Monday, December 13, 2010

Host Family Help

Hey guys,

I have done a new video yesterday to inform viewers about this blog.

My aim for the channel is to accompany this blog because I will be able to show you more videos, pictures and stories that can't be explained by writing and then on this blog, I'll be able to get into a lot more detail.
Or at least something like that.

My Youtube channel is 'eatingualive'.
I would also like to mention my friend, fallblu has a channel for his student exchange trip to the U-S-of-America, so when he arrives in USA during January, you can expect some videos.
I got to delete some videos.
Just plain plain shameful.

Just some quick advice, to know how to be a good towards your host family, it's good to see things through their eyes. You can just imagine it or the better option, welcome a foreign student into your home. Spot what to do and what not to do when you got abroad.

1. You go to know that a host family's home is NOT a hotel.They sacrifice a lot to let you in and they do it unpaid and with the goodness of their hearts. They least you can do is to help out around the house. Do more than what you are asked of. I know that in Japan, they spoil the children and kids are supposed to study non-stop. However, as an exchange student, there is not much you can study on since everything is in Japanese so why not bond with the family via doing some chores.
An example of what not to do:Your host family says dinner starts at 6. Don't come back exactly on time to immediately start dinner. During my time of being a host sister, I knew exactly ticked off my mum at times.
It's best to come back a little earlier to help out.

2.Don't complain and try your very best to adapt.The point of going abroad is to become a better person and experience a different culture. Try to change yourself to go along with their lives, instead of modifying them to suit you. Host family member do have lives and you have deal with their ups and downs. Japanese people tend to try and keep their emotions and opinions aside, so it'll be good to have a little common sense and an eye open. If there is something you don't particularly like, try it 3-4 times before voicing your opinions.

3. Put a little bit more effort in bonding with your host family.Instead of travelling across your country and seeing the big cities or going out with your friends 24/7, stay with your host family on special occasions and go with them to family outings. You can go back to whichever country you choose over and over again, but, you can't relive those times when you lived in a home of family memories.
I don't mean that don't travel anywhere at all but keep things in balance.

4. If they are a little dodgy :/
If you truly believe that your host family are treating you like crap and It is unbearable, sit down to have a civilized talk with them (without offending them). If all else fails, contact your organisation or speak with a trusted adult. By giving you dishwashing duties is NOT being mean. You are meant to be treated as a family member, not an honoured guest. However, if they are making you feel in danger, rights ignored or/and excessively uncomfortable, talk to someone.
On the other hand, you could be over-reacting. Go out, take a breather, give it a think.

5. Treating you as a guest and being too 'nice'
You may be enjoying the fact that there let you have the first ............, or give you special treatment. They might be just being polite or what not however, in some cases, you might be missing out on the family part of it all. Staying in a hotel, you can do anytime of your life, but immersing yourself in the family aspects is important. It's one of the main points of the student exchange. If you don't want to offend them, show appreciation, say a few compliments and insist on helping around and doing a couple chores. Don't wait to be asked to help.

My advice is what I have experienced as a host sister and from what I learnt from AFS camp leaders and returnees of past trips.

I have to create a new background...:/
I just made the current one, in a lazy mood, and just blurred and rainbow-fy it.
Don't worry, I'll make a more awesome one soon. Maybe with a dinosaur in it. :D

Thanks for reading :),

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