Living with a host family – good questions to ask

When should I take a bath or shower? Please limit showers to no more than 15 minutes long.

Do I wash my own laundry? If yes, please ask how to use the washer/dryer machines.

When may I use the phone (both for phone calls and internet use)? How late is it okay to receive calls? Make sure to use a prepaid calling card when making long-distance phone calls from your host family’s home. A long-distance call is any call that does not have a “530” area code.

May I use the stereo, TV, VCR, DVD, family computer? Ask how to use them and if they need to be turned off at a certain time.

May I use the oven and/or microwave? Please make sure to ask your host family how to use them and what pots, pans and dishes are okay to cook with.

May I invite friends over? It is important to ask permission of your host family before you invite your friends over.

Are there any special locks or alarms that I should know how to operate? It is very important to make sure you lock the door when you leave your host family’s home.

What items may I have for breakfast? In most American families, each person will make their own breakfast. Ask your family what is okay to eat for breakfast. If you are on the 3-meal plan, ask your family what items you may pack for your lunch. If you’ve never packed a lunch before, ask your family to show you how.

What time does the family eat dinner? Dinner is usually prepared by the entire family. It is also very polite if you offer to help set the table and help to clear the table after dinner.

Ask if there are any other family rules you should know about.