As a host family homestay provider of about 13 years, we’ve learnt that it’s far simpler than a lot of people expect. Essentially, all you’re doing, is adding an extra place setting to the dinner table and, including another person in the conversation.
That’s it in the simplest form, obviously ground rules need to be laid for your guests. Perhaps there are times in the evening that you need quiet or, the duration of their showers or, reminding them to keep the house secure when they leave, by locking doors and closing windows but, in reality it’s pretty easy gig and one that can be both rewarding and enjoyable.
Typically, when guests arrive at your home, you show them around the house, give them their set and cover the house rules. It’s always a good idea to have house rules in writing, perhaps email them or have a printed copy in their room, just in case their English level isn’t high enough to understand and retain what you’re saying. Also bearing in mind, some of them have been on extremely long flights with poor connections and they’re very tired.
Just like any other guests coming to your home you’d probably then ask them if they’d like a drink or, if they’re hungry or, if they just want to rest.This is a good way to break the ice and get them settled into the new home.
While you’re showing them around the house, it’s a good opportunity to let them know how you like things done. For example I tell all of my guests, “Just throw your clothes in the laundry basket with our clothes. I wash daily, so you’re most likely going to get them back the next day clean.” I also don’t like anyone else putting items in my dishwasher, so I tell him to just leave them on the beach above the dishwasher and I will stack them later.
Whatever the little things are, that you’re anxious about, get those expectations covered first. You might not know they are at the beginning, as I said for 13 years we’ve been a host family homestay provider in Melbourne, so we’ve had a long time to work out how we like things done. You will too.