51 episodes

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.

The Homestay Kitchen: Cultural Connections with International Students who Study Abroad Erin Eastman Paulson & Mary Chan of Organized Sound Productions

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

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

    What Effects the Coronavirus COVID-19 Has On Homestay

    Helllllloooooo! Long time no chat! We were scheduled to come back in early March and then the pandemic struck. Now we are all physically distancing and staying at home, so the Homestay Kitchen had to re-work our podcasting schedule to fit our new routine. In the meantime, we thought we'd check in with you. How are you doing? Erin is now 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 else is also home, so finding a new routine has been challenging. In this episode, Erin is home with our emergency microphone and we recorded this conversation over the internet to make sure we are still social distancing. We wanted to pass along how we are doing, what the homestay situation has been like for us and people we know and finally what to do if you do still have students with you in this ever-evolving situation. All our families are healthy and safe and we hope yours are too. Please let us know how you are and if you do have a student with you, how you are all holding up. You can email us at homestaykitchen@gmail.com or leave us a voice note over on Instagram. Stay strong and we hope this episode can be a bit of light for you during this unprecedented time in our lives.
    Key Points From This Episode:
    How Mary’s plans have changed. Erin gives an update on her students.
    #itsafluidsituation We talk about family bonding during COVID. Activities to do with your students. How are you coping? Let us know.
    #virtualhugs Check in on your students. Stay safe and take care. Links:
    Disney+
    Join our conversation!
    Email: homestaykitchen@gmail.com
    Instagram: www.instagram.com/homestaykitchen
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/homestaykitchen

    • 16 min
    End of the Student Homestay Experience

    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, the podcast is going to go on a little vacation too.
    We, Erin and Mary, will be taking the rest of the year and early 2020 to be with family and celebrate all the winter holidays. In the meantime, take a listen to some of our past 40 plus episodes and catch up if you're new to our show. We'd also love to hear from you about any topic from our episodes or... if you have ideas for future episodes, please let us know! Leave us a voice note and email us at homestaykitchen@gmail.com. Enjoy the rest of the year and have a wicked 2020!
    Key Points From This Episode:
    #wearenotonabreak Erin goes through the steps of how she says goodbye to her students.
    #wailandcryandrefusetogettheirsuitcasesout When do you start to say goodbye?
    #weliveindenial Erin opens up about her hardest goodbye. We talk about the things students leave behind. Mary shares her tradition of goodbye gifts.
    #mybagisfull Connecting over good food. We chat about our special nights out with students. In what way are Mary and Erin completely different? When airport goodbyes could use some boundaries.
    #wrongtonewrongzone Erin talks about the turmoil of saying goodbye to your student at the airport. When your student’s luggage is overweight. Mary says sweep! How did Erin shock Mary? Links:
    Episode 45: Boundaries and Rules During Homestay Experiences
    Google Translate
    Air Canada
    Follow Us:
    Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/homestaykitchen/
    Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/homestaykitchen/ Web – http://homestaykitchen.com/

    • 28 min
    Boundaries and Rules During Homestay Experiences

    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 homestaykitchen@gmail.com. We'd love to share your feedback on an upcoming episode and answer your questions! In the meantime, listen in to hear what boundaries we've set up for our households.
    Key Points From This Episode:
    Mary and her bubble and how it relates to personal boundaries. Confessions from Mary: we chat about the student info sheet/welcome letters  Bathroom boundaries. Mary shares a story about a miscommunication she had with a student around bathroom usage. We talk about food and curfews. Erin’s rules around communication when her students are out socializing.
    #peaceofmind We discuss our process of setting out boundaries, rules and expectations. Mel’s experience with a student who invaded her personal boundaries. When you need to set up boundaries around food.  We dive into the boundaries we’ve set up around hosting with our kids. What caused drama in Erin’s house? Which household rule does Erin’s husband refuse to follow? How we show that we need personal boundaries. We check in about internet usage. Talking about boundaries… do you peek in your student’s room when they’re not home? The secret relationship of sisters. What goes on in Erin’s house? Mary relates one story about a student who felt her boundaries were invaded.  The competition between Mary and Erin continues as we compare student lock box scenarios. 
    #whowouldwin Links:
    Line App
    Episode 38: Masterhost Tatiana Robertson
    Episode 17: Your Student Arrival Guide with a Homework Assignment
    Episode 8: Building Your Network of People in the World with Veteran Host Parent Mel Kilpatrick
    Follow Us:
    Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/homestaykitchen/
    Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/homestaykitchen/
    Web – http://homestaykitchen.com/

