New Oasis is committed to the education of our students, as well as supporting our students’ educators. The New Oasis team is always seeking opportunities to learn about new practices or shared experiences with others in our industry. Most recently, several staff members were able to attend different conferences, which addressed a variety of topics relevant to our program and international education.
Last week, our Homestay 360 managers,Tammy Becker and Linda Lindsey, attended the annual WANet Homestay Symposium in Oviedo, FL. This event provided the opportunity to participate in a variety of workshops, attend lectures, and network with other professionals. Workshops touched upon topics that were specific to host families, as well as international students, such as E.L.L support or policies and procedures at school.
One highlight from the WAnet symposium included presentations from international students. Students were able to provide their personal insight into their homestay and study abroad through firsthand experience. Our Homestay 360 team enjoyed learning from these students.
“My favorite part of the WANet Homestay Symposium was the break-out sessions done by six students attending Wheaton Academy. I attended these three sessions, “Living With a Host Family”, “Cultural Differences between East and West”, and “How to be Successful in an American Classroom”, that the students gave and gained a lot of insight by listening to their perspective”, Linda said about these presentations.
The students at this session agreed that the month of October during their first year was the most difficult time in their experience. During October culture shock, homesickness, course work and stress were reaching a peak.
“This made me realize how much more we need to prepare our host families ahead of time for this period, so that they can help their student through this, rather than wonder why their normally cheerful student may be moody, distant, disagreeable or unhappy. I think a lot of family stress can be alleviated if the host parent understands that this can be perfectly normal, and it takes time and care to get through it”, Linda reflected from the session.
Next week, members of our team will be traveling to Tennessee to participate in the TAIS Biennial Conference. In addition to the knowledge gained from the workshops, New Oasis is excited to learn more about schools in Tennessee since this is a possible area of expansion for our program. If you have any recommendations during our visit to Tennessee please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAnet. (2014, October 24). Retrieved from HomeStay Symposium: http://wanetusa.org/symposiums/