Being a host family….by Sylvie Lauden

Being a host family for American students was, at first, a financial necessity, resulting from a divorce and redefinition of material conditions, but it has become an art of life…

I live in a big apartment in the center of Paris, in the 2nd arrondissement, with my three children (Margaux, 19 years old, Gabrielle, 17 years old, and Tanguy, 13 years old) who live with me alternate weeks, and we also own an Australian shepherd, Achille. I have been hosting EDUCO students for the past 2 years. Our first experience was difficult, but since then, our students have been enchanting.

I believe that if we accept our choice with joy, confidence and simplicity, it is a gift that we offer ourselves and our family.

The students, both boys and girls, whom we have hosted, have adapted to our life-style incredibly easily, and they have given us insight into other cultures, American, Colombian, Haitian, according to their family origins, to their travels, and they have given us occasion to laugh joyously and have been a precious help in the apartment.

They have also introduced us to a more intimate culture, their families, and I have had the happy opportunity to meet the parents, the sisters, the boyfriends and girlfriends of my students, who with warmth and simplicity have dined in our house and have invited us in turn.

Personally and professionally, I am invested in the coaching and personal development of young people and education, and on these subjects I have had passionate and fascinating conversations with my EDUCO students. Their lively input has been a precious resource.

In addition, I am very grateful to them for giving us this opportunity to reinstate and honor the ritual of the family dinner, which is now often a festive occasion.

And because being a host family is also an adventure, with its anecdotes, we were very happy when two of my American “children”, whom we hosted successively, fell in love when they met here in Paris in my house, and they form a happy and united couple now they have both returned to the US.

Welcoming someone into your home is a marvelous decision when it is your choice.

Sylvie Lauden has hosted EDUCO students since 2009 and has recently created her own coaching company: Alterethic.