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Homestay Special for International Students Needing Short-Term Housing12-Mar-2020

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Everything You Need To Know About Super Bowl LI

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Its that time of year again - time for the Super Bowl!! Excitingly enough Boston's favorite football team will (again!) be playing in this year's Super Bowl, Super Bowl LI (if you're not too familiar with roman numerals LI means 50). Here is everything you need to know to prepare yourself for the big game. Go Pats!!

Who: New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons

What: Super Bowl LI

Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

When: Saturday, February 5th @ 6:30pm

How to watch: Super Bowl LI will be televised nationally on FOX. You can also watch it online for free on FOXsports.com on your computer or tablet. Verizon users can watch it on the go with NFL Mobile

Where to Watch: With its plethora of sports bars and restaurants, Boston is an exciting place to celebrate the Super Bowl! Here you can find a list of places throughout the city hosting Super Bowl parties and offering special deals on food and drink. I personally will be watching the game from my favorite venue - my couch. If you're looking for some place less crowded or for a younger crowd, watching the game at home with family and friends may be the best option. 


Who to watch:  This will be the Patriot's ninth Super Bowl appearance and the seventh time for Belichick and Brady. Tom Brady is going for his 5th Super Bowl ring, which would make him the record holder of the most Super Bowl wings of any active quarter back in the NFL. Right now, Brady is tied for 4 wins with Joe Montana. After him, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger have two rings each, and are the only other active quarter backs with more than one win. This Super Bowl will pit the No. 1 defense in the league (Pats) against the No. 1 offense in the league (Falcons) which should definitely provide for an exciting game!

What to eat: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Super Bowl is the second largest day of food consumption in America (the first is Thanksgiving). American's are estimated to buy 12.5 million pizzas on Super Bowl Sunday, and set to consume 1.33 billion chicken wings. Several local pizza chains have Super Bowl specials that you can find here, just remember to put your order in early - they'll be busy! 

Halftime show: This year's Halftime show will be headlined  by Lady Gaga. This will be Lady Gaga's second time performing on the Super Bowl stage, after having sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl 50 last February. The Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show is the most -watched musical event of the year, attracting more than 116.5 million viewers last year. 

If New England wins, stay tuned for the Patriots Parade in the weeks shortly after. It is tradition for the team to celebrate the big win by parading through the streets of Boston on floats with their families! 


Sources: NFL, Chicago Tribune

The Year of the Rooster

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Xinnian Kuaile (sshin-nyen why-luh) ! Happy New Year! This year, Chinese New Year falls on January 28th and will last until February 2nd. Unlike other country's new year celebrations, which coincide with the last day of the Gregorian calendar year, Chinese New Year is based upon the Lunar Calendar and therefore falls on a different date each year (typically between the end of January and mid February). Although Chinese New Year falls in the middle of winter, the celebration is known as "Spring Festival" in China, as the ancient solar calendar classifies the start of Spring as the period from February 4th to 18th.


 Each year is assigned one of 12 zodiac signs with an associated animal. The Chinese believe that each sign has certain characteristics, which describe people born during the sign's corresponding years. 2017 is the year of the rooster - the corresponding sign of those born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, and 2005. Those born under the rooster are thought to be hardworking, resourceful, courageous, talented and very confident in themselves.

Roosters are always active, amusing, and popular within a crowd. They are talkative, outspoken, frank, open, honest, and loyal individuals. They like to be the center of attention and always appear attractive and beautiful. People born under the sign of the Rooster are happiest when they are surrounded by others, whether at a party or just a social gathering. They enjoy the spotlight and will exhibit their charm on any occasion.

Roosters expect others to listen to them while they speak, and can become agitated if they don’t. Vain and boastful, Roosters like to brag about themselves and their accomplishments.

Their behavior of continually seeking the unwavering attention of others annoys people around them at times.”


