There are many challenges working internationally - staying healthy, eating sometimes unrecognizable foods, not getting lost while navigating a city foreign to you - but perhaps the greatest challenge is dealing with jet lag. There is a twelve or thirteen hour time...
Life is full of new beginnings - first date, graduation from school, marriage, first child. A significant new experience for me was my first trip to Asia. Getting off the plane at Narita airport in Japan after fourteen hours of flying time through thirteen time zones...
Five years ago my wife and I were asked if we would like to take part in the Canadian International Services homestay program by my wife Marianna’s co-worker. We pondered the idea and as many did, thought of the things that could go wrong. We knew nothing of the young adults we would be letting into our home. Were they well-behaved? Would they follow our house rules? Did they speak English? Would they get along and communicate well with our family? All these questions and more plagued us; we were uncertain, afraid of the unknown. We decided to give it a go and try it out; what did we really have to lose?
The first year we got a student, Nao-Hiro Tamura, who we were delighted with right away as this boy was open, spoke English very well, engaged in conversation, and almost immediately was like a member of the family. He happily partook in every one of our family events, shared his stories, and his life with us.
We had his friends from the program over on weekends and some nights, where they could get together with their friends and they all had fun. They spent time at friends’ homes as well, anything to make them comfortable in their stay here.
It is with great excitement that I am taking on the Director role for Canadian International Services. I have had the best possible mentor over many years: my father, Dennis Malone, who is the founding Director of CIS and continues to be the company’s most important advisor.
From the time I was a child, what I remember most about seeing my Dad at work was the way he listened – to clients, to homestays, or to simply anyone to whom he was speaking. His focus and his genuine interest in people made an impression on me, and has been the best example for me to follow. In the course of my graduate studies, I would come to learn about “active listening,” a skill that my father practices as a natural! His endless patience and dogged problem-solving has unquestionably influenced my own career path.
This is a time of transition for both of us: for my father as he hands over the legacy of his years of investment and entrepreneurship, and for me as I take over the reins. It is a challenge that will combine my interests and experience in international exchange, program management, education and youth development.
“I really enjoy the experiences gained in working within the CIS program. The students we teach expand our understandings of our own pedagogy, in working with a cultural background so distinct from our own."
“The program offers students an unforgettable opportunity to see a different part of the world, while developing their English language skills, as they experience Canadian culture through classroom activities, excursions, and interactions with their homestay families.”
"It is very rewarding for me, as an educator, to witness the growth in the students’ language skills over a short intensive period of time. The base of vocabulary they arrive to Canada with serves as a good testament to their English training in their own school system."
"I think the activities that are embedded within the program provide the students a solid means of showing much of the Canadian lifestyle, in terms of day-to-day recreation, but also other features that require the use of larger spaces, that are not as prevalent in their home country. These, in combination with the homestay experiences and dietary differences from home, provide the students with a truly well rounded experience."