I do not normally write on blogs, and I will admit that I am a little bit unsure of how all of the technology works, but I wanted to share some thoughts about our international students and their impact on our family.
By way of introduction, let me say that my wife and I have a very busy household. We have one son, and I have two sons from a previous marriage, and they come to visit every other weekend. My wife’s brother, who is a junior in high school, also lives with us. So, with the kids ranging from 1st grade to high school, we have a very wide range of kids at the house at any given point in time. This usually provides for a lot of opportunities to have discussions about many different topics, and it also helps create a warm, family oriented environment.
Because we live so close to Palomar Community College, we received a call from someone who is connected with a service that places international students from Japan with host families that live near the college. We had not known that there was a need for all of these students who wished to study abroad, but we considered the opportunity to be one that could enrich our lives in a cross-cultural sort of way and we hoped that we might be able to provide a safe, happy and convenient home for a student who wished to travel to the USA to study. Consequently, we decided to give it a try, and I have to tell you that it has been a very good experience for all of us.
We live in a house with 5 bedrooms, so we actually have two students, Layla and Kazu, from Tokyo living with us. We at first thought that it might be difficult to have extra people living with us in our home, but this has not been the case. Each of our students came to us with different mastery of the English language and they both attended the California English School at Palomar College to prepare for the TOEFL test and then attend school on the main campus of the college.
I can honestly say that we really did not know what to expect from our students, but they both possessed a very strong desire to be in the United States and to learn as much English as they possibly could. In this respect, I would say that they are both a big success and they continue to improve as the days and weeks pass. We know that they will speak Japanese with their friends and on Skype, but we try to use only English in our house. This works out very well for them and for us, and we all work together to help improve their language skills. With these kids in our house, I very often feel like they give to us as much as we give to them, and that is a feeling of great satisfaction and accomplishment.
We truly enjoy watching their success at school as much as we enjoy our own children’s successes, not only at school, but in all areas of life in general. In other words, they have become as much a part of our family as our own kids, and we now know that we will be hosting more students as time goes by (especially since we have room for more).
Learning English, making new friends, having new experiences and seeing new things in a foreign country can be overwhelming to anyone, and I know that it may seem a little scary or even intimidating to leave your home country and travel to a place where you have so much to learn, but I will honestly say that if you have the desire to study abroad, then you should try your best to make that opportunity happen.
In closing, I hope that I have provided some good practice material for reading English, and hopefully I have been successful in making my point that our experience with our students from Tokyo has been absolutely wonderful.
I was asked to share my thoughts and perspectives about what it means to be a host family, and I really wanted to share more experiences but I will do that at a different time because this little introduction is much longer than I anticipated. So, I will write again soon. In the meantime, follow your dreams. And if you dream of studying in America then keep working towards that goal!