8 helpful hints for living with an American family

Are you thinking of living in the US with a host family? In order to have the best possible experience during your stay, read these helpful hints!

Are you planning on living in the United States with a host family? It’s important to inform yourself about the culture beforehand, because sometimes cultural differences can result in misunderstandings.

Here are 8 helpful hints for living with an American family during your stay in the US.


1. Say please and thank you

For Americans, saying these words is an important part of maintaining friendly relations. It can be considered rude to ask for something without saying please. If someone does something for you it is very important to say thank you. This includes both situations on a personal level as well as with strangers, like ordering food at a restaurant or buying something at the supermarket. Please and thank you are very appreciated words in the US.


2. Teach your host family about your culture

Americans love to learn about other cultures. Many Americans like to try new foods, learn new words in other languages and hear about traditions of other countries. They’ll be intrigued with everything you have to teach them about your country!


helpful hints for living with an american family lunch


3. Lunch and dinner

Coming from Spain, you are accustomed to lunch being the biggest and most important meal of the day. In the United States, lunch is eaten earlier – usually around 12:00. It is smaller than a Spanish lunch and its usually eaten relatively quickly between work or classes.  Dinner is the biggest meal of the day. Its usually eaten much earlier than in Spain – around 6:00pm or 7:00pm. At dinnertime, you are normally expected to sit down with your family and talk about your day and socialize.


4. The American space bubble

Americans value their personal space. When talking to people, they tend to keep themselves at a further distance from other people compared to countries. Normally an arm’s length away is a comfortable distance for Americans. If you talk too closely to their face, don’t be surprised if you see them politely and slowly backing away – they may not even realize that they’re doing it, it’s a natural reaction for them. In the US, it is very uncommon to kiss someone when greeting them, they may be a bit surprised if you go in for a kiss upon being introduced! This is one of the most important helpful hints for living with an American family.


helpful hints for living with an american family chores

5. Offer to help out

Your American host family will really appreciate you offering to help out with small household chores. For example, it is very respectful to offer to wash the dishes after someone cooks dinner for you. Also, keep your room clean! It may be seen as disrespectful to have a messy room and not take care of your living space.


6. University Sports

It’s more than likely that your host family is a fan of a certain university sports team. Americans take university sports just as seriously as professional league sports teams. Ask your host family to take you to a game, they will be delighted to include you in the experience.


Helpful hints for living with an American family punctuality


7. Punctuality is important

The majority of Americans are always on time. It can be rude to arrive late to certain events, and if you continuously arrive late to work you will probably lose your job. Try your best to get to places on time while you’re in the US.


8. Communicate and spend time with them

Your host family wants to get to know you, that’s why they’ve invited you to live with them! Take time to socialize and spend time with them. It´s also beneficial for you because it’s the best way for you to improve your English and truly get to know the culture of the United States.


Do you have any helpful hints for living with an American family? Share your ideas in the comments!


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