History of the International Hospitality Network - Trish Burns AM
In 1982, the International Hospitality Network was formally inaugurated within AMASC. Over the last 25 years, many alumnae have enjoyed making links with each other by giving and receiving hospitality. Our family has hosted over 50 alumnae during this time. In fact currently I have Eri Akimoto from Tokyo staying for a couple of weeks whilst she is enrolled in an English course and earlier this year I enjoyed hosting Nicky Taylor East from Malta.
My son, Richard, had a wonderful visit with Ana & Vicky Drisaldi's family in Buenos Aires, Argentina several years ago and we have loved having Ana and her friend, Anabel, as well as Vicky and her friend, Guarda here in Sydney at separate times. I have loved having the sons of friends of mine in Japan and France also spend time here with our family several years ago.
The best time to receive hospitality is when you are in your early 20's and traveling the world; I think the best time to give hospitality is when you have a young family. The interaction between children and a guest is wonderful.
You may not be able to offer homestay hospitality, but many young alumnae can offer to show those traveling their city and introduce them to their friends.
The philosophy behind the development of international hospitality links within the world-wide Sacre Coeur alumnae families is to give those traveling the opportunity to meet the people of a country ... to share thoughts, ideas, ideals, cultural similarities and differences .. to broaden their own and others' horizons.
If we look at the true meaning of sharing, hospitality, international communication and exchange , we can see their values in developing relationships and understanding - self understanding as well as understanding of others.
Each country has different hospitality to offer -- some are able to offer accommodation, others day-only hospitality, some offer student exchange programs and possibly au pair opportunities. The word "hospitality" does not necessarily mean having guests staying in your home. It is used in the widest possible sense. It means whatever a country wishes to offer: The basic ingredient of the "hospitality network" is to give others the opportunity to meet others of a different country, to be able to exchange ideas, to listen to others' views, attitudes to life, etc. It is by these "exchanges of thought" that we learn to understand each other more, to pick up nuances not discernable in correspondence ... to develop greater understanding of others and ourselves.
Your National President has the list of the Hospitality Contacts of the National Alumnae Associations and, where supplied, an outline of the type of hospitality each association offers. Situations change from time to time and it is recommended that before leaving home, the travelers write ahead to make arrangements. This gives the host country time to arrange hospitality and give guidance as to what can be offered at that particular time.
Where a hospitality contact has not been nominated by a National Association, the National President is listed. This could mean that this country is not in a position at this time to offer hospitality but it would be in order for you to write to the National President to enquire if it could be arranged for you to meet alumnae if you are visiting their country.
In offering you opportunities of this Hospitality Network, I strongly remind you that it is not an inexpensive holiday camp network and therefore not be treated as such. What is being offered is a unique opportunity to share our internationality and for the guest to give of herself as well as to receive. Naturally interest, enthusiasm and good manners are expected of anyone wishing to link into this network.
Wonderful hospitality has and is being given continually by and to our alumnae through this Sacre Coeur network and hopefully those who receive hospitality now will be able to offer it to others in the future.