My Latest Host Family/Homestay Experience Part 2
I hope you enjoyed Part 1 here’s Part 2. Just recently I said goodbye to my Japanese student who came to live with us for a week. This study tour from Japan was a small group and the group of students were hand-picked to represent in the best Japanese students of the English language. Their ages ranged from 13 and 15 years old.
A satisfactory host family experience is when the student and the Homestay family understand each other through clear conversational English. This was the case with this most recent group of students. Often students who have come to our home generally aren’t as good at English conversation. This makes it quite an arduous task for both parties most of the time. Sometimes we can get by with sign language and a lot of pointing, and even mime if it is necessary, but even these methods can be misunderstood. In the past we have written things down for a student to translate on their computer. However this can be fraught with odd translations that lead to them still doing something else wrong. Most of the students who have stayed with us have had better grasp of the written word than the spoken word. If something is said it can be confusing for students with little familiarity with foreign accents let alone a foreign language, but if it is written down there is a better chance that it will be understood to some extent I often say to myself.
Our recent student was 13 and quite independent for her age. She had a cheerful disposition was easier to relate to than one of our previous students who had a non-communicative disposition. I’d rather care for a student who shows a willingness to interact with others and show enthusiasm for learning what’s new in a new environment and adapts quickly. I think the benefits will be felt by all involved. A happy Homestay/host family is the one who has a mutually happy international student. In our case we were happy to interact with our student’s friends when they visited our home.
It was really nice to see my student enjoy my food during her stay. I decided to blog what I made for her and put the recipes on my website. Perhaps some of them will be useful for Homestay parents out there who may be experiencing difficulty in providing a variety of tasty balanced meals for their students.
I had a laugh each meal time when my student would say that she had already told her fellow students about my cooking and they asked her to ask me if they could experience my cooking at my home too. It was hard to say no to such a request. I knew how quickly I can create the meals so, why not?
At the end of the students’ last day of school we invited other Homestay parents to drop off their International student at my place for a spot of late lunch/early dinner, this was at quite short notice. Not all could make it at short notice but we ended up with a group of four. The afternoon was spent playing a game of table tennis and a game of bocce and swinging on a swing hung from my almond tree branch which was in full blossom. Before the party my student had one request; if her friends could try my home-baked sunflower seed bread! Her wish was granted along with meatballs, ravioli, rice, soup, 4 can sausage hot pot and more. Please see my recipe section for these recipes and more.
I will be pleased if my hospitality gave them a memory that will last a lifetime. The week saw us having some fun at Waterfall Gully, Glenelg Beach, tram ride, a Sunday feast at our friends’ house, a film shoot of my video, feeding the ducks at the nearby pond, shopping and more shopping which was her favourite time, particularly in the lollies aisle.
Homestay Parents are not expected to take the students out to a lavish dinner or expensive places. They do need to show the students what our way of daily life is like. After all, we as Homestay/host families are busy with our daily routine and a new family member can take up some time but if that time is managed well with some understanding and willingness all can be achieved. I am always left thinking that I did not do much for my students but that’s because I am a perfectionist and always put more pressure on myself to excel because that is the way I am. It is nice when somebody likes my efforts.
The best way I welcome my international student/visitors is by providing my fusion cooking. You may have a welcoming story of your own too. I would love to hear it along with your other experiences. It doesn’t matter how good or bad they are, to me it’s all a learning experience and a part of our Homestay/Host Family journey. I will be happy to reply to your comments or questions. 🙂
Enjoy my blog and my recipes especially those created for my recently visiting student. Each of these recipes created deliver their own stories at the bottom page of that recipe text and these recipes have also been tagged with ‘homestay/host family/student/teens/Kadoma City/Osaka, etc for quick identification.