For new immigrant families, coming to a new place can be the most challenging time in their lives. Once here, many newcomers want to feel included in their new community. Being invited to dinner with a Nova Scotia family is a gesture that can make a newcomer family or international student feel welcome and optimistic about the new society they've chosen to become a part of. Having someone over for dinner may see like a small gesture, but it can have a huge impact on the experience of a newcomer to Nova Scotia. This kind of kindness can make a difference to Nova Scotia's out-migration of talented newcomers to other parts of Canada.
It is easy to find things to talk about: your kids and their schools, popular sports and hobbies in their country, what it’s like to see snow for the first time, what made a family pack their bags and step onto a plane to Canada, what kinds of holidays and food are popular where they come from, what kind of things do they enjoy about Nova Scotia, answering their questions. Why turkeys? Why cranberry sauce? What’s your family’s Canada story of coming to Canada.
Most guests will have a good grasp of English and won’t have any trouble with dinner conversation with your family. Some new immigrants and families might still be learning. We will check with you about your level of comfort before we pair you with someone whose English language-skills are limited. Even if they are, all that should be required is being patient and willing to speak slowly and repeat if necessary.
We would expect the host family to provide the main meal, but if the guest family would like to contribute a side dish or specialty, all the better. When you’re matched, you can discuss this directly.
We match guest and hosts with shared characteristics: location and availability, ages of children, languages spoken, and where possible, shared interests. Or, if you'd prefer to have a couple of international students over for dinner, we can arrange that too!
Children are the best at breaking the ice! If you have children, we'll match you with a family with kids as close in age to them as possible. And you'll get a short profile of your matched family, including the number and age of children.
Generally most guests are pleased to share whatever you have on your menu for Thanksgiving dinner. Some families may have specific dietary restrictions (i.e. halal meat or vegetarian) and some may not drink alcohol. We will match accordingly or help you to accommodate them.