Families in Manchester are being invited to welcome Chinese students into their homes as 1,000 young people visit this summer to learn about life in the city.
Suman Education International, who are organising the two week exchange programme, are appealing for people interested in accommodating the children and broadening their knowledge of Chinese culture.
Students are aged between 12 and 16, and ideally will be matched with households with children of similar age and interests.
The children attend classes and enjoy trips out to landmarks in the north west and across the UK between 9am and 4.30pm, then return home in the evening.
The scheme has been running since 2004 and many of the host families have remained friends with students, says Lisa Cui of Suman.
“It’s fantastic for our Chinese students and, for our host families, it’s an opportunity to offer the children vital support during their stay and truly understand a different language and culture.
“For the children, to experience Manchester and visit our universities and museums, the Trafford Centre and Old Trafford, and eat fish and chips can be a once in a lifetime experience.
“We like the youngsters to stay in a typical family home so they can see what life is like here, living as locals, learning our expressions and accents in a home away from home.”
Each host is required to have two single or twin rooms available, be able to provide breakfast and evening meals and occasionally drop off and collect their guest from the Suman centre in Old Trafford.
They must live in the Greater Manchester area and speak English as their first language in the household. Each host will be assessed by Suman staff beforehand.
Families receive £18 – £20 each day for their hospitality and Lisa says the feedback she has had over the last 12 years about the students has been very positive.
“It’s lovely to hear about them enjoying activities with young people here and forging lasting friendships,” says Lisa.
“The families find the children very polite, well behaved and educated and respectful. They’re independent and helpful and adapt quickly to life here.
“And the students feel the same. They love life in Manchester, find the families warm and friendly and enjoy our sense of humour too.
“It really is a positive experience to share each other’s culture and something we hope more people will get involved with.”
To find out more contact Tynan Wang on 0161 641 1538 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Words: Rachel Spencer