Thank you for hosting our students. They say that you are very friendly and they especially appreciate your advice on how to adapt and enjoy Manchester life. For us, the Communicate staff it has been a pleasure working with you, you are always reliable and helpful.
Alicia: Thank you, it is nice to hear that. I’ve enjoyed this experience too and I hope I can host many more students for you.
C: How long have you been hosting students?
A: For almost two years.
C: Tell me a funny story from your experience of hosting students
A: When I had an Italian student staying with me, Leo, I decided to cook some traditional spaghetti carbonara to make him feel at home. I searched for a recipe and bought all the ingredients. As I had just started cooking, Leo walked in, looking terrified he asked ‘Are you pouring cream into carbonara?’, ‘Let me show you how to make real Italian spaghetti’ and took over the cooking. Half an hour later I was eating his original Italian carbonara. Needless to say … it was delicious!
C: What information do students ask for when they arrive?
A: Students ask for taxi numbers, directions to the nearest supermarket, which bus to catch and from where. They want to know best places for shopping or where to buy a sim card. Students are in a strange, new country so I always give them my contact details and they know they can call me at any time if they get lost.
C: What do students do at the weekends?
A: They meet their classmates from school or they study. If I go hiking with friends, I sometimes invite the student along too so they can experience the British countryside. On Sundays we often watch TV together.
C: What do you tend to talk about with students?
A: Students love talking about food. For example, they sometimes hear words like: a bun, cob, barm or bap and ask me about their meaning. I explain that they are different regional variations of words used in different places in the UK. It always amazes them that we have so many names for a bread roll.
C: What advice would you give to new hosts?
A: It is important to encourage students to talk when they first arrive because often they will be experiencing culture shock and everything may be quite overwhelming for them. By encouraging conversation, no matter how basic, it can put them at ease.
C: Do students stay in touch after they have left?
A: Yes, students sometimes send me emails when they arrive home to thank me for having them stay. Recently, one girl sent me a lovely postcard which was really thoughtful.
C: Finally, you have a pet cat, does it build a good rapport with the students?
A: Yes the cat always entertains the students. Once it got into the student’s suitcase when she was packing to leave!