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Thread: Hosting a non-relative in your home

  1. #1
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Hosting a non-relative in your home

    Has anyone ever hosted a person in their home? I keep trying to convince Hubby that we should host a foreign exchange student or a Fresh Air fund kid. He is hesitant to having someone else in our house. There's always a risk (in everything) but I think we would enjoy the experience. Then again, in high school I went on a 3-week exchange to France and I was a pretty bad exchange kid. There might be some karma out there that I don't want to deal with.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    I'd rather have a non-relative than a relative. I can do something about the non-relative.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  3. #3
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I would never agree to this. I love entertaining in my home, but I don't like "guests", with the exception of a few friends and relatives.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  4. #4
    Cyburbian AG74683's avatar
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    No way I could do this.

    I had some friends over for New Years. This is the first time I have lived without a room mate, and I have found that I am very particular about my house. NEVER again will I have people over for any longer than a few hours. I could not believe how annoyed I was by the whole ordeal after they had left, and I had spent several hours cleaning up.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    My parents have hosted numerous college age exchange students from France and Korea. They have also hosted twice two college girls who had been going to their church and had summer internships/jobs so they couldn't go back to their homes in Indiana or NC. All of us were out of the house so they gave them a key and a room and it worked out well every time they did it.
    @GigCityPlanner

  6. #6
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I would do a short period first... maybe a week exchange or something. See how it works out. If you have one bathroom or valuables that you don't have in a safe this kind of thing can be scary.

    Personally, I like the idea. I would host an exchange student if I didn't have a house that couldn't hold them. Also, I would feel bad having them deal with my kids.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  7. #7
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    When my family had a French exchange student he peed in my shampoo bottle as a parting gift. A real bastard that kid was.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    When my family had a French exchange student he peed in my shampoo bottle as a parting gift. A real bastard that kid was.
    He'd probably seen Bart Simpson in Crepes of Wrath.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Personally, it's not my thing. But I know someone who has hosted a Fresh Air Fund kid every summer, and it's been a good experience for her family.

    Hubby was an exchange student in high school, too (though he only got as far as California).

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Salmissra's avatar
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    I spent a year as an exchange student. The family that opened up their home to me was pretty good - I was their first exchange student, so there was a bit of a learning curve. They did host another student a year after I left, and while they didn't like her as much (she wasn't as willing to learn language and customs) the experience was a bit smoother, they said.

    I am willing to host a student short-term, but would need to ease into the experience. Hubby, however, is adamantly against the idea. So we won't be doing that, ever.

    I say try it through an established short-term program. If the experience is a bust, don't do it again. If it turns out to be OK or even fun, do it again!
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  11. #11
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    The Fresh Air fund kids are between 6 - 12 and stay for a week. I thought that might not be too hard to handle. Plus I could coordinate it for the week my 8 yo nephew is staying with my parents so they both would have someone to play with.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  12. #12
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    I have had five exchange students from Okinawa, it is rewarding but stressful. The stipend they pay you is fine for girls, but athletic boys eat ALOT. My wife also tends to take in stray people. We once had a family of three with us for several months. When she asked me It was just before Thanksgiving and told me they would only be staying until after Christmas. They left Memorial Day weekend. So I'm kind of an expert in it.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  13. #13
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    For an extended period, I could handle a non-relative over a relative. We hosted my wife's cousin for about six months. I was ready to murder her by the time she finally left.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  14. #14
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Never did myself.

    I have an old GF whose father was a professor, and they hosted a student every year she was a girl. She has lots of fun stories. One year they had a foreign exchange student who is now someone you all know and a revolutionary in their country, doing things you have all heard of (especially the women here). Several classmates in grad school did it as undergrads and it was a mixed bag.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I don't mind as long as I have the space or someone doesn't mind the sofa or airbed. I guess it really depends on the person. I think I am a pretty good host.

    My partner has a gigantic extended family and it's pretty much a given that if you are near a family member you stay with them or they stay with you and not in a hotel. When we go to Lawrence, MA we stay with his cousin for up to a week, usually my future FIL camps out there 3-4 weeks at a time a few times a year to take care of his doctor's visits and whatnot. When anyone goes to the Dominican Republic they must go to my future in-law's campo and stay a couple of days otherwise the MIL will be seriously offended and someone will NEVER hear the end of it.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  16. #16
    Depends on the age and it's easier to host a stranger if they have their own bathroom. To host a teen be prepared to take care of them, makes sure they have a lunch each day and entertainment on the weekend. Older students would be able to take care of themselves. Most of those programs are fairly long term and not free for them. Also, most hosted people don't expect to pitch in much for household chores except to clean up after themselves type stuff, so if you can tolerate it.

    For me I would have to have a pretty strong motivation to host someone. Did I want to practice a language? Do I want to have a travel type experience by learning about a new culture? In programs like the Rotary club for foreign exchange many European families do it for the money, like a side industry.

    I have a good friend who lives in Chicago and is married to a French guy and she has an only son who is 9 and she is always hosting French speaking people to help her son learn French. I have two young adult French step-children I feel like I have been up to my eyeballs in French teens so big no to hosting strangers for me. Their mother is great by the way. The 19 year old is immigrating with us next year. The 25 year old doesn't speak English and isn't really interested.

    As far as having friends or relatives over who are guests I like that its fun. We have had people stay for months I really don't mind. I recently stayed at my cousin Jeff's in Green Bay with my 6 year old son and we tried air mattresses and I was tortured by them. We went and bought two twin mattresses for the floor and slept great after that.

    additional thoughts: there is a special place in hell who put friends or relatives on air mattresses

    fyi: the friend who hosts french speaking people in her home in chicago to help her son learn french is a stay at home mom, is fabulously wealthy and has a housekeeper, aka maid, So, if your a regular schmuck with a three bedroom one and a half bathoom ranch and both working your butts off to pay for that, why would anyone want the headache of hosting a stranger? just take a week get a homeaway rental in europe and take a cheap off season flight to the city of your dreams, helsinki, prague or istanbul take the kids. and when airbus ramps up it will be half the price. and then you could include deli, shanghai and perth. i wrote a travel tips on the european travel tips site. get seats near the back as the galley crew loves to watch the parents suffer up front; its like their entertainment. if you sit in the back with children on an international flight they cant turn their heads enough to torture you socially.

    we are flying into chicago july 15th and have rented a two bedroom two bath condo with an elevator and underground parking 30 minutes from the city, with the option to buy. i am so psyched. put a general note on facebook and have plenty of people wanting to visit ASAP.

    CJ
    Last edited by Maister; 05 Apr 2013 at 11:07 AM. Reason: sequential posts merged

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