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Happy Holidays from Global Immersions! 11-Apr-2017

We would like to wish a Happy Holiday to our hosts celebrating Passover or Easter this week. ..

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Best in Hospitality

Finding the Homestay

Patty Brownlee - Thursday, July 07, 2011

Arriving to a new country, going through customs and then finding transportation can be an overwhelming first experience for any visitor to a foreign country. The next step of getting to the correct homestay can be just as troubling and confusing for a new visitor. We have found during our numerous home visits over the years finding the correct home can often be a challenge due to poor labeling or marking of the home.  Imagine the frustration and our staff members speak English and live in Boston!



Boston's labeling system is not the easiest to figure out or understand even for locals, from lack of street signs to the way homes are numbered on streets.  

Hosts - please take a minute and check the following to make sure your home is well marked and ready for a new visitor to arrive!

1. Do you have house numbers on your home?
2. Are the numbers visible from the street?
3. Do you have a doorbell?
4. Is the doorbell labeled with the family name or apartment number
(if there is more than one)?
5. Does the doorbell work?
6. Do you have a working porch light?

Put yourself in the role of the new visitor and visualize how problems can occur if the home is not easy to identify. It can be even more challenging if it is evening and dark. Complications can even arise if a visitor is arriving by taxi and the driver is not familiar with your area. Most of the visitors do not have a cell phone that will work in the U.S. upon arrival so calling you might not be an option.

To make it easier and less stressful for everyone, we ask you to take a minute and walk outside and review the list above. Please make any updates needed to your home before welcoming your next Global Immersions visitor!

Explore Boston - Kenmore Square

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, June 03, 2011

One of Boston’s most beloved squares, Kenmore Square, is home to Fenway Park and many other Bostonian institutions such as Boston University, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum and the always exciting Lansdowne Street.  The area is also known for its dense population of hospitals in the Longwood Area. 

The Citgo sign has stood high above Boston since 1940 and was replaced in 1965 with the current iconic Citgo sign which was updated in 2010. The Citgo sign is not only a landmark of Kenmore Square but of the Boston skyline.

 
Citgo sign in Kenmore Square

Kenmore Square is Boston’s area for education and enjoyment! If you are looking for a night out or a place to watch a sports game Lansdowne Street is the spot!  From the famous House of Blues, sports bars, pubs and discos and even a bar with a view into Fenway Park!  

As important as Kenmore Square is to Boston’s identity it did not become part of the city until 1900.  Previously it had been overtaken by the Charles River and marsh land.  By 1915 it was part of Boston Public Transportation as a stop on the Green “B” line.  Today it is part of the Fenway/Kenmore neighborhood with a stop on the Green line – Kenmore Square. 

Our insider tips to explore and experience Kenmore Square are to take a tour of Fenway Park and if you can get a ticket to attend a Boston Red Sox game!  If you are in Boston during baseball season and do not get to experience all the excitement of a live baseball game in Fenway Park you are missing out on a true Bostonian experience!   Another not to miss exhibit is the colorful and breathtaking Chihuly at the Museum of Fine Arts now to August 7, 2011.  

If you have a favorite restaurant or not to miss locale for our visitors to explore in Kenmore Square we'd love to hear from you!

Sources:


http://www.wikipedia.org
http://boston.about.com/od/neighborhoods/ss/KenmoreWalk.htm
http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/chihuly

Tour Boston by Foot!

Global Immersions - Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Boston has recently been ranked the safest U.S. city for pedestrians by the Transportation for America organization.   Spring is finally here and summer is soon to follow so it is the perfect time to travel the city by foot! 
  

Boston Public Gardens

The advantage of Boston is that you can easily walk through the Boston Common and Public Gardens to Beacon Hill or along the Freedom Trail to stores and boutiques on Newbury and Boylston Streets.   You can take in the beautiful landscapes of historic North End, Quincy Market or Boston waterfronts without needing a car!  Boston is accessible by foot just make sure to wear comfortable shoes on the old cobblestone streets.  Get out and explore or rediscover all our city has to offer!

Source:  Boston.com

Explore Boston – Neighborhoods Around Town!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, May 06, 2011

The Explore BostonNeighborhoods Around Town series will explore different neighborhoods and areas in Boston and give you tips of places to see, eat and checkout! 

 

First up….Harvard Square in Cambridge.  Until 1638, Cambridge was known as the small village of NewTowne until Harvard College (the oldest college in America) transformed the area.  The gates of Harvard College opened into the village’s center and soon transformed the small village into Harvard Square.  Harvard Square was home to the first American printing press and the first published American author Anne Bradstreet.  Today, it is synonymous with Harvard University, shopping, good eats, museums, theatre, street entertainment and truly a must see for all visitors and residents of Boston!

 

Boston.com described Harvard Square as “the crossroads between funk and philosophy, of idealism and consumerism, of red brick and green politics.”  It is a place where people of all ages, of all backgrounds, and of all walks of life merge to create Harvard Square’s charismatic, one of a kind atmosphere!

 
Harvard Square - Red Line Entrance

Depending on your taste you can always find something! From a place to grab a cup of coffee or quick bite to a fine dining experience in Harvard Square.  Here are a few insider picks – Algiers Coffee House; Charlie’s Kitchen; Grendel’s Den and Border Café.  For a list check out this Harvard Square site - Harvard Square Restaurants.
 

Summer is a great time in Harvard Square.  There are street festivals and events, live music and more!   You can spend a day walking around the area listening to music or even take in a game of chess with the locals.  Do you have a favorite place to eat or hangout in Harvard Square?  Let us know your insider tips about Harvard Square!

