Episode 42: Experiences of Being a New Homestay Host from Jennifer Longworth

In today’s episode, Erin had work to do, so Mary got to chat with Jennifer Longworth from Lexington, Kentucky. A new host parent who’s only hosted a total of 3 times for very short periods and all from Japan. We talk through what it’s like to be a very new host and what were some of the most surprising aspects of hosting. And it wouldn’t be right to talk to our fellow neighbours to the south without pointing out a couple of differences from our countries, like hockey for us and southern food for her.

Jennifer Longworth
Our family has worked with the Lexington Sister Cities program to host a high school student and adult delegate from Japan. We also hosted a college student from Japan through another program. We’ve hosted a total of 3 times. Each visit was a week or less. My daughter takes Japanese at school and has been able to visit Japan twice! It’s only been over the past few years that we’ve been involved.  

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Jennifer talks about how she came to host.
  • Gifts as an ice breaker. What do you give?
  • First day rituals when hosting.
  • Connecting through food. 
  • Communicating through language barriers.
  • Before hosting, Jennifer touches on her expectations of the challenges she’d face… and if they ever came to be.
  • Jennifer and Mary chat about culture shock. 
  • Jennifer shares part of her daughter’s experience in Japan.
  • Jennifer reminisces about her most memorable experiences hosting. 
  • Mary and Jennifer bond over hockey.
  • Which one of Jennifer’s favourite dishes to serve international students convinced Mary that she needs to come stay for a visit?

Lexington Sister Cities
Shinhidaka, Hokkaido
Japanese American Society of Kentucky
Cracker Barrel Restaurant
Google Translate

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