Join us, Mary Chan and Erin Eastman Paulson, as we serve up stories of being a homestay family - the ups and downs of making a connection with international homestay students. We’ll bring a plateful of stories, ideas, interviews, and hopefully, dish up some anecdotes to share with our community.
What Effects the Coronavirus COVID-19 Has On Homestay
We were scheduled to come back in early March and then the pandemic struck. We are physically distancing and staying home, so the Homestay Kitchen had to re-work the podcasting schedule to fit a new routine. In the meantime, let's check-in with you. How are you doing? Erin is the multi-tasker extraordinaire working from home while maneuvering all five of her kids which includes two students. Mary is also navigating working from home while everyone is also home, so finding a new routine is challenging.
End of the Student Homestay Experience
It's coming to the end of the year and some students may be leaving or some students may be heading home just for the winter break. Either way, when it's time to drag the luggage out and dust off that passport, we need to start thinking about our pre-departure rituals. What is it like when your student finally leaves? What strategies are you going to put into place when it comes to saying goodbye?
In this episode, we tackle the end of the student homestay experience. And since we are talking about goodbyes
Boundaries and Rules During Homestay Experiences
Boundaries. We've all got them or we should all have some in place. There are limits and rules to all sorts of things during a homestay experience. Boundaries around the house, food, laundry, safety issues, and even personal boundaries. What are they and how can we enforce them?
In this episode, we share our own set of boundaries and how we communicate these rules to our students. What are your boundaries around the house? What challenges do you face when applying these rules? Let us know by emailing us at
Dealing with Homesickness
At one point or another, whether you as the host knows it or not, your student will get homesick. Sometimes it'll show through their emotions or difference in actions. Or sometimes, it only happens when they are hidden away in their rooms, when the lights are out trying to fall asleep. When do you intervene and what do you do to alleviate homesickness?
In this episode, we go through some of the stories we've had dealing with homesickness. Situations where students feel a longing or connection to someone th
Long Term Students vs. Short Term Students
So what defines a short term student and a long term student? Mary defined a short term student as being anywhere less than 6 months, but after she said that (and even after we finished recording this episode), we were still debating what differentiated a long term student from a short term student. Any way you look at it, hosting short term students and long term students can be very different experiences. In this episode, Mary and Erin go toe to toe on the pros and cons of hosting long term students versu
Experiences of Being a New Homestay Host from Jennifer Longworth
In today's episode, Erin had work to do, so Mary got to chat with Jennifer Longworth from Lexington, Kentucky. A new host parent who's only hosted a total of 3 times for very short periods and all from Japan. We talk through what it's like to be a very new host and what were some of the most surprising aspects of hosting. And it wouldn't be right to talk to our fellow neighbours to the south without pointing out a couple of differences from our countries, like hockey for us and southern food for her.