Staying with an American family: attitudes to avoid

Published on : 23 October 20205 min reading time

Are you going to stay with an American family on holiday or on a language trip? A great experience is on the horizon: meeting different people, discovery, adventure, new activities… Nevertheless, during your stay, you need to know how to adapt well so that the cohabitation goes smoothly. Here is a list of things to avoid.

Do not open up to others

You have a rather introverted character? During your stay with an American family, it is important to overcome this shyness. Indeed, communication remains the best way to establish a link with others. As soon as you arrive, take the time to talk with your hosts to get to know each other better: characters, hobbies, dietary restrictions… This exchange will also allow you to learn a little more about the local culture, culinary specialties, and other aspects of life in the United States. Any trip abroad also requires a good ability to adapt to new things (environment, lifestyle, customs, etc.). Dare to step outside your comfort zone and accept this cultural difference. It’s the best way to live an exciting experience and learn a little more about the world.

Escape from activities organized by the family

For you, staying with an American host family simply means renting a room with a local? This is not the case! Indeed, sharing and conviviality are at the heart of the relationship between hosts and guests. To create this bond, don’t hesitate to take part in the various activities organised by your host family: sports training, sightseeing tours, restaurant outings, etc.
In the United States, the notion of sharing is very important. So, the meal is a unique moment when the whole family gathers and discusses their daily life. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to share a pleasant moment with your guests around a tasty cuisine. Opening up to others also means introducing your traditions, customs and culinary specialities to your new temporary family. Be proud of your origins and show the world the specificities of your country. From time to time, don’t hesitate to prepare a meal so that guests can discover the typical dishes of your native country. Your host family will certainly appreciate this delicate attention. Thanks to these programmes, you will be totally immersed in the American way of life. Take advantage of the moment to enrich your knowledge, do activities and live new experiences. Moreover, travel is a wonderful human adventure. The beautiful memories will leave a trace in your heart and help you to fully develop on a personal level. It’s a pity to go abroad to finally isolate yourself in a room. This homely attitude is a source of frustration for you and your guests. You will feel as if you have wasted part of your life or your savings by organizing this stay in the United States.

Breaking the house rules

In each family there are always rules to facilitate cohabitation: meal times, curfew, cleanliness and hygiene, good manners… In spite of your status as a guest, do not think of deviating from these rules. Your new family will interpret your anarchy as a lack of respect. This can create conflict and tension in the household. During your stay with an American family, show the best side of yourself by showing discipline and respect for others. Magic words (thank you, sorry, please, etc.) and sincere compliments should be used without reservation. Do not forget good manners throughout your stay, including helping with household chores. Indeed, your presence should not be a burden for all members of the family.

Interfering in the private lives of household members

Within each family there are conflicts and discord. During your stay, you may witness violent arguments between parents or children. The wrong thing to do is to take part in these altercations. Even if your action is aimed at easing tensions, you should be aware that this attitude is forbidden. Indeed, family matters are settled within the family. Throughout your stay with an American family, be sure to keep your place as a guest even if you have created a good affinity with your hosts. The attitude to adopt is to slip away during violent arguments. When you return, the problems will be solved. The notion of privacy is also essential in any society. Don’t break this rule by interfering in relationships between parents or in children’s love affairs. Your intervention can be badly perceived by others, especially if it causes discord. During your stay, friendships can easily be created with the hosts. If a family member confides in you about his or her love life, you should be able to keep a secret for the following reasons

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