Winston, Berkshire, England
Winston and Michaela have been a host family to overseas students arranged by HLI for more than 15 years. They live in a 5 bedroom detached house with garden located in Maidenhead, Berkshire quite close to the historic town of Windsor. During this time they have hosted and taught the English language to more than 150 students from more than 10 different countries and also provided many different activity programmes. During this time they have hosted and taught the English language to more than 150 students from more than 10 different countries and also provided many different activity programmes.
Both Winston and Michaela are qualified teachers. Winston has an extensive list of academic and teaching qualifications (B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.) which he used to great effect in his professional career working in the oil industry for BP. After his retirement he began this new venture of hosting overseas students on behalf of HLI. Michaela also has several academic qualifications (B.Sc., Ph.D) which she used in her professional career working in multinational companies. She branched out into a new career in Human Resources specialising in international relocation. She later worked part-time in a marketing role in the UK and also overseas prior to hosting HLI students with her husband, Winston.
Winston and Michaela
Winston and Michaela have really enjoyed meeting, entertaining and teaching students over 15 years from so many different countries, cultures, backgrounds and with often challenging requirements. Our students have varied from the very young (10) to some quite elderly people (80). The people we have met and entertained have been a real source of enjoyment for us along with the very wide ranges of ability and motivation to learn another language. The teaching programmes have varied from absolute beginner to advanced (Cambridge Certificate), which has required a flexible, individually-tailored approach to lessons.
We have been encouraged and stimulated by the development and improvement shown by the vast majority of our students many of whom have gone on to achieve very high educational standards and professional jobs with global companies. The many and diverse Activities programmes often requested by the students and organised by us have also provided great entertainment value and have been a source of great pleasure. The activities have varied from day trips to Windsor, Oxford, London for sightseeing and cultural visits to football practice, horse riding and tennis.
Winston’s hobbies are many and varied including; politics, economics, sport, travel, cooking and the internet. He likes to keep abreast of the latest developments in the world in many different fields of interest to him. He has also had some experience of living and working in other countries faced with the challenges of trying to learn and communicate in another language.
Michaela’s hobbies are travelling, cooking, reading, decorating, sewing, and watching films, drama and current affairs. She enjoys planning menus for the various different tastes of our students and we have earned a high reputation for the standard of our meals. Meals are prepared and cooked using fresh products to cater for a range of international dietary requirement and specific student needs. Michaela is fluent in German and has a good knowledge of French and Spanish which has often been of great value when explaining some more difficult things to our students.
Lakeside is a 5 bedroom detached house with a conservatory and garden. We have the choice of 2 rooms which we use for our students or sometimes we offer both rooms depending on the requirement and the length of the home stay. One room is a double bedroom overlooking Bray Lake and the other is a single room with a study table and TV/DVD player. Bedding and towels are provided for both rooms and often the students will have exclusive use of a private bathroom. Our students are encouraged to spend time with the family in either the kitchen, living room or conservatory rather than spending too much time alone in their room. They will have 24/7 access to WiFi anywhere in the house plus we have a good collection of DVDs for them to borrow and watch. We accept smokers who are prepared to smoke outside of the house.
Lakeside is located approximately halfway between Maidenhead (3 miles) and Windsor (4 miles) and we have a regular local bus service operating between the 2 towns with bus stops close to our house (5 minutes walk). The immediate area around Lakeside is predominantly residential within a lakeland setting. It is possible to walk around Bray Lake within 1 hour and there are lots of leisure activities available on the lake as well as many different walking and jogging areas including the banks of the River Thames and Bray Marina.
Maidenhead is a small market town for shopping with a very good cinema and leisure complex plus a train station which provides fast access to London, Paddington (25 – 40 minutes) and also to Reading (16 minutes) and Oxford (55 minutes). There are some famous
Berkshire villages in the area including; Bray, Marlow and Cookham which are accessible by public transport. Windsor is famous for Windsor Castle the home of the Royal Family for almost 1,000 years and which is open to visitors all year. Windsor is also good for souvenir shopping and there is the Theatre Royal, Windsor for cultural events. Eton College, Eton is just across the River Thames from Windsor and is also open to visitors. Runnymede, famous for the signing of the Magna Carta, is close to Windsor and there are frequent boat trips on the river from Windsor.
Swimming, horse riding, tennis, water sports, golf, horse racing, boat trips, rowing and Segway.