Much preparation is done before Chinese New Year even begins. Homes are decorated with red decorations along with streets and public places, as red is considered a very lucky color. Most homes will also include strips of paper known as "Chunlian". These papers contain messages known as "Spring Couplets" or messages of good health and fortune. A typical decoration contains four Chinese characters in gold writing, which are known as "Hui Chun". Families will thoroughly clean their homes for the festival to rid the home of any bad feelings for the new year. It is considered bad luck to not clean one's home before the new year. The Chinese clean beforehand to avoid cleaning for at least the first three days of the new year, as they believe doing so will sweep away any good luck they have acquired. In addition to cleaning their homes, Chinese also take care to clean themselves. They do so by getting a haircut prior to the new year. It is considered unlucky to get a haircut during the new year, so some Chinese people will avoid cutting their hair for at least a month. In Chinese culture, new clothing and shoes symbolize a new beginning, and many Chinese will purchase new items for the new year. It is also common for people to purchase flowers, as flower blossoms symbolize good fortune.

(Migration of Chinese during Chinese New Year) 


The New Year celebration is extremely family oriented. It is estimated that more than 200 million Chinese take long journey's to return home for the holiday celebrations. The main celebration usually begins with a family gathering and meal on New Year's Eve. Families will enjoy special treats along with typical dishes of fish or chicken. Both dishes are served whole, however the fish should not be completely eaten, as leftover fish represents a surplus at the end of the new year. It is also common for the family to exchange gifts in the form of money inside of a red envelope. Families will practice Shou Sui, or staying up until midnight together to greet the new year. 

New Year's celebrations include parades with traditional Lion dances, drums, and large fireworks displays. During the Spring festival, there are hundreds of thousands of fireworks displays and millions of fireworks set off at home. The tradition is that fireworks scare away evil spirits and demons. The largest displays are lit at midnight, similar to the January 1st celebrations of other cultures. The two weeks of celebration usually end with a Lantern Festival. Families and friends come together again to eat and release lanterns into the sky. Children do not attend school throughout the holiday period, and can even go a whole month before returning to class!

(Spring Festival in Malaysia)

You may be surprised to learn that China is not the only country that celebrates Chinese New Year. Spring Festival celebrations occur in dozens of countries across the globe, with more than 2 billion people participating. Countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines have huge celebrations, and smaller communities in Chinatowns around the world gather to hold events, parades, and firework shows. Public holidays lasting from one to four days are common throughout Asia, with celebrations extending  for a week in Vietnam. Hong Kong is well known for its Spring Festival celebrations, as the area hosts a major horse racing festival at this time. Events also include fireworks, theatrical shows, as large displays of flowers. Western cities also hold their own Chinese New Year festivals. Most notably is the celebration in London, which sees more than half a million people taking part in organized events. 

Interested in participating in Chinese New Year Events in Boston?? From now until January 27th, The China Trade Building in Boston's Chinatown is hosting a Chinese New Year Pop-Up Flower Marketselling flowers from local businesses in celebration of the New Year. On February 12th, Chinatown will host the Chinese New Year Parade and China Cultural Village, featuring classic elements of Chinese New Year celebrations, such as music, lion dancers, fireworks, and of course delicious food! 

Check out our Facebook Page for more info about Lunar New Year Events and other exciting things happening in Boston! 


Sources: The Mirror, Quartz, KInternational, CNN

The 2017 Presidential Inauguration

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, January 19, 2017

Taking place tomorrow, the inauguration is a long upheld in tradition in the United States marking the commencement of a new term for the new President. The ceremony has been in effect George Washington was sworn in as the first president back in 1789, and has been held for every president since. The inauguration currently occurs annually on January 20th, a tradition that began in 1937 following a ratification to the 20th Amendment to the Constitution.  Both new and re-elected Presidents must be inaugurated, a process during which they take an oath administered by the Chief Justice. This oath must be taken before a president can enter office, and is mandated by the United States Constitution.


