The idea that you are joining a student exchange scheme abroad can be both exciting and worrying. On the one hand, you are happy that you can experience foreign cultures and traditions. You will be in a foreign country for quite a while. You will also be doing everything without the assistance of your parents, something that you are yet to try. On the other hand, you also worry that you will miss home, and decide to cancel your trip. You also fear that your host family, where you will be staying, won’t like you.
It is a good idea to stay with a host family when you are abroad for a few months of studies. You will feel like you still have a family even if you are away from your real family. You also have someone to talk to when you are alone, or if you have a hard time adjusting to your new environment. The only problem is you are not quite sure if your host family will like you, or the other way around. If you are considering homestays in London as your chosen university is in London, here are some of the things you can do to prepare for your trip.
Research the place
It is your first visit to London, and you have only seen the city in photos and videos. Before you leave, make sure that you research more in-depth information about the city. London is such a vibrant city regarding its history and exciting spots. You won’t feel entirely new to the city when you do your research. You also won’t feel lost while you are there.
Communicate with your host family
One of the best methods to reduce your anxiety regarding your host family is to speak with them before your trip. Get to know them more by talking to them through social media or video conferencing when you have time. You can also speak with their kids your age so that you can find common hobbies and interests. When you arrive at their house, you will feel like you are at home.
Bring a gift
You need to also bring a part of your culture for your host family. One of the best ways to do it is by bringing a gift that represents your culture and traditions. It is also your way of saying thank you to them for accepting you as part of their family. The present does not have to be expensive. It is more of a gesture of gratitude for their acceptance and accommodation.
Prepare a local dish to cook
There might be days when you can cook something for your host family. If you don’t cook, you need to start learning how to cook now. You can practise one or two dishes that you can prepare for your host family. It helps if you also know what they like eating, and if anyone has allergies to certain ingredients.
With these preparations, you will now feel confident to fly to London and stay with your host family.