Before Your Student Arrives
Make sure the bedroom is ready for your student. Clean thoroughly and add appropriate furniture (bed, dresser, desk for homework). Providing matching sheets, comforter, and pillows, along with a few accessories, communicates value and kindness.
If your student shares a room, make sure he or she still gets personal, comfortable space. Do not place a television or gaming system in the student’s room.
Stock basic toiletries for your student’s initial hygiene needs.
Stock the cupboards with a variety of foods including foods that will be familiar to your student from his or her home country. Make sure you get info on any dietary restrictions or allergies. If you serve foods prohibited by a student’s traditions, plan to give them additional options they can eat.
Set up a place to study with essential study supplies. The student will have spending money to purchase what they need, but providing basic supplies shows your support of the student’s academic goals. Schools often post supply lists on their websites during the summer, then individual teachers add to the list during the first week of school. Be prepared to take the student shopping in the first two to three days of school.
Decide in advance what you want to do about the cellphone situation. We recommend no more than two hours of phone/computer/technology time per day. This is the number one area where students “hide” when they are lonely or stressed. Instead, they should be encouraged to engage with the family, read a book, or exercise to feel better.
Plan to take the tax deduction when you do your taxes. The form is included in the Host Family Orientation Packet that your CR will give you.
Along those same lines, don’t host a student if you are short on money. If your financial situation changes (illness, job loss, etc), alert your CR early enough for her to find a new host family (the process takes three to four weeks).
Let people know you have a special visitor coming! Meeting and talking to new people brings a more lively learning experience.