Apart from the inauguration ceremony itself, there are also other events to include the inaugural parade and inaugural balls and galas. The parade takes place after the inaugural ceremony, with the new  President, Vice President, and their wives leading the procession down Pennsylvania Avenue. Next, inaugural balls are held throughout Washington D.C. in honor of the Inauguration Ceremony, which include invite-only balls as well as those open to the public. The President and First Lady usually make an appearance at the official balls, however there are countless others that individuals can attend. The President-elect is expected to attend 3 of the official Inaugural Balls, to include the Armed Services Ball as well as two at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

This time around, Trump will be the oldest President in U.S. history to be inaugurated at the age of 70. Prior to this, the oldest President was Ronald Reagan who was sworn in at age 69, just 17 days shy of his 70th birthday. Donald Trump's inauguration is expected to be the most expensive in history, with spending reaching an upwards of $200 million. For reference, Barack Obama's inauguration cost about $150 million, still a notable amount. While the ceremony itself may be costly, the inaugural ball often features famous performers who don't come cheaply. This year, Toby Keith will be performing, among other artists such as the band 3 Doors Down.  If you are interested in watching the inauguration and its surrounding events, you can tune in at 9:30am EST when the performances start. The opening remarks for the inauguration ceremony itself will begin at 11:30am EST and the parade at 3:00pm EST.


Holiday Activities Yule Love!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Its December already!? Crazy, I know.  November really flew by and now it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (for real - it snowed this morning.) Once you get past the cold, Boston is a great place to be during the winter. With tree lightings, and carolers, outdoor skating rinks and pop-up markets, the city has so many different winter activities to help you celebrate the holiday season with your international visitor! If your'e getting tired of listening to 106.7's nonstop Christmas music, here are some other festive ways to have a happy holiday! 

(GI host mother and her students looking at holiday lights in Saugus, MA!)

Get in the holiday spirit by taking your visitor to see amazing holiday lights! Tour your own neighborhood or explore the light displays in other areas of greater Boston. Don't know where to go?? This article can help. Check out the places with the best Christmas lights in Boston. Take a trip by car or bond with your visitor during an outdoor stroll. If you would prefer to travel by train, you can do that too! The Somerville Arts Council's Illuminations Tour will take you through the illuminated streets of Somerville via trolley. 


(One of our students decorating her host family's Christmas Tree last year!)

After, take some inspiration from those neighborhoods and decorate your own home! Ask your visitor to help you place holiday decorations inside and outside your house. If you celebrate Christmas, involve your student in hanging Christmas ornaments and lights or even picking out the Christmas Tree. Designate a special ornament for your student (craft or buy one together!) - your visitor will feel like a welcomed part of the family and you will have a memento of the holiday you shared! 


(GI students and their host family building a gingerbread house!)

Speaking of crafts...a fun at home activity is decorating a gingerbread house! If you don't think you have the culinary skills to make one from scratch easy kits can be found in your local grocery store this season. You and your visitor will enjoy assembling and decorating the gingerbread house together and you'll especially love eating it after :)

(Japanese TALK students posing with their gifts and Santa Claus!)

Take your visitor holiday shopping with you! Let them help you pick out gifts for your family and see if they want to get a present for their friend at school or family at home. A festive place for a shopping outing is a Holiday Market. Throughout the Christmas season, Boston offers a variety of holiday stores and pop-up markets for all your gift giving needs! Check out the Holiday Market in Downtown CrossingThe Harvard Square Holiday Fair, The Holiday Shopping Village at City Hall Plaza, or The Christmas in Boston store at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. 

Don't forget about New Year's Eve! Holiday celebrations don't stop after December 25th. Ring in the new year by watching Boston's NYE fireworks display over Boston Harbor. The show begins at midnight on January first, but First Night festivities begin long before that. Bring your visitor to enjoy parades, ice sculptures, music, and dancing on the last day of 2016! 

International Students LOVE the U.S.!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, November 23, 2016

      

If you had to guess, how many international students do you think attend higher education facilities in the U.S.? Would you guess 1 million? That number seems high right? Surprisingly enough, if you guessed 1 million you would be right! Well, almost right. There are actually over one million international students in higher education in the USA - for the first time! An interesting article in StudyTravel Magazine reports a 7.1% increase of international students in the U.S. for the 2015 - 2016 year. Data from the Institute of International Education shows 1,043,839 international students in the U.S.(an increase of 69,000 since 2014 /15). International students make up 5.2% of all higher education students in the country- the highest ratio ever.  

Here are where most of the students are from: 

China


China is the largest source of international students in the U.S. 31.5% (or approx. 328,547 students) of all higher education international students in America come from China. This year showed an 8% increase of Chinese students since 2014. 

