My name is Skye Van Giessen and my husband and two children and I are going into our second year of hosting with CHN. I cannot say enough great things about our experiences so far! We have had the opportunity to host students from the European regions and have been hosting both Joelyn (Germany) and Arancha (Spain) since August this year. Within 24 hours of their landing on Canadian soil, they had a full immersion into the Canadian experience! First stop was the Tim Horton’s coffee shop at the airport, after which, we whisked them away to beautiful interior British Columbia to their first Canadian wedding! They spent their first days climbing up mountains and scoping out ski chalets for poutine and maple syrup – happy to say, they loved both!
Upon our return home and because Canadians are just…so…friendly, the girls quickly met up with friends of our previous CHN student for tours around the school, mastering the bussing system and how to get to the infamous West Edmonton Mall. Both are constantly amazed by our friendly neighbors who are constantly bustling about bringing more and different delectable treasures from the oven, especially on Thanksgiving!
They have also been pleasantly surprised at the arrival of early snow, even if us Canadians were a little less than enthusiastic. It’s almost hard to believe Joelyn was expected to return to Germany in just a month and a half, but to our immense pleasure, she has decided to stay for the full 5 months! Arancha and Joelyn have become what I expect will be life-long friends, united by an adventure of a lifetime here in Canada! We hope this year will provide them with enough memories until the day comes when we cross the pond to visit them.