 

Our Explore Boston program is designed to help our visitors learn more about U.S. culture and Boston while attending a local event or activity with our staff.   Each Explore Boston event is researched and determined based on maximized cultural learning, time of year and cost.   The goal is for our visitors to explore the great city of Boston and all that it has to offer with insiders and attend events they might not know exist!  We welcome hosts and their families to join their visitors for each Explore Boston event.  Do you have suggestions, ideas or local happenings our visitors would like?  Check out the calendar for upcoming Explore Boston events.


Sources:

http://www.boston.com/travel/
http://www.harvardsquare.com/default.aspx

www.wikipedia.com

Chiba Group Homestay Program

Patty Brownlee - Friday, April 08, 2011

Global Immersions Homestay specializes in customized group homestay programs.  We spend time discussing and determining exactly what each client wants their students to experience during their time in Boston.  There is not a minimum or a maximum on the length of stay or number of visitors in the group. Each homestay program is designed for the group! 


In late March, we had the pleasure to welcome a very large group of middle school visitors from Chiba Middle School in Japan to homestay for an intensive program.  The Chiba visitors were on a school trip to Boston to sightsee, attend special lectures and workshops at M.I.T., tour Fenway Park and spend one day at two local high schools interacting with high school students and learning about the U.S. educational system. The goal of the homestay program was to live with Americans in order to truly 
experience and learn about U.S. culture.  Our hosts exposed the visitors to a variety of activities and events and foods that allowed them to have a taste of American life. 


Here are a few of the experiences the Chiba visitors enjoyed with their hosts!

Played instruments with family members
Walking tour of Boston Common and downtown (Freedom Trail)
Walking tour the North End 
Walking tour of Faneuil Hall 
Played outside (basketball, trampoline, catch, etc.) with family
Toured Chinatown
Salem tour and museums
Toured the USS Constitution
Watched movies and played Wii and video games
Toured Rockport and the North Shore area
Attended sporting events or practices with family 
Played board games
Went bowling
Attended church 
Attended folk dancing event

Went on nature walks
Had a dinner party with extended family and friends
Went to the grocery store
Had a traditional “Thanksgiving” dinner
Attended a bridal shower and birthday party
Patriot’s Place
Went to the mall or shopping area
Toured a local fire station 
Attended a school event (carnival)

 


Chiba visitors learning how to make pizza!


Chiba visitor doing a basketball trick for host family!

Boston is a city filled with all types of activities and happenings for any interest. The highlight is not only the diversity of our great city's offerings but the fact that many events are FREE!

Our hosts received a handmade booklet from each Chiba visitor describing them and their interests, what a typical day in their life was like, details about their family and Japanese culture. The visitors also prepared a Japanese meal for their hosts. It was a win-win situation for the hosts and visitors and a successful group program!


Why Choose Homestay?

Patty Brownlee - Friday, March 25, 2011

Global Immersions Homestay, the Boston Homestay Specialists, provides homestay services to all visitors to Boston.  Our homestay program offers each visitor an in-depth experience into U.S. culture.   Homestay is the perfect way to learn about daily life and improve English skills in a non-structured environment. 


Dorm or apartment living does not allow a visitor to get the inside look and experience of daily life.  Our visitors are exposed to a variety of experiences and have the opportunity to participate in activities or events which is not possible when you are living in dorm or apartment and not connected to a local. 


Who are the visitors?
  International students enrolled in a specialized course, studying English or a group program, professionals attending courses or seminars, residents and interns at local hospitals and universities, researchers, individuals, couples or families vacationing in Boston, Americans taking courses or conducting business or visiting Boston.

 

Who are the hosts?  Our network represents the diversity of metropolitan Boston and includes a multitude of options that include families with young children or teenagers, couples with no children, retirees, single parents with children and single professionals.  The Global Immersions Homestay network includes hosts who are dedicated to providing a comfortable and safe environment for our visitors.  Our hosts’ help visitors understand and adjust to everything from daily living to long-term living in U.S. culture.  Our hosts have a wealth of worldly experience as well as provide a tremendous amount of resources to pass on to their visitors.


The Global Immersions team has the intercultural knowledge along with years of experience in homestay services and strives to ensure a positive experience for both the visitors and hosts!  Our belief is that the best way to learn about U.S. culture during your stay in Boston is to immerse yourself and live it through homestay living
.


Testimonials from Global Immersions Homestay Visitors:


"My experience in a homestay was not only comfortable but amazing!  I return to my country with the best experience in my life just because I share my time with a beautiful American family.  Thank you!"
Visitor from Mexico

"Living in a host family was the best decision I could have made.  They took me everywhere and included me in their daily lives.  I was almost instantly accepted as a family member.  Thanks to Global Immersions who considered every request/wish I had regarding the host family and placed me in a family that met all of them! 
Visitor from Germany

"My host family is very nice and friendly.  They are caring and every night I have good food to eat.  I am very happy with them!"
Visitor from Hong Kong

"They both are so friendly and try that you feel comfortable at home. The suppers are so good and variety. They like healthy food. The dog is so nice."
Visitor from Spain

"It is the way to make you live and feel like an American!"
Visitor from China

 

Go Global!

Global Immersions - Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Welcome to the new and exciting Go Global blog! The Go Global blog is intended for anyone who is interested in having an intercultural experience through homestay living. Our blog will directly relate to our host network, our homestay visitors from around the globe, our clients, and to anyone who is considering taking the plunge into the homestay living experience!

Come with us on a journey of exploration of homestay living. We have years of expertise in homestay and intercultural services and want to share our knowledge with you!

Patty Brownlee
Founder