My boyfriend and I decided to have home stay guests from overseas stay at our house. About ten years ago I lived in Japan on a cultural exchange program and throughout high school I have hosted people from Japan. I really enjoyed this experience so we decided to give it a shot.
About a month ago we had a girl (22 years old) from Hong Kong come to stay with us. She is on a working holiday visa and her plan was to stay at ours for 5 months while working and then travel around Australia (we are in Australia). We told her not to worry about having to clean our house, just to some basic things like vaccume the hairs after you have a shower (there is usually hair everywhere, she has thick long black hair).
We have been very helpful for her. We helped her with her resume, gave practice job interviews, helped her open a bank account, helped her get a mobile phone number and we took her around to shops so she can hand in her resume. I took a day off work to pick her up at the airport and did everything I possibly could to make her comfortable. I let her friend even stay for 2 nights when she first got here. I even introduced her to a Chinese friend of mine. We took her out to the museum on the weekend because it was cheap for her. She is very stressed as she is having trouble finding a job so money is lacking. She said once she has a job we can go out more often.
Apart from asking her to clean her hairs up after a shower, I asked her to use the dishwashing liquid when doing the dishes as she only rinses with water. After asking her a few times, I told her not to worry about the dishes anymore, I'll clean it up. I don't mind doing it anyway. I didn't want to tell her off or boss her around because I know she is adjusting to Australian life. I just want her stay to be a good experience.
I work six days a week so I am not around during the day. I explained this to her before she came to Australia and she was fine with it because she was expecting to work herself anyway. She wanted to make money first and play later. I ask her how her day is, but she goes straight to her room and doesn't spend much time with my boyfriend and I. We usually watch TV after dinner and talk. We invite her to join us but she always refuses. She would prefer to Skype her Hong Kong friends. We told her as we get up at 6am for work to please refrain from talking after 10pm. We had to ask her once to finish with the phone call. She apologised. It happened again, we were woken up at 1am to her talking. She goes out and has dinner with her Hong Kong friends a few times a week. She told us she would catch the train at 9pm to come home, we live 30 minutes from the city. That was fine with us, but she didn't catch the train to 10pm, failed to tell us, then the train was cancelled and she didn't come back to almost midnight and asked my boyfriend to pick her up as she was afraid to walk home alone at night. We had to tell her again that we work at 6am and can't be up waiting for her, that she needs to update us of her plans and consider the fact that we work full time.
We had a meeting and she said she wanted to leave and find other accomodation. She said if we want to have people stay at our house from places like Hong Kong, then we have to adapt to their way of life. She said people in Hong Kong stay up late. I told her I disagreed and that you came her to experience Australian culture and you need to adapt to our way of life especially in our house. I told her if you want to live the life of doing what you want, then you might need to stay at a hostel with the Hong Kong people that you know. My boyfriend and I explained that we are not on holidays, we have our life to live, our bills to pay and we help you as much as we can and invite you to spend time with us watching TV, but you seem to have no interest.
Anyway she is leaving on Sunday, but I just feel really bad for what happened. She doesn't seem to appreciate the things we do for her with helping her find a job. She came to Australia with $3,000 and it's been a month and no one will employ her because she can't speak English fluently. Was I wrong to ask her to be quiet after 10pm, was it wrong of me to ask her to clean up her hairs after the shower? She thinks we have too many rules. We don't even ask her to clean the house, just to clean up after herself. Her bedroom is a mess, but I told her look it's your room and your private space, I will not interfere.
Please can someone tell me if I am wrong to ask of these things. I feel uncomfortable when she locks herself in her room all the time when she is home and won't talk to us.
You have been on a one-way street with this woman. I work with international students and they are rarely like this. They want to fit in and please their hosts. I think you have done all the right things. Your requests were not at all unreasonable or hard to follow. I say good riddance to the ungrateful wretch. Don't give up on the idea tho, there are some magical people out there who would be a delight to host. Sera
I think this girl has a lot of nerve taking advantage of your hospitality like that. You're not wrong to ask her to follow those simple requests while living in your home. She sounds like an ungrateful person and it's no wonder no one wants to hire her!
I'm surprised that she is that way. I work with many Japanese people and they are way more respectful and humble than that. They feel ashamed when they do anything upsetting to their hosts because they are really respectful usually. Sounds like she is just a bad seed.
I'd let her go ahead and leave. You don't need that kind of aggregation. I'm sure for every person like her there are likely many more who would not only be more grateful for the opportunity but they would treat it as a blessing and act accordingly.
Thanks for your responses. Anyway an update. She left last Sunday. We now have a Japanese girl who is staying with us for six weeks and oh my such a big difference.
The Japanese girl contacted us a few months ago wanting to stay with us but we already had the room taken with the Hong Kong girl. The Japanese girl said, I'll even sleep in the lounge....she really wanted to stay with us. Anyway everything worked out perfect because she arrived last Sunday morning and the Hong Kong girl left about an hour after the Japanese girl arrived. While the Hong Kong girl was waiting to be picked up from her friend, all she did was sit in her room on her own. I said to her that she can come out and talk to us. She said no I'm tired and that was it. Her lift came and she walked out barely saying good bye to us. The Japanese girl thought it was so strange.
Anyway the Japanese girl doesn't think we have many rules. She thinks we are so kind. She makes sure she is home when we eat dinner because she likes to eat with us and wants to talk to us. We let her do her own thing. She doesn't have to be home at a certain time, as long as it's not too late. We told her that we just want her to enjoy her holiday. So I come home from work at 6pm, she comes home soon after, she helps with setting the table without having to be asked. We tell her not to worry, just to enjoy her holiday but she insists. Then we sit and talk till about 9pm before she goes off for a shower. She really enjoys the things we do and likes to be involved. She really wants to practise her English and reads the newspaper and asks us questions about words. The Hong Kong girl just sat in her room and spoke to her Chinese speaking friends all the time.
I feel much more relaxed now. I felt so uncomfortable before but now I feel much better. We have so many things planned for this Japanese girl, we are going to go to the casino, go to a bar for a drink as she wants to experience the nightlife, the zoo, aquarium, kangaroo sighting. We will have a BBQ at our place and we bought our costumes today for a Halloween Party as my friend is American and always puts on an awesome party. I'm just so excited as we have so much planned for the next 5 weeks she is here. Now my boyfriend and I are thinking of going to Japan for six to twelve months, lol.