Host Family Gift Ideas

Bringing your host family a small gift from your home country is a great way to help break the ice after you arrive to the United States. The gift doesn't need to be expensive or large, a small trinket or your favorite food from your culture is a great way to introduce yourself and bring the cultural exchange to their family.

Think about what is typical for your home country and what cannot be bought in the host country. It is also always helpful to ask yourself "what did you like at that age" to get an idea for the gift for your host family and host children.

What to Keep in Mind!

If you are bringing your host family a gift, it shouldn't be too large or heavy because you want it to easily fit inside of your suitcase. You don't want to bring anything that is easily broken or damaged because you will be traveling and attending au pair school before going to your host family. Another thing to keep in mind is you don't want to get an expensive gift. Your host family won't be expecting a gift, they will appreciate the seatmate. The gift is meant to establish a bond between you and your host family.

A good gift idea is something that represents your home country and embarrasses your culture. you want to bring something that has meaning to you - for example your favorite food. If you are getting a sweet treat for the children, think "when I was their age what was my favorite?" and go with that! Sharing something that has meaning to you will have more meaning to your host family than something that you got because you felt you needed to.

Gift Ideas for your Host Parents:

  • Beverage from your home country
  • Typical sweets from your home country (i.e. chocolate)
  • Picture or book of your home town and your favorites places to visit
  • Something typical from your home town (mug with pictures, bag with your home town's emblem etc.)
  • Decoration for the home

Gift Ideas for your Host Children:

  • Books, board games, or toys that children in your country play with
  • CD with typical children songs of your home country
  • Typical sweets and candies
  • Key chain