One of our homestay families at Walkerville Primary School recently welcomed Korean student, Moongyu into their home during his recent 3 week trip to Adelaide. Ellyanne and her family took Moongyu around Adelaide, showed him fun things to see and do, and helped make his stay here one to remember.
Although they only spent a short time together, they have now formed a lifelong friendship with Moongyu and his parents and feel very lucky to have had this experience.
Read on for Ellyanne’s story!
Being a Homestay family host was not on my agenda this year. We are a family of 5 and were just arriving back from a holiday the day before the Korean Homestay students were to land and I thought it all a little too close to get organised. This however changed when our son Brodie came home from school begging us to be the ‘last’ family needed to house a homestay student. His enthusiasm was infectious and he made sure we were at school by 8am to hand in the form to hopefully secure the last position. After completing all formalities required we were accepted.
Waiting at school to meet our student was very exciting; I don’t know who was more excited Brodie or I. I had made contact with our homestay student via email and sent pictures so he knew who to look out for. We were greeted with Moongyu, a 10 year old boy who over his 3 week stay became very dear to us. I decided from the start that if we were offering to house a Homestay student then we would try our hardest to make it as fun and enjoyable as possible.
We took Moongyu to the Adelaide Zoo, The Gorge Wildlife Park, Ice skating, Korean Restaurants, he celebrated 2 birthday parties, we made damper, cooked marshmallows on a fire, went to playgrounds etc. We are fortunate my parents and brother live in the hills they have motorbikes, buggies etc. Moongyu’s favourite thing was driving the Gator and Buggy. He enjoyed meeting our families, tasting our foods, and loved living our lifestyle. We too enjoyed learning about Korea and what Moongyu’s life is like. During his stay I made sure I kept in contact with his mother via email and telephone and would often send her pictures to keep her up to date. I wanted her to know that he was safe and being well cared for.
Moongyu headed home with an additional suitcase full of souvenirs and a 15 minute slideshow made with all the pictures I’d taken. I hoped this would allow his family to really share in his experience and for it to be a lovely keepsake of memories. Once home he called to say he had arrived safely. Since that time we have spoken to him again and shared many emails with both him and his mother. His family sent a lovely box full of Korean Souvenirs stating it was ‘with gratitude’ to thank us for giving up our time to look after their son and for all the lovely ‘extra’ things we did for him. Being a Homestay family was a truly rewarding experience for all of us. It’s one of those experiences that you ‘get what you give’…that is, give a lot of time, kindness and frienship and be rewarded with the same. How lucky we are to have enjoyed such an experience. I highly recommend hosting a student, share your time and family and reap the rewards.