Yesterday evening, EC Montreal held its homestay workshop for new hosts. A world of thanks goes out to the EC Montreal team for a very successful event! We gave our homestays an orange carpet welcome! We checked them in and gave them tours of our facilities. We had refreshments available for them as they mingled and talked to each other about their excitement to host! We had our student ambassadors helping to check in the hosts and accompany them to the lounge.
Our ambassadors also helped to accompany hosts one at a time into the office so we can place summer bookings with them. Renee Lee took care of the allocations. She met with them and placed several students with each host. The families were delighted to have their rooms already booked and it really helped us get our allocations done. We have done this in the past and it always works out beautifully. We find that the hosts pay more attention during the presentations when they know they have a student scheduled to arrive!
I gave the welcome greeting and talked to them about the Orange Carpet Experience. I showed them the Homestay page and shared the Orange Carpet video. I introduced all the guest speakers. First up was one of our student ambassadors Andres Felipe Trejos from Colombia. He is in our Bilingual programme and living with a homestay family. He presented in both languages and spoke about his experience and what are the most important qualities in a homestay host. It is such a powerful message coming directly from one of our international students. The homestays were so impressed with his level of both English and French and how he was able express himself!
Jillian Larson, our Young Learners Programme Manager presented tips and tricks on how to communicate with low level students. Her presentation was amazing! We learned so much from her! The homestays really appreciated the helpful suggestions!
Next, I introduced one of our homestay hosts, Marie-Reine Bousquet. She has been hosting students for EC Montreal for the past 15 years! She talked about her experience hosting and how she has hosted students as young as 15 and as old as 75! She was incredible! Of all the speakers, she had the most questions asked to her! We then presented her with a certificate of excellence for 15 years of service in our homestay programme! She was so touched and said she would frame it!
We gave all the new hosts a kit that included the welcome letters, pre-stamped EC branded postcards that they can give to their students so they could write to their parents back home as well as activity calendars, EC Montreal course information and a few homestay ad door hangers. The message I gave was, you all have neighbors, so please help us advertise for more homestay families. Please place a few on the door handles of your next door neighbors! They all agreed to do so!
Lastly, and most importantly, Mirka Rasoanilana, our Accommodation SSC, presented on the fine details of the homestay programme. How placements are made, payments, arrivals and departures, changes, cancellations and the qualities of an ideal host!
All the presenters did a stellar job! I am so proud of the team! Thank you Lucy Gallagher for giving the educational tours of the school and for taking all the fabulous pictures! Thank you Renee Lee for all the allocations and for being so charming with the new hosts! Thank you to Mirka Rasoanilana for your presentation and for getting to know the hosts on such a personal level during the meet and greet! Thank you to Jillian Larson for all the tricks and tips on communication and to the rest of the team; Rafael Alencar, Nathaniel Bao and Maria Casale for helping to set up for the evening! The hosts left really prepared and impressed with EC. They kept commenting on how thorough our presentations were!
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