By: Karen and Glen (Homestay Hosts for QSoE)
A number of years ago our oldest son was heading off to university, so we had an extra bedroom and a little space and time in our life. We knew of other people who hosted international students. Since I worked at the Limestone District School Board I made a call about having a student for a short time. They checked us and placed a grade 6 boy from South Korea in our home. That was the beginning of our 10-year adventure with students, male and female, from South Korea, China, Spain, France, Guadeloupe, Mexico, Quebec and Japan.
One of our earliest students, a 17-year old girl from China, worked very hard to be
accepted into Electrical and Computer Engineering program at one of the top universities in Canada. She got a job with OPG, where she has been working for a few years now. We have kept in touch with her and were honoured to be at her wedding. We are now waiting to hear of the birth of her first child. How quickly time goes by!
We have so many wonderful memories and are looking forward to making more. Currently, all three of our own children have flown the nest, so during the Fall term we had three students, two from Japan and one from China. Each day we heard their English improving and their comfort with the language and our culture growing.
Over the years it has been such a pleasure to participate in the sharing of cultures and watching students come to understand the difference between the politics of a country and the person of a country. They soon learn that political differences mean nothing when you are picking apples, shopping, or enjoying a meal together.
Every day we feel fortunate to share our home with these amazing students.