Questions to ask your host family


Traveling to a new country and staying with a family you don’t know is exciting yet you will probably also be a little nervous. We put together a few questions to help you get to know your host family and to understand their preferences. You likely will have other questions too and that’s great. Don’t feel like you have to ask all these questions the first night, but these can serve as conversation starters your first couple weeks in their home.

One other thing! Don’t forget to tell your host family the name you like to be called, the types of food you like and don’t like and share any allergies with them! They want you to have the best possible experience.

  • What do I call you?
  • What am I expected to do daily other than make my bed, always keep my room tidy and clean the bathroom every time I use it?
  • What are your rules for me with regard to smoking?
  • What time must I get up (on weekdays, on weekends)?
  • What time must I go to bed (on school nights, on weekends)? What are the rules for going out at night and at what time must I be home? Can exceptions be made if I ask in advance?
  • Do you have any dislikes, such as chewing gum, wearing a hat or curlers at the table, loud rock music, or smoking?
  • Do my host brothers or sisters have any dislikes?
  • What are the dates of your birthdays?
  • When we go out as a family, should I pay for my own entrance fee, meals, etc.?
  • What arrangements should I make for school lunch?
  • Does the Rotary club pay my cost of travel to school?
  • Am I to attend Rotary club meetings? If yes, how will I get there?
  • Is there anything else you would like me to know?



  • When is a convenient time for me to use the shower or bathtub?
  • Where may I keep my toiletries?
  • Should I purchase my own toiletries (e.g., toothpaste, soap) or should I purchase my own?



  • What time are meals?
  • How do meals work?
  • What can I do to help assist with meals (e.g., preparation, setting up the table, washing dishes, emptying garbage)?
  • May I help myself to food and drink any time or should I ask first?


My Bedroom

  • May I put pictures or posters in my room?
  • Where should I put my clothes?
  • May I rearrange?


Household Procedures

  • Where do I keep clothes until it’s time for them to be washed?
  • Should I wash my own clothes?
  • Should I iron my own clothes?
  • May I use the iron at any time? If so, where is the iron?
  • What areas of the house are private and off-limits to me at all times?
  • Please tell me how to interact with the house servants or maids (where applicable).
  • What else can I do around the house (yard work, help clean)?


Friends and Family

  • What are the rules about me using the phone? Must I ask first?
  • May I make long distance phone calls?
  • May friends and family call me?
  • May I call my friends here in the United States?
  • May my friends call me?
  • How do you want me to keep track the costs of my telephone calls?
  • What is the procedure for mailing letters? What address do I use for my incoming mail?
  • May I have friends spend the night or visit during the day?