Gower College Swansea’s international students, who are aged between 16 and 18, come from countries all over the world. This year we have students from Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Denmark, Germany, Romania, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. Homestay is more than living as a guest in someone’s home; it is about feeling that they are one of the family by taking part in daily routines, such as having dinner together. This not only helps them feel more at home, but it is also an excellent way for students to experience British culture and improve their English language skills, which is vitally important for their studies and success at College. The College aims to provide a good match between the student and their host family. They introduce them to each other before they arrive in the country so they can discuss their likes, dislikes and interests.
Homestay families provide a vital link between the student, the College and their families at home and help them in gaining their independence and social skills needed for further studies and life at university in the UK.
“I decided to become a host family after my daughter left home and I retired after 45 years of full-time work. It has been a rewarding experience.
“The students are good company and fill an empty house. I’ve enjoyed watching them grow with confidence and noted how their English has improved.
We have learnt so much from each other. I love hearing about their culture and way of life. They have a great sense of humour and we laugh a lot.
“They are dedicated and hardworking students, who want to do well academically, therefore it’s been an honour to provide them with a base where they can feel at home and relaxed. Hopefully they will do well and achieve their goals and I’d like to think that I played a part in their success by offering them help, support and a home.”