Etiquette: Shared Bathroom

Sharing a bathroom with your host-sibling? Don't worry! These tips can help you maintain proper bathroom etiquette during your time abroad.

Updated over a week ago

💡 TIP: If you take a long time to get ready, see if you can bring a mirror into your room for the parts of your routine that don't require a sink. This way, you can take your time, get ready in privacy and allow other household members to use the bathroom.

In your homestay, you will have access to a shared or private bathroom. Here are some things to expect and/or tips for you to help you get adjusted to using and sharing a bathroom in the USA.

  • Your host family will show you how to operate faucets, drains and shower curtains. Host families should instruct students where they should hang their towels and store their toiletries.

  • Showers should be kept under 15 minutes once per day. It's important to be aware that you may be living in an area with water restrictions. Water can be conserved by not taking excessively long showers or by turning off the water when not in use.

  • Toilets may be different from the student’s home country. Students should be shown where toilet paper and feminine products should be discarded and how to operate the toilet.

    • In America, toilet paper goes in the toilet and feminine items should be wrapped and disposed of in the trash.

  • Your host family will provide basic toiletries such as soap, shampoo and bathroom supplies. If you need anything specific (sensitive skin wash, etc.), let your host family know!

    • Products used only you (feminine products, deodorant and other supplies) are generally your responsibility to keep up with.

  • Students and all members of the household should be respectful of one another by keeping the bathroom clean and dry. The host family will instruct the student on the best way to clean up afterwards.

    • Students may not be accustomed to American bathrooms. This can lead to excessive water on the floor and sink.

      • For example, in Asia, the bathroom floor is designed to be wet.

      • Be careful to keep the floor dry and to dry the sink counter after use.

As always, if you are having any issues with the bathroom or are unsure how to use something, ask your host family! They will be prepared for questions like this and happy to help.

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