Becoming a host family: a truly unique experience

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Emanuela tells her story of “adopting” an H-International School student and accompanying them on their academic path.

A big smile, a pink scarf around her neck and tons of energy. This is our description of Emanuela, the mother of Bianca, one of the H-International School students, who, along with her family, has decided to add a unique experience to this school year.
This is one of the “host families”, the families that host other H-IS students who come from “faraway” places. In this case, the student is Giulia, from the Abruzzo region.
“I have older children, one of which has already left home. The space was there and we thought it would be a wonderful experience for the entire family.”

There were several worries, of course: what if we need to go away for the weekend? What if the student has a hard time fitting in with the family? What if there are conflicts with the student’s family of origin?
It’s a choice that entails a large responsibility, but communicating clearly helps to resolve any sort of problem. Before hosting Giulia, we decided to meet her and her family, we had lunch together and we were very clear from the beginning about our family’s habits, routines and the rules to follow. Giulia’s family agreed and let their daughter live this experience.”

Not an easy experience, but a very enriching one, both for the guest and the host, for many different reasons. According to Emanuela, the two girls get along very well and each has found their own space and balance with the other. The play sports and study together, they talk and share experiences.
“Giulia shares everything with us, apart from the school holidays when she returns home, and we act as if she was one of our daughters. Of course, we take care and check up on her a bit more, but she is free to choose just like Bianca. If we go to the movies and she prefers to stay at home, she can. Or, for example, on Sunday we went to a 1st Communion party and she decided to come with us.”

After all, “We are not talking about aliens, just kids. Our kids.”