Why I host with Hostlink UK
When I was 17 I had the privilege of being able to go on an exchange programme for a year from Zimbabwe to Germany and staying with 4 different host families throughout the year. For me it was a once in a lifetime trip and the wealth of experience and life lessons that I had during the course of that year have shaped and made me into the person I am today. My host families were wonderful and 20 years later I am still in touch and very close to all of them. Being in a position with a spare room in the UK and now with children of my own I wanted to be able to offer the same or similar experience to a teenager from abroad who wanted to study and learn English in the UK.
The students that we have hosted over the last 5 years have been fun for us as a whole family and we have met and included students from many countries into our family. We keep in touch with a number of students who have stayed with us and can definitely say that we now have an international family across the world.
My children have learnt that everyone is different but that each person who stays with us wants to learn English and understand how different cultures work. Everyone in some respect is all the same, we want to belong and understand and feel part of a family. - Sandra
We asked one of our Host families for their thoughts on hosting.....
“I loved having 2 Italian boys for 3 weeks. They were polite and respectful. One of the boys had his 18th birthday while he was with us and we made him a cake and sang him Happy birthday, my children loved wrapping and making a little present for him. He played bass guitar in a band and taught my son some chords on our guitar and they made up some songs and tunes together. Both boys were great role models for my children and it was interesting to have 2 teenagers in the house who shared their culture and taught us some Italian words. We had great fun and I would happily host Italian students again.
These older students benefitted as they were allowed more freedom to go out in the evenings and at weekends. They made friends easily with some of the University students at Reading University as it was “fresher’s week” during one of the weeks that they were here and the boys met some Spanish and English students and went out with a group of them on some evenings.
Their English on arrival was excellent but they were pleasantly surprised to find English food better than their preconceived ideas before they arrived and one boy was enamoured with English salted butter so we made sure we had some for him each day and he was happy to have butter on toast with his breakfast each morning.
The skills they gained staying with us was a greater understanding of English family life, we took them to our children’s school and they were impressed with the outdoor Forest learning area as their school near Milan was in a high rise building with no outdoor space.
They were impressed with the sport offerings at our local school and the parks and outdoor areas".
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