Chèrise’s story

How long have you been hosting?

I’ve been hosting with Quest for 81/2 years and before that I hosted international students from a local language school.


What made you decide to start hosting?

As a stay at home mum (of a 4 and 7 year old at the time), initially it was to earn extra money to pay for the various sports my children did and for the flexibility it gave me. I was drawn to hosting as I love to travel and learning about other cultures.


Did you have any concerns prior to hosting?

No, I’m a naturally confident person and I know how tired they get at the end of term and how more than anything they really need a chance to rest and relax.


What do you most enjoy about hosting?

I find it really rewarding. I like to help young people, to be a positive influence and help them whenever I can, for example I recently helped a student I host move dorm rooms at school.


How do the students you host get along with your children?

They get on well – my daughter is studying away from home at the moment but often comes back during the holidays and my son still lives at home. A friend of mine (who has children the same age as Ice, who is currently staying with us) came over and together with my children we all had a board game evening. There was nine of us in total and Ice and her friend Aurora (who used to stay with me too) were very competitive in a game of monopoly!

Eight years ago we hosted a boy called Nero and my son and Nero kept in touch over Instagram. Just recently Nero came back to the area from Hong Kong to study photography and they met up, which was amazing.


What type of thing do you get up to when you have a student staying?

We do all sorts – we go on walks, have friends over, go out for meals. We recently went ice skating. Ice loves to bake so she takes over the kitchen baking everything from cheesecakes and cream cakes to bread, pastries and pancakes.


What is the most challenging part of hosting?

I think the cultural differences and occasionally getting the balance right between study/down time as there is a tendency to study the whole time. Ice works so hard is so diligent and studious.


What type of food do you cook?

I cook everything from fajitas to curries. Ice loves the food.

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