Foster “global citizenship” in your family, host international students
When international students like Rosa from Spain, left, stay with the Brauers Maya & Jacob, centre & right, there’s a transfer of experiences and perspectives that fosters global citizenship.
Canadians have a real advantage when it comes to international education—we’re interesting.
“Before hosting, we weren’t aware of how unique our lives are,” says Dori Brauer, who’s hosted international students in her London, Ontario home for 5 years. “For the students that visit, everything is new.”
The four-seasons of the great outdoors. Our world-class education system, stable government, beautiful cities, modern infrastructure, welcoming attitude and—surprisingly—the simple nuances of our daily lives draw international students from every corner of the world.
And when international students come here, the families they stay with benefit.
“When students see and are excited by the special things—the Canadian things—we get to see our lives through the eyes of someone else. It makes us appreciate our home that much more,” Dori says.
Fostering appreciation is just one benefit to her family.
Dori & her husband Karl have a 9-year-old daughter, Maya, and a 15-year-old son, Jacob. When they invite students to stay in their home, there’s a transfer of global experiences and perspectives. “The kids get to be tour guides and Canadian ambassadors,” says Karl. “And, the students become our window to the world.”
The Brauers’ kids have learned first hand about different traditions, culture, celebrations and food.
“The stories we hear from the students are intimate and direct,” Dori says. “It’s so much better than reading about it on Google.”
One of their students—Emma from China—introduced the Brauers to the Chinese dumpling festival, and the legends that surround it, with a homemade feast. Another one of their students, Rosa—from Spain—introduced the Brauers to paella, a rice dish with ancient roots and significance in her hometown region of Valencia. Rosa even Skyped her grandmother to talk them through the family recipe.
“I want my kids to be exposed to these things, to learn about other countries and bring the world a little closer,” says Dori, who sees global citizenship as modern must-have in a child’s toolbox. “We all really value these experiences. The connections and friendships we’ve made will last a lifetime.”
Your family can benefit from hosting international students
Canada Homestay Network (CHN) is a family-run, non-profit society that for nearly 25 years has helped thousands of Canadian families welcome students from more than 70 countries.
We’re looking for international student homestay hosts across Canada. Hosts get 24/7 support, an allowance to offset expenses and the opportunity to bring the world to their front door.