The HOST Team have just returned from their annual conference: all the Staff and Trustees were there, and a good number of the Voluntary Regional Organisers.
The keynote speaker, Julie Zhu, from the staff of Leicester University, gave a fascinating insight into the life of an international student in the UK today - from application to a university, through the immigration process to arrival in a strange - and cold - new environment. The many adjustments students from overseas have to make - to their way of life, study methods, and above all to their expectations - made us realise how helpful and significant a visit to a friendly and caring host can be.
Workshops looked afresh at the crucial role of the Regional Organisers, and a presentation on various aspects of the work done in the HOST office brought everyone up to date.
Fun and laughter were not omitted from this get-together. Delegates enjoyed a good dinner, and a barn dance, to ensure a refreshing night's sleep in the comfortable rooms of College Court, Leicester. Everyone left re-invigorated and determined to make HOST the best it can be for both students and hosts in the year ahead.