Keren works as administration assistant here at Eastbourne School of English. She is often one of the first people that students meet when they arrive at the school, and she is in charge of organising our Fifty Plus social programmes. Keren is also a host mum and talks about why she enjoys the experience.
"I love being a host mum and we have been a host family for 7 years. I feel it is one of the most rewarding jobs you can do for yourself, your family and the students. I certainly don’t do it solely for the money! I have always been a lover of learning languages and enjoy encouraging my kids and the students to pursue this too. How wonderful to be able to communicate with as many different people across the world as possible and it opens up many doors for travelling too!
Every student that arrives in my home is different, which makes for a very interesting time. Some adapt very easily to the English way of life, whilst others take longer to adjust. Some will take advantage of the social programme offered by the school and others are quite happy to stay at home and join in family life. Many times I have had willing helpers with the washing up or making dinner - I particularly remember some lovely apple and potato pancakes!
Some very lively discussions have taken place around the dinner table with students. Having dinner together as a family is something I insist on, especially when I have students. This is a really important time for them, mixing with my family and exchanging information. Occasionally they will share a little of their language with us too. Probably the most memorable occasion involved two male students from Hong Kong, one from Germany and one from Spain. All were 17 years old and very eager to out-talk each other, much to the amusement of my teenagers!
Often students return for a second or third stay, which must mean I do something right! On several occasions the students have even returned with their families and we have had many a lovely visit to their countries courtesy of their families too.
Being able to offer an experience like this to young people is so rewarding and I would like to think that my children would have a similar experience should they decide to study abroad."