Etiquette Tips for Foreign Students

We have given lectures and lessons to  foreign students who stay with host families. Some of them have issues in communication and misunderstandings. We know that apart from the cultural shock, there are some rules that the students shall go by. Here are some tips to improve communication with the host families and have a pleasant stay and good memory while study in the UK. 



* Do make your needs known so the host family knows

   your thoughts.

* Do talk about ‘rules’ within the first few days and ask

   questions about them.

* Join them for meals to bond and learn British culture. 

* Send thoughtful gifts for special ocassions, such as

   family members' birthdays.

* Be respectful of local and family customs. Don't be

   afraid to ask and check it out.

* Mind the little things that count, such as no banging

   door, keeping the toilet clean...

* Communicate and spend time with family, rather than

   hang out a lot with your Ipad and Iphone.

• Respect privacy

• Help out  with chores, though you have paid for the service.

• Save energy. The utility in the UK is no cheap. Be sensible.

Don't ......


* Be afraid of making mistakes in speaking English. If so

  you will lose a lot of opportunities to practise your


* Be a slob.  Keep your room clean.

* Be shy. This will not help to improve communication

   with the family. You need to speak out your thought.

* Be demanding as a diva. Be sensible in asking for things.

* Forget to express gratitude, for the food, laudry....etc.

* B Critical and picky on food.


*******And.... if you stay in boarding school, same rules will apply. ******

Cultural Issues & International Protocol 

Etiquette is dependent on cultures. What is excellent etiquette in one society may shock another. For example, Japanese make noise in having soup, to make the host happy. But in western culture, this is rude. Even within the regions of Europe, etiquette may not be uniform: within a single country there may be differences in customs, especially where there are different linguistic groups, as in Switzerland where there are French, German and Italian speakers.


It is important to understand the uniqueness of cultures around the world and how to apply proper skiils of social and business etiquette is crucial for people who want to be more successful.  However, some good manners are culturally common.


Nowadays, a lot of business is conducted on a global scale. As a result you really need to do some research into cultures and taboos, in order to avoid affending people or getting arrested. If you are one of the following, then you need to pay extra attention to the international protocols: 

* Planning to travel abroad, to a culture of which is different from yours; 

* Seeking employment with a foreign corporation; 

* Trying to do business with foreigners; 

* Trying to market a product or service to a foreign corportation / country; 

* Working with a group of people of different nationalities; 

* Hosting a foreigner in your home or staying as a guest in foreigner's home. 


Some Taboos..... 

Brazil: Avoid conversation topics such as Argentina, poverty, religion. 

China: Avoid sending chrysanthemum as gift because it is the flower for mourning, or        

         sending clock which is linked to death; Do not place chopsticks straight up in the


India: Feet are considered unclean so never poiont your feet at someone. 

Japan: Do not give gifts in odd number, or in the number of four (sounds like death).

           Tipping is not expected.

Saudi Arabia: There are a lot you need to find out before your visit, such as women

                    shouldalways wear modest clothing in public, alcohol and pork are illegal...

Thailand: Do not touch or pat a child's head. 

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