2 March 2018

Hosting international students runs in the family

For Richmond local Vicki Maxwell, hosting international students is a family affair. Her parents and grandparents hosted students while she was growing up, and now Vicki and her sisters are carrying on the family tradition.

Front left: Dew, 17 from Thailand is on the left, and Kaho, 17 from Japan in the

Front left: Dew, 17 from Thailand is on the left, and Kaho, 17 from Japan in the middle with Vicki on the right, and her children in the background.

Over the last three years, Vicki and her husband have welcomed three international students into their family while they studied at Nelson’s Garin College.

These international “big sisters” – Thai, Japanese and German nationals – have played an important role in introducing Vicki's two children to new cultures.

“We haven’t travelled much internationally, so it’s a great way for the kids to be exposed to different cultures and new languages,” said Vicki.

“The students have each had a real impact on the kids, they miss them when they go back home. Though they do keep in contact through Skype, email and Snapchat.”

"It’s a nice example to set for the kids – to care for other people, to share your home.”

During their time in New Zealand the students have joined the Maxwell family for birthdays, holidays and trips out of town.

Vicki has had international students join her family all her life. Both her parents and grandparents hosted students while she was growing up, and are still in touch with a number of them today. Vicki’s parents were even invited to one student’s wedding in China as ‘guests of honour’ – a title that acknowledged the important role they had played in the student’s life. Vicki and her sisters are now happy to carry on the family tradition.

“Hosting students brings a different element to our family, which we all value,” said Vicki. 

“I also think it has made me a more giving person. It’s a nice example to set for the kids – to care for other people, to look after someone else and to share your home with them.”

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