In today’s post we are happy to introduce you to Clare who works as our Accommodation Manager. Clare works hard to place students into suitable accommodation including home-stays and student houses. Some of our students’ best experiences come from the time they spend with their home-stay families and house-mates, with Clare always trying to arrange a good combination of nationalities and age-groups under the one roof.
Clare, tell us about yourself. Are you originally from Byron Bay?
I grew up in Sydney and then moved down to the South Coast with my husband and daughter when she was 18 months old. She is now 15 and I have another daughter who is 13 and a 10 year old son.
We always holidayed in Byron Bay as a family and 5 years ago decided to move here permanently. My kids love the lifestyle here and so do I.
One of the BBELS student houses.
How long have you been working at BBELS?
I have been working at BBELS for 18months. I started helping out in the student houses and now I look after all the accommodation at BBELS. Before that I was raising my 3 children and before that I was a primary school teacher in Sydney’s west.
Inside one of the BBELS student houses.
What do you especially enjoy about working with the students at BBELS?
Because I have teenage daughters I feel that I can be a sort of mum to the younger students when their own is so far away. The most important thing for me is to make sure the students feel comfortable with their accommodation so they can get the most out of their study time at BBELS.
One of the BBELS home-stay families.
As the accommodation manager, what advice would you give a student who wants to study at BBELS and find a comfortable place to stay?
The most important advice I can give is if they are studying from September to March that they make sure they have booked a suitable amount of accommodation with BBELS. This is the busiest time in Byron Bay and accommodation is not easy to find. If they want to be close to town then the student houses are a great option but if they want to experience living with the locals then homestay is a perfect choice.
Inside a BBELS student house: kitchen and dining room area.
What are some things you’d recommend students do while they are here in the Byron Bay Region?
Surfing of course and experiencing our beautiful beaches. BBELS provides students with all sorts of wonderful extra-curricular activities that pretty much cover everything this region has to offer.