Giving back in Guelph!
We’ve been hosting for 5 years, since February 2014. In that time we have hosted 10 students, including Antonio – Five from China, Three from Europe (Germany, Italy and Spain), one from Japan and one from Mexico. Several of these students stayed with us for more than a year.
We don’t have our own kids but when we host these international students it’s like we get the best of being parents. We get these lovely, well-brought up teens who need us to look after them and love them while they’re away from their real family.
My favourite thing about hosting is getting to know these interesting and funny kids from other countries. I love supper times when we sit around the table and talk about our day. It only takes a couple of weeks before everyone feels comfortable and starts teasing each other, and there’s lots of “burns” about English mistakes. I also really love how the kids step up and do the chores that we ask them to do without complaint. The older ones seem to really recognize that this is helping to prepare them to live on their own when they go off to university. We’ve already had feedback from out student Terry who lived with us for two years and is at McGill University. He says he uses a lot of the skills that you learned at our house. That’s gratifying!
Having the students live with us adds so much to our family and extended family. My sisters and their grown daughters are close to our “kids” as well. We see them often and a close relationship builds between everybody. There are always tears when it comes to an end.