As one of InternChina team member I had lots of chances to meet with people, especially with our host family. In our Chinese host families, they are always patient with you even if you cannot understand a single word of Chinese. When you move in with a Chinese host family, you will find that the parents or grandparents will always insist that you eat more on the dinner time. They’ll always say “eat eat eat more”! Can’t understand the reasoning behind it? It’s based on Chinese traditional cultural and hospitality. They want to give their child (in this case, you, their host child) everything possible to make them feel more comfortable.
Living with a host family is so much more than just a place to live because the family legitimately tries to bring you into the family. Consistently some of the most rewarding aspects of living with a host family are the day to day affairs that on the surface appear insignificant. From eating to shopping to going out to sites, our host families genuinely try to include you. From teaching you how to make dumplings to bringing you along on family outings, you’re guaranteed to take something from the homestay experience.
I myself had a homestay experience when I decided to go to Thailand after my graduation. It was my first time abroad. Sooner than expected, I found myself with my host brother, Tom, in his village of Chinmai. Eight hours away from the city center, I was greeted by my host mom at the edge of the door. Big and well furnished, the home had a lived in feel that can’t be found anywhere else. At dinner time mum (I also called her mum) cooked us some Thai hotpot. It was very interesting helping her prepare the ingredients together as she taught me all the Thai equivalents to the vegetables and meats. After dinner they took me to the night market that was full of nice cheap goods (sometimes I really can’t control myself from buying something I don’t need!) While Tom went to work during the day and his sister went to school, the evenings were always special. All in all, I’m going to tell you guys who wants to go abroad and live abroad don’t be afraid to talk with locals even you can’t speak the local language, sometime it really doesn’t matter if you can speak their language or not, body language will be your dictionary!