Travel Blog

September 23, 2022

What we gained from being a host family – A Mother’s Perspective

Out of our many Italian students who spent their summer holidays in Sydney this year, 7 boys were fortunate enough to be placed at St Patrick’s College in Strathfield. Exchange Me would like to thank the College and all families involved for inviting the boys into their homes and making their experience so memorable.

The language coordinator Teresa Valente wrote about their stay at St Patrick’s College:

St Patrick’s has recently played host to 7 Italian Exchange students from Rome. The boys participated in all aspects of College Life and found the experience both at the College and living with their host family very different to life in Italy. They all agreed that they learnt a great deal from the entire experience and found it very enjoyable and rewarding. As a Language Faculty, we look forward to hosting more students in the future. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our St Patrick’s families who opened up their homes to these boys despite their gruelling schedules and personal commitments. Your generosity of spirit is very much appreciated. Below are two emails received from two of our host parents which indicate the deep bond forged through this exchange.

Stefania Montesano and her family hosted Vincenzo and Alessio:

‘Alessio and Vincenzo left this morning and we are all extremely sad. They will be missed. Sebastiano and Vincenzo have an amazing bond and were both in tears all morning. Alessio, the sweetest boy was overcome with emotion last night as we have him a gift and also a small token for his mum. Having the opportunity to host these two boys has been beyond beautiful. Vincenzo is a charming, polite, funny and bright young man. Our son gained a best friend and we have gained another family. Alessio is a strapping young man who is still so very innocent and beautiful and tried so hard with us. Sebastiano and Vincenzo were amazing with him and took him under their very protective big brother wings. I want to thank you and all the staff of the College for supporting this experience. The magnificent opportunity it has given our boys is inexplicable. Thank you so very much.’ – Stefania Montesano

Antonella Cautela and her family hosted Riccardo:

‘I wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ for allowing our boys to host the Italian students. It has been the most rewarding time for Joshua on so many levels and has built his own experience when on the St Pat’s Italian Tour in April this year. The Exchange programme has broadened Joshua’s view of the world and has really taught him to adapt change. Joshua has found a friend in Riccardo and he has also formed a wonderful new network of friends from the other side of the globe. Riccardo was such a gentle, polite and well behaved young man and a true pleasure to have in our home. We had the opportunity to meet many of the other Italian students who were also very well-mannered and appreciative of their Australian experience. I sincerely hope that St Pat’s continue the exchange programme with Italian students as the benefits for both Australian and Italian students are invaluable.’ – Antonella Cautela

Are you interested in hosting our exchange students in the future? Please contact us for details.

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