offer your help! Being a host doesn't mean you should act like you are in a hotel: offer your help for little chores like walking the dog out, dressing the table... In addition, to please your family, these little chores will be a good occasion to communicate with your American host family!

  • Share some expenses! A good way to show that you are well educated is to share some expenses. If the family takes you out, always offer to pay your own expenses like tickets. You can also offer some flowers or a little present to your host mother. A round of ices will surely please everyone too!

  • Open yourself to your American host family! Bring some pictures of your family or life abroad: you will be able to explain your everyday life to your American host family! Don't stay alone in your room, it could be misinterpreted by your host family. If you are tired and want to rest, inform your family. If your family offers you to participate in activities, always accept it. If you say no to be polite, your family will take this no for what it is, i.e., a no. Don't waste opportunities! If your American host family has young children, try to have fun or play with them! Pay attention to misunderstandings and misinterpretations: some expressions like it's stupid, that you could say innocently, could be misinterpreted by your host family.

  • Be autonomous. In your family, if there is a teenager, it is likely he will have a job: Americans are encouraged toward financial independence, and having a job, especially during summer, is something usual. Your American host family will have already thought of the problems such a situation could give, and may have associated friends and family so you won't be alone! Your American host family will expect you to be able to take care of yourself.

Some information you need to know about meals and hygiene of American Host Family!

Meals and hygiene are two important components of everyday life: if you are going to live in an American host family, the recommendations below may be very useful!

American Meals

There are usually 3 meals in the typical American day:

  • Breakfast: Taken around 8 am, breakfast is usually coffee or milk, with toast, butter, and marmalade, or cereals with milk, and orange juice. This is a very important meal, don't skip it!

  • Lunch: Usually taken between 12 pm and 1 pm, it is a quick meal, except on Sunday: Hamburger, hot dog... Usually, you have to help yourself out in the fridge or go to the local fast food.

  • Dinner (or supper): The American family doesn't meet often to take this meal. It can be a pizza or a hamburger everyone eats when hungry. However, more traditional families take a real dinner together, eaten between 6 and 8 pm, with salad, meat, vegetables, dessert...

Don't be afraid if your family doesn't offer to prepare your meals: they will tell you to help yourself out and you should not hesitate to do so!
On Saturday and Sunday, in most families, breakfast and lunch will be replaced by a lunch, a big breakfast, that will be taken around 11 am. On these days, there will be a dinner like the other days.

American people eat a lot of beef or chicken meat, but usually meals are balanced.
Since people usually eat a lot of snacks between the meals, you will have to pay attention not to eat too much. You should at least try to taste everything that is offered to you. And always thank your hostess and congratulate her for what she has prepared!

About clothes

Hygiene is a really important matter in the US: take it seriously!

  • In most families, there will be several washings a week: ask your family when you should give your clothes to wash, and even offer your help to do it since usually washing machines are easy to use there: be sure to have understood how the machine works first! American people take cleanliness seriously.

  • They would be bothered if you or your clothes were not clean: pay attention to this point: change your clothes and take a shower every day.

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If you are an enthusiastic and open-minded host, you will be able to integrate yourself quickly into your American host family and you will have a wonderful experience! Talk to Nacel and study abroad.

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