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Why host an overseas visitor? by Merton Chamber member Wimbledon School of English

April 21, 2022
Member News

Why host an overseas visitor?

As the country is opening its doors to international visitors again, we thought we would investigate being a ‘Host Family’ - welcoming an overseas visitor into your home.

Wimbledon School of English has been here since 1964 and host families are key to their success.  They are ranked as the number one English language school in the UK, and that is in part because of their wonderful hosts.   We asked their Accommodation Manager, Julie, who has hosted for over ten years, this simple question – why host?

 “Hosting is a truly rewarding experience for your whole family. You'll learn about another culture and language without leaving home. You'll start a life-lon grelationship with your visitor and when your student returns home you'll have a friend in another country.  Our hosts regularly travel the world visiting their ex-students, even attending their weddings. 

You don’t have to be a family to be a host – we have single people who really enjoy the company – although if you have children they do love learning about other nationalities.

I can’t put it better than Janice, one of our long-term hosts:

“I love having people around me of all ages - we’ve had students in their 50s and students in their teens and whatever their age I really enjoy their company. I’ve learnt so much more about the culture, the traditions, the food from all these other countries.  I would recommend being a host family to anyone, whether you’ve got children or not, whatever stage of your life you’re at, it adds so many different dimensions to your life.  You never stop learning and I’m just glad I got into it when I did.” (Janice Howard, past Mayor of Merton and WSE host) 

In these current difficult times, the more ways we can understand each other, the better. Welcoming someone from a different culture into your home is one of the most powerful ways to break down barriers between nationality, culture, religion, and race, and promote friendship and cooperation. What are you waiting for – become a host!” 

If you’d like to know more, contact Julie: julie@wimbledon-school.ac.uk or call  02089471921