We needed to get approval from the German Immersion Foundation to become a host family, so they conducted a tour of our house over the summer. That went fine. We said we'd have the kids share a room and give the intern the other bedroom in our three-bedroom house. The kids were initially excited about the arrangements. We were lucky enough to get a second-hand bunk bed so that I didn't have to buy one. The other option was to have them share one large bed, with the intern taking the smaller bed in the smaller room. Luckily, this was not necessary, and I'm not sure that method would have worked very well with the kids. Helena was just old enough to use the top bunk, but we would have liked to have waited a couple more years to use the bunk bed based on safety concerns. Anyhow, we now had the smaller room set up for both kids and the bigger room for the intern.
The fact that we were able to use the bigger room for the interns proved fairly important. They liked hanging out in the room a lot of the time. The first intern texted friends and Skyped using our wifi, which is probably just as important an item to have available to the interns. I could see a tiny bedroom and no wireless connection being a real problem based on comments I heard. We have a great house for parties and family living space, but our bedrooms and bathrooms are a bit limited for an intern, which has helped to dictate our desire to take a year off.
We have three bedrooms upstairs and a bedroom/theater room in the basement. We also have one bathroom up and one down. However, we could not ask an intern to sleep in a basement bedroom. Some of our friends were even surprised we made our intern use the basement bathroom for showers. We had to do what made sense for us, and since I'm out of the house before everyone else wakes up, it made the most sense to have her shower downstairs.
As the semester went on, the intern became more comfortable with coming out of her room to work on her computer and watch movies with us, but she really seemed to stay in her room a lot. We gave her opportunities to clean her sheets and vacuum her room. Lisa did not want to be her maid, but it's kind of awkward because we also found it difficult to really ask her to clean when she did not volunteer to clean. Was she our guest, our friend, our "daughter," or something else? She would likely have done whatever we asked, but asking is not that easy or always thought of, so it remained a bit uncomfortable. The second intern was pretty much the same.