India

The second largest source is India, which has brought approx. 165,918 students to the U.S. Though a smaller number of students than China, India has the largest growth since last year with the number of Indian international students in the U.S. growing 24.9%. 

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is the third largest source , taking the spot of South Korea from previous years. Saudi Arabia is the home of about 61,287 international students in the U.S. However, changes to Saudi government's scholarship program have decreased growth to 2.2% compared to the double digit increases in previous years. 

This year there was also a large increase since last year in students from Nepal (up 18.4%), Vietnam (up 14.3%), Nigeria (up 12.4%) and Kuwait and Iran (both up 8.2%). 

Which states draw the most international students?

California is the largest host state with 149,328 students, followed by New York, Texas, Massachusetts (whoohoo!) and Illinois. 

In terms of the students educational levels the report shows that over 420,000 are enrolled in undergraduate courses, over 380,000 are pursuing graduate degrees, 85,000 are pursuing non - degree courses (like language schools, ect.) and 147,000 are registered in Optional Practical Training (OPT).

International students are drawn to U.S. due to the quality, diversity, and prestigious reputations of the country's institutions. As a homestay provider, we enjoy having a part in these students' international experience and the ability to introduce both hosts and students to a new culture!

A Tree For Boston

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, November 21, 2016


I
 have been going to the tree lighting at Boston Common since childhood. Some of my earliest Christmas memories involve standing in front of Boston's massive Christmas tree and watching as it is lit up for the first time every winter. It wasn't until recently, though, that I learned the history of Boston's Christmas tree, and why it stands on the common each year. For starters, I didn't realize that the tree was given to Boston as a gift from Canada. The tree arrives to the Common (as it has for the past 45 years) after a three-day, 6660-mile trek from Nova Scotia. This year's tree will be the most recent gift of thanks from Nova Scotia to Boston for the city's help during the deadliest non-natural disaster in Canadian history: The Halifax Explosion.


(Destruction in Halifax after the explosion and blizzard) 

If you are not familiar with the history (I was not) here is a summary of  what happened: The explosion took place in Halifax, Nova Scotia- a busy port city of 50,000 people. On December 16th, 1917, A 320-foot French freighter, The SS Mont Blanc, was loaded with close to 6 million pounds of explosives and waiting to enter Halifax Harbor. Though the ship was carrying a dangerous amount of explosives, it flew no warnings of its cargo for fear it would be made subject of a German attack. 

Inside the harbor a Norwegian relief ship, the SS Imo, was waiting to depart. Upon the ships departure, the Imo increased its speed beyond the harbor's legal limit. Imo then passed a ship on the left (the "wrong side" for passing) and was forced to stay in the opposite lane to avoid a tugboat that was pulling away from shore. This position put Imo facing Mont Blanc. While the Imo should have moved to the right, as Mont Blanc had the right of way, the ship instead stayed where it was, therefore causing an inevitable collision between the two.

Approximately five minutes after 9:00am, the Mont Blanc exploded, in what was the largest man made explosion of the time. The explosion was so powerful that everything within a mile and a half radius was completely obliterated. Parts of the ship were launched miles away from the site of the crash  and effects of the explosion were felt as far as 200 miles away. 2,000 people died and 9,000 were injured. 


(A part of the Anchor from Mont Blanc, thrown 2.5 miles from the crash site, is now a monument in the spot it landed) 

So where does Boston come in? 

News of the explosion traveled quickly, and despite an oncoming blizzard that would cut off access to Nova Scotia, Boston Mayor James Michael Curley sent a message to the U.S. representative in Halifax just hours after the explosion stating that Boston will await instruction on how to help. Boston was the first to respond to this tragedy, raising $100,000 for relief efforts just within the first hour of fund raising. Mayor Curley was also able to secure a $30,000 carload of army blankets from the government. Additionally, Boston sent a train of 30 of the city's leading physicians and surgeons, 70 nurses, a completely equipped 500-bed base hospital unite and a vast amount of hospital supplies. Total relief contributions from Massachusetts totaled over $750,000. The Boston Symphony Orchestra even performed a sellout benefit concert for Halifax the next week.



