Monday, January 19, 2009

What is a Homestay Mama?

Robynn from Robynn's Ravings stopped by yesterday and wanted to know exactly what a Homestay Mama is. But before I answer her question, I just want to say thanks for stopping by, Robynn. I'm glad I met you via blog land which is almost as good as meeting you in person. I will be visiting you again--I like your humor--and I hope you will visit me again as well.
Now, to answer your question--

English is the trade language of the world and students from other countries have an advantage of finding an excellent job in their own country if they have studied English abroad or have earned a college degree from a university in an English speaking country such as the USA, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, etc.

America is a very popular destination for international students. Washington state is especially strong in the number of colleges that recruit and welcome international students. The greater Seattle area is home to many colleges/universities that have ESL (English as a Second Language) programs. Most international students have learned a little English in their home country, but find they need additional training in English in order to compete with native English college students when pursuing their undergraduate degrees here.

When these international students arrive, some choose to live in the college dorm, or a private apartment, but a large number prefer to live with an American family. These students are called 'homestay' students. The advantages of living with an American family are many. They learn English faster; they learn first hand about American culture; and, they develop friendships that may last a lifetime.

There are advantages for the host family as well. The family learns about the countries, cultures and religions of their students; they make lasting friendships; and, they get paid for hosting the students.

I chose the name 'Homestay Mama' because in a sense I become my homestay students' 'Mom' while they are here in America. Sometimes I even act as their guardian when they're under 18 years of age. I chose 'Home to the World' as my blog name because that is literally what my home has become--a home in America for students from all around the world--Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Eretria, Turkey, Germany, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Japan and Indonesia.

I realize that not everyone can open their home to a stranger, especially a stranger from a different country, but I find it very rewarding. I am happiest when my home is full of young, energetic, international college-age students. I love talking with them. I love helping them with their English. I love learning about their countries, cultures, religions. I love tasting their foods and sometimes even learning how to cook their recipes. I love staying in touch with them after they have graduated, gone back to their countries, gotten jobs and started families of their own.

Why does being a homestay mama work for me? Because my God-given personality and gift of hospitality come tailor-made from our Creator, Himself! It's really quite awesome when you think about it!

Finding joy in the journey,


Homestay Mama


  1. Hey there Homestay Mama,
    I just popped in from Robynn's Ravings and just wanted to say Hi!

    What a rewarding and wonderful life you lead and I'm sure your students truly feel blessed to be able to spend time with you. :-)

    I can give you a hand with doing the links thing - it's incredibly easy really, and I have another fellow blogger to thank for showing "me" the ropes. Just contact me if you're interested.

  2. Hi HM!! Thanks for coming over and for answering my question so thoroughly. How interesting your life must be and, after stopping by my place, you KNOW I'm covetin' me some MOUNTAINS in your background! Beautiful, just beautiful. Come back by anytime. And Tatersmama is a wonderful person. Hope you're able to take her up on her offer. I'd offer to help but I'm still yellin' at my 17-yr-old daughter, "Help! What do I do now??!!"

  3. Thanks for posting comments, Tatersmama and Robynn's Ravings. And thanks for the offer of help with the link, Tatersmama. I got your e-mailed directions this evening and I'm about to try them out. As you can tell, I'm very new to blogland, so I've got a lot to learn!

  4. Good Morning - thanks for dropping by. I'm so glad that you found me via good old Tatersmama. I was a little leery of posting my feelings about yesterday, as the whole world seems to be embracing our new president with so much zeal. I do pray that he will, with the help of our Heavenly Father, make wise choices, and strengthen our country - economically, and "spiritually", as it were.

    I sure hope that you will come by and see me again, and I will be adding you to my blog list!