If you’re traveling or studying in the U.S., you might be invited to stay at an American friend’s house.
What is the etiquette?
What should you do to be polite?
- First, always bring a little gift.
- Second, don’t show up early or stay too late.
- If you are invited to a dinner party at 7:00, arrive at 7:00.
- If you are invited to a party, it is OK to come up to 30 minutes after the start time. Later than that is rude.
- If you are invited to spend the weekend, don’t stay longer.
- If you are invited to a party, look for signs that your host is getting tired or bored. If other guests are leaving, leave with them.
- Third, offer to help.
- You can set or clear the table.
- You can chop vegetables.
- You can wash dishes.
Your host might say “No, Thank You,” but it is nice to offer. Offer more than once.
- Fourth, make conversation. Be careful both to ask and to listen.
- Ask questions (but not too personal).
- Answer questions (but don’t give too much information).
- Fifth, as a house guest, be independent.
- If you are staying at someone’s house for a couple of days, don’t expect them to be your tour guide. Do your own research. Make your own plans. Be adventurous.