A year later, to show their appreciation, Nova Scotia sent a gift to Boston - The Boston Christmas Tree! In 1971 this gift became an annual tradition. Throughout the year, the "Christmas Tree Specialist" in the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources keeps an eye out for the perfect tree to send. Once the tree is found, the province holds a celebratory tree cutting ceremony and sends the tree off to Boston Common the next day with a parade in downtown Halifax (you can even follow the tree's journey via @TreeForBoston on Twitter and Facebook).


The 2016 Christmas Tree arrived to Boston last Friday and will be lit December 1st at the Boston Common Tree Lighting Ceremony and Skating Spectacular. Mayor Marty Walsh will host the event, which will also include refreshments, live music, and an ice skating show on Frog Pond, courtesy of the Skating Club of Boston. The event begins at 6:00pm and is free and open to the public :)


Thanksgiving 2016

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, November 10, 2016
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I'm sure many of you have already started planning for your holiday celebration. For many of our hosts, this year's Thanksgiving day meal will be shared with their international visitor! Thanksgiving is a holiday that is unique to the U.S. which also makes it a very interesting celebration for international visitors. As a host, you should do your best to expose your visitor to this cultural holiday, as it is a very special experience. Thanksgiving is not a religion based holiday and therefore each family has different ways of celebrating the day and enjoying different foods.





If you traditionally have a large Thanksgiving celebration, make your visitor feel included by introducing them to your friends and family members. It is also helpful to explain the holiday and your family traditions beforehand. This allows the visitor to have a better understanding of why Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, what the holiday means and what to expect of the day. It can be overwhelming for a visitor with lower English skills to be in a situation with a lot of people and rituals but not know what to do or what is happening.  You can also encourage them to make and/or purchase a dish or food item from their own culture to share with you and your family.

With Thanksgiving, comes Thanksgiving break and many students will have a brief vacation from school. This holiday weekend is a good time for hosts to spend time with their students and participate in fun Thanksgiving - related activities together. If you're not sure what to do with your student during Thanksgiving and their days off from school, here are some ideas!


Enjoy a Thanksgiving Meal
Thanksgiving would of course not be complete without the Thanksgiving feast! As I've said before, every family celebrates the holiday differently and serves different foods. However, no matter what you serve, your visitor will feel grateful to be included in your celebration and sharing a Thanksgiving meal together will be a memorable experience for both you and your visitor. If you feel comfortable, let your visitor help you prepare for the day! Bake a dessert together or show them how you cook the entree. The best part about making a lot of food for Thanksgiving is that you get to enjoy the leftovers the next day :) 

Go Black Friday Shopping!
Another Thanksgiving tradition I take part in every year is Black Friday. Maybe I'm crazy, but I actually look forward to getting up at 5:00am to join the frenzy of shoppers at South Shore Plaza. This website shows Black Friday deals for all your favorite stores. Black Friday can be a fun and new experience, but if  the idea of getting up when it's still dark out doesn't appeal to you there are other shopping opportunities this Thanksgiving weekend. A festive idea is to visit a holiday market, like the Local First Holiday Market in Somerville or the Christmas in New England store at Faneuil Hall.



Watch the Macy's Day Parade!
Watching the Macy's Day Parade on TV in an enjoyable activity for you and your visitor to share. I know in my own home, watching the parade has become a Thanksgiving Day Tradition. It could be really interesting for your visitor, too because perhaps they have never seen anything like it. The parade airs Thanksgiving Day at 9am on NBC! 

Visit Plimoth Plantation
Nothing is more Thanksgiving related than a trip to Plimoth Plantation. Visit the historical sight this Thanksgiving weekend and experience the holiday in the place where it began! An enjoyable (and educational) trip.



Watch a Football Game!
Many high schools in the Boston area have big football games on Thanksgiving. I know in my own home town it is a tradition for all the alumni to come back and watch the game on Thanksgiving Day. Bring your visitor to a game and cheer on your town together! Maybe you even have a football player or cheerleader in your family that you can support. Another option is to watch a professional football game on TV.  Here is a schedule of all the NFL games that will be airing this Turkey Day! 

