Friday, June 11, 2010

Host Family Worries

The reason I started this blog was to give people the truth. I don't want to sugarcoat things, or focus on the positives or negatives. I want to give you the real deal. Even if I'm wrong about something, I want to tell you what's on my mind.

In light of that, I have a worry. I have to hope for the best, but expect the worst case possibility.

I don't have much to go on with this worry. I know that. But it still worries me, so it's my moral job to tell you.

I'm worried my host mother doesn't see me as her soon to be daughter. Both the student and the host parents are trained. I'm trained to call her mom. She's trained to tell me to do so. One thing, I asked her was what to call her. And she, in the letter, implied I'm to call her by her fake American name.

She calls her daughter, "her daughter." -Not my soon to be sister.

She may not want to impose. But it worries me. She was trained for this. If she's not wanting me to call her mom, it could only mean she sees this as more of a business transaction.

She might think she's hosting me and then in return I will teach her daughter english.

Wrong. This program is not a trade. I would love to teach Demi english but, as a family member. Not as someone who is being "paid" to do it.

I want a family.

And on top of that, she's taken over three days to respond to my last letter. It isn't that long, but my first one she answered within 16 hours. And she told me to keep in touch.

Please don't lecture me on how stupid these things are. I can see your points. And believe me, I'm waiting hopefully to feel foolish later when I meet her, or get to know her better.

You have no idea how taxing it is to wait until you're an exchange student. XD It's horrible.

If you have been an exchange student, tell me about your host family! How did you like them?

If you're going to be, share your excitement/worries with me!

Comment below!


  1. i'm not going to lie now she probably does see it more as a "business transaction" more than anything. but you have to realize that she really doesn't know who you are, so automatically treating you as her daughter is probably a little uncomfortable to her. i think that once you actually get there and start forming a relationship with her and the rest of the family, they'll start treating you more as a daughter than as a host student. also, she may not want to get too attached because she knows that you are only going to be with her for a relatively short amount of time at their house (is it a couple months?? how long is each homestay visit). しんぱいしないでよ ;D

  2. I was an exchange student to Switzerland 08-09, and to be honest, don't be worried about this. I didn't call any of my host parents "mom" or "dad", cause that felt weird for me. Of course they acted in a quasi-parent way, but I definitely saw the distinction between "host parents" and "real parents". Also, what do you mean by "trained"? Sure, there are guidelines, but people will do what they feel comfortable with, and part of being an exchange student is learning to adapt.

  3. @Alan:
    What program did you go through? I am doing rotary youth exchange. In my program we are strongly "encouraged" to call our host parents mom or dad or whatever you call parents in that country.

    The parents are also strongly "encouraged" to tell the students to call them such.

    It's awkward at first, but it's our belief that it brings the student and host closer together. Of course it's different for everyone.

  4. @Zack:
    How long I stay depends on a lot of things. A few months usually.

  5. @Michelle

    I also did a Rotary youth exchange. It probably varies district to district what they tell students and host families about these things, so maybe the district in Taiwan didn't tell your host mom for you to call her "mom" and her to call you "daughter". In any case, I wouldn't worry about it, what's really important is the relationship you guys have over there, in which it won't matter what names you call each other :) PS. HAVE A GREAT YEAR!! :)