Catherine Harding, Local CoordinatorON, Guelph

Catherine Harding, Local Coordinator

As a homestay coordinator in Guelph, Ontario, I work with Rustann Steele-Yeo to support the host families of incoming students who are participating in MLI Homestay’s group and AYP programs.

 I’m proud to call Guelph my home!  Having raised my two sons here, I know this city has a lot to offer throughout the four seasons, including amazing sports and recreation, cultural events, festivals, history, and adventure. Cheering on the Guelph Storm hockey team, going to concerts at the River Run Centre, antique hunting at the Aberfoyle Flea Market, shopping in the quaint downtown shops, and canoeing from the Boat House are some of my favourite local activities.

 I have background coordinating homestay arrangements in my community and have also enjoyed hosting wonderful guests from Japan and the Basque Country of northern Spain. As a certified teacher, I’ve taught English as a Second Language to students of all ages and levels, including teenagers from Baika High School in Osaka, Japan, who had come with MLI to Guelph to improve their language skills and understanding of Canadian education before transitioning to schools across the country. In addition, I’m an occasional teacher and familiar with all the Guelph high schools. My goal is to ensure that our host families and their visiting students share many happy memories together.

What I Love about MLI

MLI and I share a similar philosophy: “A stranger is only a friend you haven’t met”. Growing up in a large family, I was instilled with this belief. I put it into action when I was selected as a Canadian delegate to the Children’s International Summer Village in Washington, D.C. This was a life-changing event for me, and it spurred my interest and appreciation of other cultures, travelling, and learning other languages. I encourage everyone to connect with “strangers”; it’s a great way to make your life – and someone else’s life – much brighter.

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