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When staying with a host family, you are expected to come into the family home and live as part of the family. This means spending time socialising with your hosts. You will be expected to follow house rules and be respectful to your hosts, their family, their home and any pets they may have.
It is also important that you consider others when doing activities. For example: If you use the computer during the night, remember to be quiet as someone else in the house may need to get up early to go to work in the morning.
This can be a sensitive subject, as personal hygiene levels vary from family to family and culture to culture.
We in Scotland expect young people to shower once a day. These showers are typically five to ten minutes long using soap/ body wash and shampoo. Most host families will have toiletries available for your use but feel free to bring your own. Scottish people tend to shower in the morning, however, some may shower in the evening before bed. If you prefer an evening shower, please check with your host the latest time you can use the shower facilities.
For longer stays with your host, you may have dirty clothes you wish to have washed. You may feel you wish to wash these yourself - in this case, please ask your host to show you where this may be done. The host may offer to wash your clothing for you, in which case ask them where you can leave and collect your laundry. Please give your host plenty of time to have them washed and dried.
Upon your arrival, the family will talk to you about your likes and dislikes. While you will never be made to eat anything you don’t like, you will be expected to eat British food. Some hosts will be happy for you to help with the cooking of the main meals, so if you have any meals you would like them to prepare, talk to them and see if this would be possible.
Remember, you are not staying in a hotel or B&B. You will need to keep your room tidy. You will also be expected to tidy up after yourself in communal areas, such as the living room or bathroom.
Depending on the host you stay with, you may also be expected to help with chores around the house, such as clearing the table after meals, or washing the dishes.
You will also be expected to let the family know when you are going out, where you are going and what time you will be back. If for whatever reason, you are not able to get back on time, you must let the host know why you are not going to be back in time and when they can expect you to be back.
During your stay, you will be expected to speak English at all times. Even if sharing with another student from your home country. You are in this country to learn and improve your English language skills and communication, so you will be expected to socialise with the host family during mealtimes and in the evenings.