Having lived with a host family for the past five months, I can undoubtedly say that for every good time to be had, there's a plethora of really, extremely, undeniably awkward moments. Moving in with people you don’t know and being expected to become a part of their family is a big change, stemming from differences in culture, family dynamic, and way of living.
Depending on where you study abroad, and where you decide to live with a host family, here are a list of some of the potentially uncomfortable situations: sometimes funny, sometimes maddening, and all that could very well happen, as told by none other than Michael Scott.
1. You tell a joke at the dinner table that no one gets, or even worse, you really want to tell a joke at the dinner table, but you know it'll have to be followed by an explanation and fake laughter, because your host family won't understand, so you are forced to hold it in.
2. You really want to leave the house, but your host family is confused as to why you are leaving, and will question you more than your parents did when you were going to an eighth grade sleepover,
3. You're used to getting kinda crappy food, so the one day they make the meal you really really like, you squeal, and they accuse you of being unsatisfied with all other food, or call you a picky eater.
4.You don't wake up until 1 p.m., so they call you out for being hungover, or they just say you stay out late and you're gonna get sick!
5. You go out on a Tuesday because, even though you're so cultured and stuff, you still really are just a college kid at heart. Your host family doesn't understand the yearning for a week-long party, and you get judged hard as you leave the house in heels, or with your best cologne on.
6. Your host family makes snide remarks about how much they doubt your ability to do anything related to cleaning, doing your laundry, cooking for yourself, walking down the street, or possibly even showering.
7. Your host mom may sit you down and explain to you her life story. The entire thing. Without a filter. And although you may feel closer to them, it's almost like, "Whoa, I didn't need to know all of that, and I defintely didn't need to see my host mom cry."
8. Your host family speaks a different language than you, and although you may be studying that language and trying your best, there are times when you're really just left out of conversations due to your inability to keep up.
9. You don't get home in time for family lunch, but when you get home an hour later and want food, you're shunned for not eating at the right time, and your host family gets annoyed.
10.Your host family starts talking about past students they’ve had stay with them with such love and happiness in their voices, and you wonder if they feel the same about you. And worst of all, you're not even included in the conversation.
11. You break a dish, spill something, or accidentally put your elbows on the dinner table, and you don't know how to fix the mess you got yourself into.
12. Your host family asks you to go to a family party, or the grocery store with them at 11 on a Saturday morning, and you'd rather be sleeping or poking your eye out, but have to be polite.
13. Your host family,whether jokingly or seriously, says they are disappointed in you.
14. Your host family adds you as a friend on Facebook and you break out into a sweat, deciding to add them or not. You ultimately decide to just ignore the friend request, and then they call you out on it.
15. You are doing a rare workout in your room, playing a little music, and they walk in during the middle of it and look at you like, "What is this freak doing?"
16. You bring a present to give to your family, such as a wine glass from your home country, and upon giving it to them, the tell you they don't drink wine..
17. You and one person in your host family just don't get along, or they just don't talk to you in general, and you can't understand why every interaction is more awkward than your seventh grade self, and even worse, what you did to make them ignore you!
18. Your time studying abroad is coming to an end, and you have to say goodbye to your family and thank them for everything, but also leave them forever, and everyone is crying, and you don't know how you feel, so you're just a bundle of emotions and it's AWKWARD.
Obviously studying abroad and living with a host family is a good experience, and I know many people who have had literally zero awkward situations. It's a great way to learn a new language, engage in a new culture, and really test yourself. As you can see, there can be some awkward times, but I believe you really learn to cringe through them, and make the best of your situation and the best of your time abroad! Just think of how Michael Scott would react, and I'm sure you'll be fine, or at least laugh at your situation.