Homestay Kitchen

Episode 11: Sharing Holiday and Christmas Traditions with Students Who Study Abroad

In this episode, we reveal our Christmas past, present and future with our international students. Mary shares her non-Christmas household, but reveals the little things she likes to do for the holidays. While Erin knows something will come together at the last minute for her family’s Christmas dinner. Listen for tips on what to do with students while keeping to a budget and a list of all our favourite holiday movies. Plus, how do the holidays differ in their student’s home countries? We find out about a Japanese tradition that is finger lickin’ good! Whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year, or even no holiday, we hope you get a break either way. It’s really all about the good food coming out of the kitchen and enjoying it with people that you love.

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Episode 10: Diversity, Discrimination, and Balancing Canadian and Japanese Studies with Yoko

In this episode, we chat with Yoko, a Japanese student living with Erin. We examine some serious topics such as diversity and discrimination that she faces here in Canada and how it can be beneficial back home in Japan. We also touch on how she was able to participate in WE Day, a celebration of young leaders in Vancouver, and the balance of Japanese versus Canadian student culture. Plus, we learn how much Yoko is really a child of Erin’s and how she’s integrated so closely with Erin’s family and being a part of Canada.
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Episode 9: Board Games, Video Games and All the Things to Interact with Your Student

In this episode, we get into some of our favourite games to play with our students. It’s getting to that time of the year here in Canada where the nights are cold and long. Time to bundle up and play board games, video games, and #allthethings to keep one occupied when the family is over for the holidays. Or perhaps you’re getting a new student soon… what are your favourite games to play to help break the ice? Here are some ideas for easy games to play with young kids, games that require very little English, and even one that will make a mess.

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Episode 8: Building Your Network of People in the World with Veteran Host Parent Mel Kilpatrick

In this episode, we chat with our dear friend Mel Kilpatrick. Mel was one of Mary’s first inspirations to become a homestay parent. We scratch the surface on some of the amazing stories with her past students and explore how these experiences enhance our network of people in the world… not just for us as hosts, but for the students as well. These experiences are what makes your household grow and learn from each other to extend our connection to the world.
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Episode 7: Advocating For and Supporting International Students

In this episode, Mary challenged Erin to talk about her being a Mama Bear; tender claws out and ready to advocate for her students. Listen for the way Erin handles challenging situations including when she rescues Christmas for her student’s friend and dealing with high school teachers, which can be challenging all on their own. Then we take a little side track as Mary gets a delivery at the door… all before Mary shares her stories about how she saved a student’s romantic relationship, which causes Erin to feel like throwing up because of the suspense.

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Episode 6: Selecting International Students for your Homestay Family

In this episode, we share our experiences of how we select international students to become a part of our homestay family.  We chat about how one student in Mary’s short-term homestay experience got her to change her number one request on a student profile.  We walk through what you should consider when matching a student profile to your family, and ultimately, how we decide to host a student in our home.  Then we explore Erin’s detailed student profile applications, while she goes on one of her tangents to provide some very insightful tips for what to do with your kids when travelling with your students.

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Episode 5: Canadian Student Life, Parental Pressure Studying Abroad, and a Passion for Music with Jenny

In this episode, we dive in with Erin’s student from China, Jenny. She’s here on a high school program for a couple years and at the time of the recording, is one of two students in Erin’s home. Jenny has a love of music that we explore and hear samples of during the show. She truly is talented and has a passion for life, which we’ll hear about as she describes her student lifestyle in Canada, the pressures of studying abroad away from her parents, and what her dreams are for the future after completing her Canadian high school education.

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Episode 4: Weaving Birthday Traditions with Cross Cultural Experiences

In this episode, we dive into birthdays! Jon and Blake’s birthdays are one day apart, so we talk birthday plans and what Erin’s students have up their sleeves for Blake… while Mary reveals her one big mistake in communication about birthdays with her first ever student.

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Episode 3: Traditions of Halloween Past and How We Get International Students Involved Today

In this episode, we’re talking Halloween! We explore what each of our families does for Halloween and how you can incorporate your homestay student into the festivities. We reminisce about our past Halloween experiences to reveal how sometimes these student situations make us feel old.

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Episode 2: The One About Erin

In this episode, Mary interviews Erin.  We talk about how we first met, reminiscing about Erin’s high school experience of being a homestay sister, and we dissect a day in her family’s crazy life to reveal how her students are the best part of her day.

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