Look at Holiday Lights! 
It might seem early, but I can assure you that Christmas lights will already be up in many neighborhoods right after Thanksgiving. Take your visitor on a tour of Christmas lights! Drive around different neighborhoods and admire the homes holiday decorations. You can also show your visitor an excellent (and free) display of holiday lights at Blink!, a light and sound show at Faneuil Hall. From November 20th through January 1st you can watch over 350,000 LED lights blink and dance to music from the Holiday Pops. The show runs daily beginning at 4:30 pm. 

Go Ice Skating! Right around Thanksgiving is when most of the city's outdoor skating rinks open for the winter season. Boston Common's outdoor skating rink, Frog Pond, is open to the public for skating and skate rentals beginning in mid -November. There are also many other indoor rinks in the city that offer public skating and skate rentals throughout the week, such as Steriti Memorial Rink in the North End and Simioni Memorial Rink in Cambridge. You can find a complete list of all the Boston area public skating rinks here 


Enjoy the holiday! 





Veteran's Day 2016

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, November 09, 2016
Veteran's Day (this Friday, November 11th) is a federal holiday to honor the brave men and women of the American armed forces who risk their lives to protect our freedom. Veteran's day celebrates all soldiers, of all branches of the military, during wartime or peace. The holiday's primary purpose, however is to thank living veterans for their courage and contribution to our national security. What began as Armistice day in 1919 (commemorating the end of  WWI) has grown into a holiday which honors military personnel of all wars and is celebrated throughout the United States with parades and public gatherings. Boston has its own special Veteran's Day celebrations...take a look at what's happening this weekend:

Veteran's Day Parade


Boston celebrates Veteran's day with not one, but two large parades in the city. The first Veteran's Day Parade begins at 1:00pm on November 11th at the corner of Boylston and Tremont Streets. The second Veteran's Day Parade (aka the Veteran's for Peace Parade) follows right behind it to pay tribute to Armistice Day, a day of peace. So where should you watch? Both parades march around Boston Common, along Boylston and Tremont Streets and on to City Hall Plaza and the front of Faneuil Hall, ending in front of the statue of Sam Adams where you can listen to various speeches, anti-war poetry readings, and music. The parades are composed of different veteran's organizations, high school ROTC groups, military units, honorary militias and marching bands.

Veteran's Day Sales


If you're a Veteran, many shops and restaurants will be offering sales and discounts to persons with a military I.D. If you are not a Veteran, a lot of sales occur Veteran's Day weekend that you can take part in too! Wrentham Village Outlets offers some of its biggest bargains on luxury brands as many items are discounted on top of their usual discounted price. The store is easily accessible too, with the Wrentham Village Bus shuttling to and from the city. Assembly Row (Orange Line : Assembly station) has Veteran's Day sales too! Typically 30% to 70% off of already discounted prices. A great way to get your holiday shopping done early without having to deal with Black Friday madness!

Ravioli??


Fun Fact: Ravioli is known as the traditional Veteran's Day food since President Woodrow Wilson invited 2,000 returning soliders to the White House for a ravioli dinner in 1918 (once upon a time canned ravioli was a trendy dish due to advances in commercial canning) Carry on this tradition by enjoying some ravioli (though hopefully not from a can) in The North End!

Your Hallo-weekend Schedule

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, October 27, 2016

Its almost Halloween! We hope your weekend is filled with crazy costumes and as much candy as you can eat. Monday is Halloween, so this weekend is all about being festive and getting in the Halloween spirit! There are a lot of exciting (and free!) events happening in Boston to ensure that you have a happy Halloween! Here are a few events to help you start planning your weekend of Halloween fun.             


Saturday: Halloween Pet Parade


Who doesn't love dogs in costume?? The Annual Halloween Pet Parade at Faneuil Hall Marketplace is the perfect Halloween event if you're someone that loves animals and would enjoy seeing them dressed up as characters.  If you have a pet at home (with a costume) you can enter them in the parade and costume contest! If you don't have a pet (or if they refuse to wear clothes) come to Faneuil Hall anyways to watch hundreds of Boston animals and their owners show off their Halloween best. Afterwards you can walk around Faneuil hall or the Harbor Walk (maybe grab some lunch, a Pumpkin Spice Latte, or more Halloween candy?) and see Christopher Columbus Park in its peak of fall foliage. 