    • 42 min
    Dealing with Homesickness

    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 they are missing back home. In small doses, this is healthy and shows signs of attachments to loved ones; and this can happen to you too when you are homesick for your past students! In larger cases, this is when we need to lean in and even ask for help. So listen in on how homesickness affects those that study abroad and how we approach these situations that can also create a tighter bond between you and your student.
    Key Points From This Episode:
    Erin exudes positivity and Mary is uber practical.
    #potentialtriggerscomingyourway We coin a new phrase! Erin’s update on how her family celebrated Halloween and the reverse homesickness they dealt with. Speaking of reverse homesickness… how did Erin’s youngest daughter embarrass her recently?
    #thebookofquotes We give suggestions for how to connect with students who are struggling with homesickness. Mary reads a message from one of Masterhost mom Tatiana Robertson’s students who struggled with homesickness. We chat about the signs of homesickness.
    #leanin The importance of looping in your homestay support system.
    #loopin Comfort food from our kitchens when our students are struggling with homesickness. Links:
    Erin's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
    Episode 38: Masterhost Tatiana Robertson
    Follow Us:
    Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/homestaykitchen/
    Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/homestaykitchen/
    Web – http://homestaykitchen.com/

    • 25 min
    Long Term Students vs. Short Term Students

    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 versus short term students.
    Have you hosted both? What's your take on this battle? Let us know why you choose longer or shorter stay students. Email us at homestaykitchen@gmail.com or drop us a comment on Instagram!
    Key Points From This Episode:
    Why does Mary mock Erin? Bonjour France! Erin assumes the battle position as we go toe to toe on the pros and cons of hosting #longtermvs.shortterm students.
    #wearesocompetitive How do you know when to take a break? We talk about the times we’ve hit the pause button on hosting students. Who ended up winning the battle?
    #doyouwanttohugitout Links:
    Episode 39: featuring Erin in a suitcase
    Episode 11: featuring the doggy beds
    Follow Us:
    Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/homestaykitchen/
    Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/homestaykitchen/ 
    Web – http://homestaykitchen.com/

    • 23 min
    Experiences of Being a New Homestay Host from Jennifer Longworth

    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.
    Our family has worked with the Lexington Sister Cities program to host a high school student and adult delegate from Japan. We also hosted a college student from Japan through another program. We’ve hosted a total of 3 times. Each visit was a week or less. My daughter takes Japanese at school and has been able to visit Japan twice! It’s only been over the past few years that we’ve been involved.
    Key Points From This Episode:
    Jennifer talks about how she came to host.
    #wecareabouthorses Gifts as an ice breaker. What do you give? First day rituals when hosting. Connecting through food. Communicating through language barriers. Before hosting, Jennifer touches on her expectations of the challenges she’d face… and if they ever came to be. Jennifer and Mary chat about culture shock. Jennifer shares part of her daughter’s experience in Japan. Jennifer reminisces about her most memorable experiences hosting. Mary and Jennifer bond over hockey. Which one of Jennifer’s favourite dishes to serve international students convinced Mary that she needs to come stay for a visit? Links:
    Lexington Sister Cities
    Shinhidaka, Hokkaido
    Japanese American Society of Kentucky
    Cracker Barrel Restaurant
    Google Translate
    Follow Us:
    Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/homestaykitchen/
    Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/homestaykitchen/ 
    Web – http://homestaykitchen.com/

    • 37 min

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