Many of you will already know Verity Lester from the accommodation department here at Wimbledon School of English. Not only does she place students in their homestay accommodation but she is also a host mother. Together with her husband Grant and their three children, Verity has been welcoming students from WSE since 2010.
We asked Verity to share some of her best hosting memories and here’s what she said:
“Hosting students from all over the world has enriched our family's lives and taught us about other cultures. Our dinner table is always filled with laughter and chatter and we often discuss the best places to go and things to see and do in London. We have kept in contact with most of our students and have made friends for life from all over the world. Recently we visited students in Switzerland and in the future we are hoping to make a trip to Argentina.”
Verity and Grant recall some of their favourite stories of all time.
In the summer of 2014, we hosted twin sisters from Latvia called Ekaterina and Anastasia. They were so delightful and they have kept in touch with my daughter on Facebook and they have inspired her to go to Latvia.
We had another wonderful student from Italy, Sara, who became my daughter for 5 months. Her parents, auntie, boyfriend and brother came to visit us and we all got on so well. Now we are planning to holiday with them in Sardinia.
My son Gabriel now has a new brother, Silvan from Zurich in Switzerland. He encouraged Gabriel to finally start kicking a ball around and most evenings the two of them would go crazy on the trampoline.
There was also Serena from Lugano, Switzerland who was a sister to Gabriel. Their love for 'build a bear' sealed their friendship forever and they both went shopping for bears in Wimbledon.
I cannot imagine our lives without these wonderful students, we feel so lucky to have been given the chance to get to know them all throughout the years.
The homestay experience is special for both students and hosts. It allows students not only to practise their English all day long but also experience a new way of life. It’s a chance to try some home-cooked British food (which is not as bad as everyone says) and a great way to learn more about British culture and how we live!
For a student’s point on view on the homestay experience, check out our video below.