As April quickly approaches, GNS is getting ready to host the Young Round Square Conference
for 12 to 14-year-olds from April 30 to May 4. With this conference, many delegates from around the globe will be headed to GNS to take part.
Visiting delegates will stay with GNS families, who will host hopefully two or more Middle School delegates. It’s not only an excellent opportunity for visiting students but for host families. From past experiences, many GNS students said the relationships they built with their hosts has been a highlight of their experience when attending a conference.
Helena Mundstock ’22, attended the Round Square Regional Conference of the Americas 2019 in Lima, Peru, and said she still has a relationship with the family that hosted her.
“I got close to them, they were nice, and we are still friends," she said.
Helena felt she got more out of her experience by being hosted by a family, as opposed to just staying at a hotel. She felt she was fully able to experience the culture and life in Peru.
“It was great. I didn’t feel like a tourist or an outsider," she said. "If you are staying in the hotel you don’t get the local or insider view on everything. We did what everyone else did that lived there.”
With GNS families now having the opportunity to host Round Square delegates, Helena says it’s a good opportunity for others to be ambassadors for Victoria and the school while getting the added benefit of learning about new cultures.
“I think it would be nice to teach people how we live our lives, but also they will be able to bring some of their own cultures with them, so you get something new out of it as well,” she said.
Kaya Wende ’20 also attended the 2019 Round Square Regional Conference, her host family took in herself and a girl from Georgia, United States.
“It was really fun,” she said. “It was nice because the routine that they go through, the beginning of school, how to get to school and all of that is different from here.”
Not only did Kaya get to experience the cultural differences in foods, but she also saw everyday living differences, including a lot of people travelling farther distances to go to school. Being able to live with a host family, Kaya said she was able to get to know the country more.
“Everyone was so sweet and so kind, even though they were strangers,” said Kaya. “Just seeing the actual attitudes and making connections was a lot easier.”
Faye Dryden ’23 also had an opportunity to stay with a host family when she went to the Young Round Square Conference of the Americas in Colombia.
“It was a really good experience because you got to experience what it’s like living there and making new relationships with people there,” she said. “ We also had a host family day where you go and do activities with your host family. It was really fun to see what kind of foods they have and what they do daily.”
Having a host family was beneficial for Faye, as she said a highlight for her was making those connections with the people she stayed with.
“Building a better relationship with them and then having those connections. I still communicate with my homestay family,” Faye said.
GNS families now have the exciting opportunity to be host
s themselves to delegates who come to the Young Round Square Conference. This will not only make an impact on their lives, but help make lasting memories for RS delegates from around the world.
If you want to take advantage of the amazing opportunity to host students, please contact the Middle School Round Square Coordinator, Ms. Kim Waugh at email@example.com. The request to be a conference host is not just limited to Middle School students and their families, but is a request being made across the entire GNS Community.