The LSI Berkeley school recently held a holiday party for its homestay program participants. There are currently around 80 homestay families, who are all very interested in learning more about world cultures and using the homestay experience as a way of sharing their own culture with the students.
Many families and several LSI students came to the party. Some families have hosted for more than 20 years, but there were also many new participants. The night was a way for the more experienced families to share their knowledge and adventures with the newcomers! During the party, families put the location of their homes on a map to share with students. They also contributed their ideas to a discussion board. Some families said: Ideas about learning between cultures: “I learn so much from each student – the world seems changed again and again by their presence. I see the world so much more clearly.” Ideas for mealtimes: “Variety is the spice of life; try meals of the home country of the student, as well as American meals.” What is hosting all about?: “Being open to other cultures and a curiosity about the students’ family and hobbies” Another family said, “Warmth and friendliness.”