Halloween Festival


The annual Halloween festival at Blackstone and Franklin park is back again with a full day lineup of fun events! Stop by from noon until three to enjoy activities like pumpkin decorating, face painting, costume contests (for humans and doggies) ice cream trucks, yoga class, scary stories, a haunted burial ground tour, live music, and craft making. This festival is a kid friendly event and is totally FREE - also easily accessible by the T :)! You can even be extra festive and arrive in costume.




October 30th is the final SoWa open market of the year, and end of the season will be marked by Boston's largest Halloween party! The day will feature your typical SoWa open market, with over 150 vendors, artisans, farmers, and food trucks, and additionally have festive Halloween activities for all ages. The special event will feature things like pumpkin painting, a live street musician, face painting, live music, and a costume contest (once again - for you and your pet!) The BPD will also be there letting you see the back of their cruisers (without having to be arrested!) Winter is coming...and if you haven't been to the SoWa open market this year, Sunday is your LAST chance until the spring. 

Enjoy the holiday! Don't forget to send us pictures of you and your visitors celebrating Halloween! You can also tag us in your Instagram posts with #homestay boston or @globalimmersions !  

The Homestay Experience

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, October 24, 2016

Living in a Homestay is a truly unique experience and the only way to really  learn about another culture and develop foreign language skills. Homestay is a full immersion in a new culture and therefore has certain advantages that private accommodations, such as an apartment or home rental, cannot provide. Such benefits include an insight into the daily life of a local family, an opportunity to practice a second language, and a chance to try typical foods of another culture.

A host attending a tailgate at Gillette Stadium with her Danish students

Global Immersions stands out as Boston's leading Homestay specialist, because we pride ourselves on ensuring that our visitors experience all of these opportunities that Homestay has to offer . In comparison to larger Homestay corporations, Global Immersions  is able to deliver a more personal experience, fostering a closer relationship with our hosts and clients. We strive for quality, and take more aspects into account when matching a visitor with a host family.  We want our visitors to have a full cultural immersion, which is why we certify that no other speakers of the visitor's native language live in the Homestay and require our hosts to communicate with their visitors in English. We take into consideration our visitor's preferences regarding conditions such as allergies, dietary restrictions, pets, smoking, heath needs, and location. We aim to make successful visitor placements by pairing visitors with hosts that share similar hobbies, interests, or personality traits. Global Immersions stands out from other Homestay specialists, because we work actively to help our visitors assimilate into a new culture and have a positive Homestay experience. Upon arrival we provide our visitors with the materials they need to be prepared to live in the home of another family. We offer group orientation sessions where we talk about the cultural differences the visitors will face in an American home and discuss what they should and should not expect of their Homestay and host family.

A host playing a game at home with her family and Danish visitors 

Our main focus as a Homestay provider is on our visitors Homestay experience. This means that we want our visitors to feel completely included in their host's daily life and totally integrated into the family as a whole. This fall, we were pleased to welcome over 163 Danish visitors from five different schools. These students from, Handelsgymnasiet Aalborg SaxogadeAalborg Handelsskole Haderslev Hadelsskole Viborg Gymnasium, and Ringkøbing Handelsskole, were in Boston attending classes at Bunker Hill community College and learning about American culture through their time in Homestay. Our hosts involved the Danish students in dozens of different activities, providing them  with countless memorable experiences and learning opportunities.

 

Danish students attending a hot yoga class with their host father


 Here are some fun moments that our hosts and Danish students shared together: 

  • We enjoyed American football games on TV, and listening to music together. We went to my sister's house in Winchester for dinners and had board game nights with everyone.
  • I took them to the Watertown Yankees Candle and I treated them all to frappes at Wild Willies. I also drove them to school three days.

  • We watched The Presidential Debate together

  • We had a great times together easting out at a restaurant and we also went to a children fundraiser at the Masonic Lodge in Melrose. They had a lot of fun with my kids.

