How to Divorce Your Host Family

By Steve Mullaney

Chances are you’ve had to dump a boyfriend/girlfriend, but that’s nothing compared to dumping your host family. When you dump a host family you need to dump each member individually, then all together as a group at a farewell dinner. Awkward, right? But, like all things in life it’s better to just get it over with instead of putting it off until the last moment. It’s even worse to have to say “I’m moving out in fifteen minutes.” 

Maybe you want more space, to stay out later, or something other than eggs and beans three times a day. Whatever your reason, XelaWho has this little guide for you on how best to let them down gently but firmly.

1. Be honest. Host families know that you have needs too. An excuse like “I’ve secretly been staying with this other family on the weekends” is not going to fly. Saying that you want ‘a different experience’ or ‘to know another part of town’ are better bets.

2. Promise you’ll do lunch occasionally. This is the equivalent to saying you should “just be friends”. Both you and the family know that you don’t really mean this, but it’s a nice gesture. Much in the same way you gave them those crappy postcards from your hometown when you first arrived was a nice gesture.

3. Fake cry a little. The fake cry is a really good way to express that you wish you could express sadness that you are leaving. Hiding a little bit of onion in your hand will help you shed a tear; but spraying yourself in the face with mace will help you give the Oscar-winning goodbye of the century.

4. Tattoo their names on your neck. Not really. But this is good advice to try and pass off as being “culturally appropriate” to someone that you really don’t like. If you stick to this list then you should be on your own in no time. You’ll have the pad you’ve always dreamed of with a killer view of Xela—which you’ll be able to appreciate when the mace stops burning your eyes. Just promise us that you don’t try and get back together with your host family after two weeks. If you thought on-again/off-again relationships were annoying, just wait until you try it with host families.

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