The recently launched book “The Truth about being an International Student” has been written with passion. Author and founder of www.globallyunited.net, Claudia Doria, sees the opportunity for a rich cultural exchange between student and host family while being deeply aware of the personal and even national responsibility in supporting international students, often during formative adolescent years.
There is often a lot of fear, says Claudia. Students bring with them parental expectations, they must fit into a vastly different culture, yet there is little preparation for the experience. The book and website give a comprehensive rundown on what all parties can expect and a range of student profiles completes the picture.
Claudia would love to see all prospective students, parents and hosts read her thoughts before embarking on a homestay experience. She says students are all ‘ambassadors’ for Australia so it is important for every Australian to be a good example of the ‘Australian way’.
Secondary schools involved in international exchange programs report that parents usually visit their children and parents of backpackers often visit areas their children have enjoyed – so hosts can also play a role in promoting Australia as a holiday destination. You can’t beat word of mouth promotion!
Recent Australian research estimates we will host 8 million international students by 2025. Homestay is a popular choice for educational institutes and students alike. Independent homestay organisations make all the arrangements and handle any problems that arise. Homestay is less expensive than renting and allows older students to ease their way into Australian life.
ABOUT CLAUDIA DORIA:
Claudia had a lot to do with students when, years ago, she and husband John ran a tourist facility in Mildura, northern Victoria. She went on to a career in Human Resources in both the public and private sectors and completed a Master’s degree. A former boss told her she was ‘impossible to manage’ – Claudia clearly had her own ideas and admits she was ‘psychologically unemployable’.
Homestay was a good option as Claudia didn’t want to work for someone again and she wanted to do something with young people. She was soon aware of the rich cultural / human exchange launched into her project. She had to overcome a ‘fear of writing’, address the enormity of areas such as health, learn about publishing and web design. She published the book herself as the thought of leaving the manuscript ‘sitting in an in-tray’ was just not on!
VISIT: www.globallyunited.net. Download a free chapter or buy the book.
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