40 years hosting students… and counting!

40 years hosting students… and counting!

Flo Allaire knows how to make people feel at home. Since 1984, she has been hosting with St Brelade’s College, welcoming students from all around the world!

Students young and old come to the island to study English and as part of the package they opt to stay with local residents. Flo and her late husband, Maurice decided to try this out in the early 80s and she hasn’t stopped since. Hosting has changed a lot in that time but she still enjoys the experience as much as she did back then.

Through the years Flo has hosted mainly European students on short stays of a week or two but has on occasion hosted students for longer periods or students from far flung places such as Japan and Saudi Arabia. And it doesn’t always end when the students leave, Flo still receives Christmas cards from students who stayed years ago and she enjoys hearing stories about them having babies and going through other big life events.

Flo loves to host and the students love to stay with her. It can get emotional too, her most recent students shed a tear as she drove away! Students who’ve stayed with her in the past, have often opted to stay with her again when they return and one Spanish guest recommended her to siblings and cousins, all of whom stayed with her for years and years after when they studied at St Brelade’s College.

There have been many amusing moments over the years. Flo recounts hosting two Germans and a Spanish student at the same time and having funny moments trying to teach the Spanish student to say ‘crisps’ over the two week period. This proved difficult however and he went home still saying ‘crips’ to everyone’s amusement. Another fond memory was when she hosted a foreign student for 3 months who she played scrabble with most nights. He beat her repeatedly in English!

With 40 years’ experience hosting, Flo has plenty of good advice to impart to new hosts. One tip is to cook a big pasta dish on the first night, then “go with the Flo” (pun intended!). She takes students to the shop sometimes or just asks what food they like, pizza and chips is fine sometimes. Choice is important – you don’t want to give them something they don’t want or waste food so communicating is important. By giving them rolls for lunch, they can choose if they want one or two and select a filling.

In 2016, Flo & Maurice were chosen as the St Brelade’s College Hosts of the Year, in appreciation of their hard work and warm welcome. Hosting is something Flo enjoys and this is apparent to students.

Everyone at St Brelade’s College is so grateful for all that Flo has put in to hosting over the years. We hope she continues to host for many years to come!

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