Life in a British or Irish Host Family !
You are going to best hosted by an Irish or British host family, and you are a little bit afraid of what to expect? Here are some general advices about the behaviour that the family with expect from you, as well as general information about life in England and Ireland.
Bristish and Irish families specificities:
- In many families, there will likely be a pet. Don´t be disrespectful toward it.
- You are an ambassador of your country abroad so don´t forget to stay polite and have a perfect behaviour! For example, ask to the family before doing any action like switching on the TV, inviting friends.
- Ask to your host family what is the most appropriate time for you to take your shower.
- Usually British and Irish families host students on a regular basis. This allows to get a better knowledge of the family, even if the hosting is not always as spontaneous as when the family is volunteer.
- Always be polite and ask nicely to repeat if you havent understood something.
- Don´t contradict your hosts, this wouldn´t be decent. If the family organizes some activities for you, thank them!
- Sunday is a special day in UK. British people like to take it slow on that day: they go to the religious service, meet family or friends. Enjoy it and use this special occasion to get to know better your hosts!
- Lunch will be served later on that day, around 2pm. The traditional Sunday meal would be Roast beef with Yorkshire pudding.
- At the end of the day, British people usually have sandwiches and cakes made for the occasion.
- Regarding religion, most Irish families are Roman catholic, whereas British families tend to be Anglican. Scottish people are generally Presbyterian, and the Welshs are generally Methodists.
About general life in England and Ireland:
- Whatever the season is, it is highly recommended to bring a cloth item to protect you from the rain. The general temperature is 15.5 (Celsius) in summer, and room are usually not heated a lot, so dont forget to bring items to keep you warm!
- Banks are usually opened from 9:30am to 4:00pm. In big cities they will likely be open on Saturday, whereas in the rural areas they will be closed.
- Post offices are opened from Monday to Saturday, from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, except on Saturdays where they closed at noon.
- Shops are opened from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm generally. It is recommended to keep your receipts so you wont have any problem or misunderstandings while leaving a shop.
- Don´t forget that in the UK and in Ireland, people drive on the left side of the road!
- To be able to enter a pub, you have to be 16 years old at least. However, if your host family goes to lunch in the pub, you will be able to accompany them, even if you are not 16. Pubs generally close at 11pm.
- Coin machines near the beaches always attract suspicious-looking people. Try to avoid these places. Also, clubs and pubs surroundings around close time are also a place to avoid.
- If you are travelling with a group of foreigners, try to avoid speaking loudly in the public transports. You would be targeted as an easy prey to thefts.
I hope these advices and information have been useful for you!