  • We have a home in Maine, so we took them for the weekend. We saw the beautiful foliage, and took them to the Fryeburg Fair. We visited my mother's home and went to dinner together when it was my daughter's birthday. We also enjoyed watching TV together and just hanging out.
  • I teach Bikram Hot Yoga and the students came to a couple classes. They mingled with some great people, Doctors, Lawyers, Brain surgeon, cyclists, and the energy level was high. After class, the students and yoga students took a 40 minute long ocean swim. Afterwards, we toured Marblehead and hit Whole Foods for lunch.
  • We had dinner together each night and enjoyed talking about life in the United States and in Denmark. I took them to church with me, and we had brunch at a local restaurant. We went shopping at the South Shore Mall and at the supermarket. They were very helpful in the kitchen and enjoyed my cooking.
  • We attended a soccer game and went grocery shopping together. I also took them to a tailgate at Gillette. We had a blast!
  • We went to Revere beach and North Gate Mall
  • On Sunday, we took the students shopping at Legacy Place in Dedham and the following Saturday, we took them for dinner at Marina Bay in Quincy. They had a good time. Each evening, we shared the day's experience over dinner.
  • I took the girls to my church last Sunday and they were able to enjoy a true Black church experience. It was "Family and Friends Day" at the church and we also honored the women of the church who were 90 years and older. My grandson was also baptized that Sunday. The girls enjoyed my family at the gathering for my grandson at my home. I took the girls to the South Shore Mall and to the supermarket. They were extremely helpful to me in the kitchen. They mingled very well with my family and met three generations of my family members.
  • Went on a walk together to familiarize them with the neighborhood, we also went to the movies with my book club and talked about families, employment & education goals. we enjoyed having discussions about activities during the day, and comparing cultures. We went to grocery store to pick out their favorite foods, and I introduced them to the other foreign student in my home and they  chatted about their school programs.
  • We visited the Museum of Science and saw a film at the Omni 3D Theater.
  • The boys wanted to go to Taco Bell, as they had never been before. We also saw a high school football game at the Everett the football stadium and went to the Assembly Square Mall.
  • I took the girls to an All White Affair Birthday Party
  • We went to Dave and Busters
  • We visited Revere Beach
 
Danish students making sushi with their host family 
                      

It is our goal to create a positive Homestay experience for our hosts as well as our visitors. In order to continuously improve our services, we ask our visitors and hosts to evaluate their experience during the group program.  The feedback we receive shows us where improvements need to be made to enhance our programs and helps us gauge the satisfaction of our visitors. Here is just some of the many positive notes we received from the Danish students of our recent group programs.

"My Homestay helped me understand the culture of the country much better and it created new connections. "

"My overall experience was really fantastic! My family was so nice and helped me with everything. I will be back at [my host] family's house soon! Our friends loved her too! Our friends joined us on trips with the family."

"It was nice to experience new cultures from the inside and my host was the greatest!"

"Homestay is a very good way to learn about another culture. It was an amazing experience and our hosts were so nice."

Danish girls attending a white party with their host mom 

We also received fantastic feedback from the hosts of our Danish groups, who clearly enjoyed the time they spent with the students.

"These kids were great!!!! I loved them!! Great personality, friendly, fun, respectful, well rounded young men. I wish they were here longer!!"

"I really appreciate hosting the Danish students. The experience was a win/win. We both learned and had great continuous conversations about everything. I was very impressed with their interest and knowledge of U.S. Culture, History and politics as well as their concern for the global environment."

"I am thankful to Global Immersions for the great experience of hosting the Danish students. Granted, the Danish students were well mannered, educated, friendly, health conscious and overall positive happy people.   Global Immersions set the tone by competently securing every step of the students stay from arrival to departure. I thank you all at Global Immersions for doing the job correctly."

"Wonderful girls! We thoroughly enjoyed their company! Only complaint is that they couldn't stay longer!"

"We enjoyed the students from Denmark, they were very happy in our home. We all had dinner together and talked and laughed. They were fun."

"We were very, very, happy with the students we had. They were perfect guests, very fun and I miss them already."

"This was my first time have female students, and the experience was quite enjoyable. It was sad to see them go."

 

Danish boys visiting Revere Beach with their host dad     

Global Immersions is the leader in group Homestay programs. If you are interested bringing a group abroad to experience American life through Homestay please contact our coordinator 

                               


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