Two years ago Lum Suttiruang, from Thailand, participated in CHI’s Academic Year Program. He recently took the time to reflect on his homestay experience and share 5 tips for a successful program.
- Express yourself. Share your passion. Tell people what you like, especially your host family. I once ordered a SpaceX jacket online (I am a huge science nerd.) When the package arrived, I intended to go out to take it back into my room quietly. But my host mom called me out to share what I got. I reluctantly put the jacket on and showed them the SpaceX logo. After that I told them about how SpaceX is my dream company and how I would go crazy about whatever they do. My host family was awesome enough to keep that information and planned a surprise trip to SpaceX for my birthday! 2 years later and I still get minor goosebumps thinking about that night inside the rocket company.
- Help out. Offer assistance whenever you can. Especially for small chores. Always clean up after yourself. When it’s time to leave the house and go back to your home country, make the bed and clean your room. Show the host family that you appreciate the place you stay.
- Play with your host siblings.
- Participate in activities with friends. If a guy like me enjoys prom, you can too.
- Seek extra opportunities. Don’t just wait for things to come to you. Look for competitions or volunteer programs.