Wednesday, January 9, 2013,
For those of you who were unaware, Rotary generally gives exchange students three host families.
The only requirements for a host family (aside from serious background checks and interviews) is to have a bed for you, and to provide three meals a day. You live in their house and become a part of their family. Although you can bring your culture into their home, you learn how to do things their way, and adapt to their family. However, they are also assumed to do much more. Rotary officials assume that host families will teach their exchange student the host language by speaking to them in it, and they are also expected to treat you like part of the family. Rotary Youth Exchange has been around for quite some time now, and I assure you they have the system down. If there is a problem with the host family, just tell Rotary and they will find you a new one faster than you can pack your stuff up. If they can't find one right away and it's a serious problem, they will just take you in themselves. There is also no incentive for students to keep this to themselves because if there is a problem with the host family and not you, they will find you a new host family. They aren't going to send you home! Really the only way students can get sent home is if they make serious mistakes, if they get seriously sick, or they seriously want to go home. So, don't be stupid, and take care of yourself!
Anyway, I just changed to my second host family about two weeks ago! I was actually a little unhappily surprised when they gave me a room that had a futon on the floor as a bed. I'm kind of embarrassed now that I even thought I was too good for a futon! These past two weeks I have felt better when I wake up than I ever have before! I'm addicted. (: My room is very Japanese, because in addition to the futon on the floor, I also have a sliding rice-paper door. Although with a modern twist because I have a TV, keyboard, and a floor that totally rises up into a table! Way cool.