Episode 40: Fearless Communication Skills and Owning Your Moxie with Heather Thompson

One of the major challenges of hosting international students is to navigate the language barrier. Communication is key to any relationship, so how do you have the confidence to speak your mind when your student doesn’t speak your language? At times you need to be fearless and in today’s episode we chat with Heather Thompson who shares this grit with a side of humour.

Heather and her family of four has hosted 13 students over 5 years. She discusses her experience as an international student when she was young, being a host to students, and even being hosted by a former student in Belgium. Hear what she and her family learned while hosting and how these experiences created a lot of laughter in their lives.

Center: Heather Thompson

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Heather tells us about her hosting history and her own travel adventures.
  • Heather chats about her expectations on the level of English students will have when they arrive.
  • We talk about communication and comprehension… and the challenge with “yes” and “no” answers.
  • Heather shares about a time there was a miscommunication with a student.
  • We talk about communicating with students pre-arrival. 
  • Filling out forms for students.
  • What part of hosting do you find the most challenging? Heather wasn’t expecting this attack on her senses.
  • Heather reminisces on some of her most memorable moments hosting students.
  • Heather shares her experience being hosted by a former student in Belgium.
  • Mary talks about her plans for visiting students in Japan.
  • Will Heather send her kids on an exchange in the future?
  • Heather’s tips to bond with students.
  • Heather instructs Erin on how to make an ice cream cake.
  • Erin gives a rice intervention update. What topping has her Japanese student introduced? 
  • Mary, her bubble and how it applies to her plate.
  • Heather chats about her attempts to cook versions of her student’s favourite dishes.

Chicoutimi, Quebec
Goldstream Park Salmon Run 
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