Before Your Student Arrives
The First Few Days
House Tour: Please do a thorough tour of your home – both inside and out. Show students how to use appliances and discuss common and personal spaces. Standards of privacy and personal space can vary across cultures – for example, the practice of knocking on a bedroom door before entering. Students may not know simple things such as having the shower curtain inside the bathtub when showering or how to use the shower taps.
Things to consider:
Banking: Some students will have a debit or credit card from home that they may access via a bank machine, but not all machines will work for all cards. You may have to try a couple of different ATMs to find one that will work.
Some students will arrive with a lot of cash, and in this case you will need to assist the student to open a bank account. This will involve visiting the bank and helping them complete the necessary forms. Their passport will be required for identification. A checking account is suggested as it provides more versatility and prevents a student having to withdraw large sums of money to pay fees such as monthly Homestay fees. The student’s family may use this account to transfer funds to the student.
School Registration – Every year, register at the school so that school has the most up to date info. They will need a copy of the student’s passport and study visa.
|Family Involvement: The students know that they are staying in your home as a member of your family and are encouraged to participate in all family functions. Initially students may require an adjustment period, so providing some private time is suggested. We encourage families to eat the evening meal with their student, for conversation and family time. The student should be included in your family activities during the weekend.
Sense of Belonging: Help to make your student feel like a real part of the family. Have a photo of your student on the fridge, put his/her birthday on the calendar and have a celebration, know about health issues, meet his/her friends and welcome them into your home, celebrate good marks or a great report card.
Phone use: Students can use the family telephone, but must use a calling card for long distance calls. It is OK to place a time limit on phone calls on the family phone line, especially during peak periods when all members of the family need to use the phone. Some families limit the use of a telephone to the hours before 10 p.m. however, we ask you to be aware that for students from Asia, this may be the only time when they can reach their families. Most students will use Skype or a cell phone app to communicate with friends and family.
Computer Use: Most students arrive with their own computers and tablets. You do not have to provide unlimited internet time, and sometimes homestay families need to set very specific limits on any internet surfing, however many students use internet as a means of communicating with their families, so keep in mind that they may be needing to speak with their families later in the evening. If you find your student surfing inappropriately, please contact your Homestay Coordinator immediately and the parents will be notified.
Household Chores: The students should keep their own rooms clean. They may never have done this before, so simple instructions and a demonstration is required. They might also be asked to help clear away the dishes, or set the table, or help put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
Religion: Please respect the religious beliefs and background of your student. For example, if you have a practicing Roman Catholic student it would be best to inquire if they wish to attend a youth group at a Catholic church, not the church of your faith if it is different from theirs. Some natural parents are adamant about the place of worship for their child.
Food and Dining: Three meals per day are normal. Food needs to be made available for your student to prepare if you happen to be away. Ensure that the student does not have to prepare meals for him/herself on a regular basis. Canadian food can be a problem for international students at first. Eating times, table manners, methods of serving and presenting food may also be different. Many Asian students prefer a hot breakfast and a hot lunch. Latin American students are used to a large meal at lunch time.
Some differences between Canadian and Asian food eating habits are as follows:
House Rules: Your student is expected to follow whatever rules you have for other members of the household, age appropriate. Discuss your rules early and often, making sure your student understands the rules and the reasons for the rules. Establish reasonable consequences for breaking the rules – remember, they are children/teenagers.Some guidelines and policies are as follows:
Conduct with respect to hosting students:
As Host Parents, you are the responsible adult, NOT the best friend of the student. You are expected to act in a kind and judicious manner with respect to your dealing with your student.
A primary responsibility of the host parent is to care for the student and to keep the District Principal informed about the welfare of the student. That includes informing us of behaviors of other students which may impact on your student and in making us aware of potentially dangerous or inappropriate personal relationships.
You should find out what your student’s expectations are concerning the use of the bathroom. It is best to talk to your student about this at the very start of their stay. You are expected to provide necessary bathroom items such as toilet paper, soap and towels, but student should supply their own personal items such as toothpaste, shampoo and hand cream. You may wish to discuss shower times and length in regards to the family routine as well. It is important to remember that different cultures have a different bathroom routines. If you have a student coming from Asia, you may find this poster useful: Bathroom Use
For example, Canadian and Asian bathrooms and bathroom routines can be very different.
Some of the main differences are as follows;