Creating Connections Through Family Boarding

For Paul O’Callaghan and his family, the Family Boarding Program has been a fulfilling way to create rich connections all over the world. Read his story below!
My wife Jacqueline and I, along with our four children, have been very fortunate to have many positive experiences through the GNS Family Boarding Program.
We initially embarked on this journey some five years ago as a favour to the previous coordinator. The plan was a temporary measure, but little did we know that this was a turning point for us—we are still hosting today, and have since welcomed students from Hong Kong, Mexico, China, Thailand and Vietnam.
Each student brings with them a little bit of their own culture. One of the biggest ways we celebrate this is through the sharing of food. We have found that students are always willing to cook and we encourage them to do just that, as cooking is also an important life skill that they will need when they go off to their respective universities. We have had students cook delicious Tacos and enchiladas, Thai curries and more.
Last week, Grade 12 student Long treated us to his favourite meal using his Mum’s recipe. Long spent many hours the shopping and preparing the ingredients. He displayed great initiative and independence, and the resulting Ho Chi Minh dish called ‘Nem Ran’ exhibited delicious flavours and aromas.
Opening your home to students for a year or longer is usually just the start of a long-lasting friendship and connection with them and their families. My four children, as well as Jac and I, regularly speak through social media to all our previous students, and this rich connection that makes it all worthwhile.
Click here to learn more about the Family Boarding Program at GNS!

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