7 questions with an host family

We have interviewed Bernadette a lovely lady that lives in Harmonstown, Dublin. She has hosted student for three years and she gives us an insight of what is like to be a host family.

Why did you choose to host foreign students?

One of my friends who works with me has hosted for many years. My father passed away 3 years ago so I was here on my own at the time, and I decided to take students for a bit of company. I like meeting new people. At first, I was taking just one student at the time but then, because I have two rooms upstairs, I decided to take more students or leaders at one time. It’s been 3 years since my first experience and I loved it so I will keep doing it.

Have you ever had any bad experiences?

I had always good experiences.

What is like to live with someone you don’t know?

At first, it was strange because you don’t know him and he doesn’t know you so you just need to try your best to be welcome. If they behave well and follow the rules everything will be ok.

Which are the pros and cons?

The pros are that you can learn about their culture, about food they eat and I like also to know about them and their family. The cons are when something happens to my furniture like when one of my students stained my pink bathtub but it’s fine, it’s nothing serious.

What have you learnt from your past experiences?

Different ways of living in other countries, different food and cultures.

Do you keep in touch with students that lived with you?

I have kept in touch with some students and with one of the leaders as well. It was the very first leader that I took in and she is from Valencia and she stayed with me for two weeks. We are very close now and last year I went to visit her in the summer and now she has a baby girl and next summer I want to visit her to meet her daughter.

It’s difficult to understand each other when you don’t speak the same language, what are your tips?

Well for me personally learn the basic words in the native language of the person I host and I always ask to teach me some basic words.