What are the challenges that you face?
I think the challenges we face are learning the new personalities and how they work and the best way to work them into our family. How different cultures have different expectations of certain things, getting over the language barrier and getting your meaning across.
What advice would you give to someone looking to host a student?
What I would say to someone thinking of hosting a student is, “DO IT!" Don’t expect it to be easy at the start. The first few weeks are a learning experience, getting to know them and making them feel safe and welcome but once you’ve done that it can be great. Sharing those ten months together learning to laugh, live and cry together becoming part of your family, celebrating birthdays and family events together is so much fun. Be open to the experience and enjoy the ride in whichever direction it takes you.
How do you think the experience may differ with two students arriving in September?
Having two students at the same time will be different, but they will have someone to travel to school with and to share experiences with. Also with two new personalities at once and a culture we know nothing about there will be challenges. Hopefully they will be able to help each other on their journey and not have to just be with us oldies all the time!
(Theresa and Simon will welcome two girls into their home in September - Annabel from Estonia and Silvana from Italy)
How has your family benefited from hosting?
We have learned so much about other cultures and people's lives and made life-long friends around the world. Our girls have new siblings who they still keep in touch with having shared so many things together. We have a son we never thought we would and the girls have a brother they never thought they could.