Wry Exchange

Family Hosting Rules-part 1

 These are MY suggestions only. You are reading a blog from a volunteer, please use common sense when contemplating using my advice.
Requirements-The host family must provide meals and a bed.  The student may share a bedroom, but must have his/her own bed.  Give the student a bedroom with a door.  I’ve seen people try to put students in a walk-in closet, storage rooms, attics, and in the basement next to the washing machine.  All unacceptable.   Treat the student as a family member.
Area Rules-Our guidelines are a combination of  our program, State Department, and host family rules.   We recognize each counselor, community, and family has different values and priorities.   The state department has a rule if you take the student out of the country the Program  Chairman has to sign the 2019 form.  Our national program rules include no drinking, driving, drugs, or serious dating.   The US State Department has other rules as well.  They are included in a separate pamphlet printed by the State Department.
Family Rules ES is living under your roof. You set the curfew. Your set the rules for the ES, same as you would for your own children. The student may go on school field trips, to away games, shopping, riding around, or stay overnight with friends from town with your permission. You may take the student on overnight trips or out of school for family vacations. The student is not permitted to travel overnight unaccompanied without an approved adult. The student is expected to ask your permission to attend an event. The student is not to say, “I’m going to the mall, and I need a ride.” You have a right to know where, when, who just as you would with your own kids; and to say ‘no” if you don’t approve. The student is not allowed to drink. But drinking customs vary by country and household. For example, your student may have wine with dinner with the rest of the family. Don’t encourage it. If you do not approve of alcohol use, end of discussion. The student must abide by the house rules. If it is not working out, the student will be moved as soon as you ask. Don’t feel guilty, sometimes nice people just don’t get along. The advisor is there to work with both of you. Please respect the student’s privacy. Do not read the student’s e-mail, diary, or other papers without their permission.
Telephone and Computers-discuss with the student the price of phone calls, cell phones, and phone cards. onsider having the student buy a microphone or webcam for the computer to talk with family back home.   Discuss computer usage rules in your family. May the student download music? Files?  Please monitor computer time.  Some students will try to spend several hours daily online chatting in their native language.  An hour daily should be sufficient.  Please don’t forbid the student from using the internet.  It’s an important way to stay connected to family back home.
Personal Webpages-The program monitors such sites as MySpace, Skyblog, Facebook, and Fotoblog.  Any photos, comments, or journal entries describing or depicting illegal or immoral activity (such as admissions of smoking, drinking) may be cause for termination.
Chores-Chores are an excellent way for the ES to feel like part of the family. The ES will feel like he/she is contributing to the family. Give the ES daily and weekly chores to accomplish. You probably will have to show the ES how to do them more than once or twice. We may do chores differently in the states than in the ES’s home country. If you pay your children to do large chores (i.e.-mowing, shoveling snow, babysitting), please pay the ES. Some regular chores for the ES may include setting and clearing the table, washing the dishes, feeding the family pets, doing his/her own laundry, taking out the garbage, cleaning his/her own room, vacuuming, and light yard work. The ES may occasionally baby-sit for the family, but not regularly, or for long periods. The student is not an Au Pair.
Cultural Differences-he student is probably used to living his/her daily life quite differently than we do in the US. When the student does something you consider to be wrong, please discuss it with him/her. You may be surprised at the answer the student gives. Try to explain that this isn’t a matter of ‘right or wrong”, it’s “how we do it in America. If we were in your country, we’d do it another way.” Almost everything can be done differently. For example, dishwashing, hygiene, fragrance amounts, nudity, drinking of alcohol, chores, and gender roles may all be different. Some students may be used to having servants in their homes. What we consider rude, they may consider polite, and vice versa. Talk about differences as they come up, don’t wait until they get to be big problems.

2 Comments so far
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Are there federal government rules or laws about a FES drinking alcohol beyond normal state MIC or MIP laws?

Also, I am new to this blog. Who monitors my-space or facebook? Is that a government exchange program, is it done individually by different programs?

Our FES is darling, but used to much more freesom in her country…

Comment by privatehostmom

I think drinking laws in the US are uniformly 21 years.
I monitor my kids’ Facebook pages for the students in my area. Any adult can monitor. It’s your home, if you wish to, set up a Facebook or MySpace page and have your student add you as a friend. Some programs try to forbid students from having social network pages, but I think it’s a losing battle. The most we can do is monitor them, and enforce our rules. No photos of drinking or other illegal or immoral activity.

Comment by Wry

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