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Welcome to Boston Hoemstay - JAAC Josai High School22-Oct-2017

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As my time here at Global Immersions comes to an end and I move towards my next adventure in Indonesia, I was given the opportunity to tell you a little bit about my experience as our Homestay Coordinator. With a background in travel and a clear interest in learning and understanding new cultures it was no surprise I ended up here. For most of my life travel has been a vital part. I believe the very act of traveling and entering yourself into a new culture opens your mind to new experiences and perspectives which you may otherwise have been unable to see.  About a year and a half ago, as I entered into my second semester of my Master's Degree, the position of Homestay Coordinator here at Global Immersions seemed like the perfect next step after all of my travel experience. It is here I was able to gain new daily insights into the dynamics of hosting international students. My role as Homestay Coordinator really let me switch between two perspectives of host and visitor.  I constantly was brought back and forth between what I remembered as a traveler, where everything was a new experience, to my old Bostonian ways and understanding a host’s perspective when having a visitor in their home.


                                                          


Working with international students is a constant eye opening experience. What I and the office consider to be the "norm" is constantly challenged from day to day. This allows for an open mind and continued learning opportunities. This continued ability to learn and understand is what makes the whole team here at Global Immersions continually improve.  I imagine some larger companies with their algorisms and long listed numbered surveys, where they allow a computer to match a student with a homestay. At Global Immersions we take the time to analyze each visitor application personally and match the students with the homestay they would best fit in. Working in this role you continually learn that it is the experiences and scenarios which come up day to day that provide us with the knowledge necessary to make the best placements.


                                                                


The matching portion of Homestay coordinator, although an important part, is only a small piece of the pie.  In addition to the time I take to match students into homestays I also act as a cultural liaison between host and visitor. During our busy season as well as throughout the entire year, I act as the front line contact person for host and visitor needs. I am able to fine-tune the skills I was taught in University to help our host network navigate through and problem solve any cultural issues which arise in the home. Personally this is my favorite part of this position. Being a natural people person I enjoy the conversations I am able to have with our hosts and helping them to make life in their homestay as comfortable as possible. I love the unpredictability of the scenarios our office comes across and the collaborative approach we take to solving them. The continuing variety that I was able to experience in this role kept things fresh and new with each new day!


As my time comes to an end here, I will bring these skills and experiences into my next adventure overseas. It has been a pleasure being a part of the Global Immersions team and I hope that this blog has shed a little light on what goes on here in the Homestay Coordinator role.

Until we meet again or as they say in Bahasa Indonesia Sumpai jumpa lagi!

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