Homestay Experience: The Host Parents’ Perspective

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International students comprise a significant proportion of post-secondary students in New Zealand, with those from the People’s Public of China forming the biggest group. One of the accommodation options is to stay with a local family, at least at the beginning of their sojourn. A reasonable volume of research has been conducted to explore the experiences of international students in the homestay situation. These studies have highlighted a number of issues these students face. However, research into the topic from the perspective of the homestay hosts is comparatively scant.

The study reported here attempts to help bridge this gap. We used a qualitative approach to gather information from homestay parents in New Zealand who had hosted international students. The host parents were interviewed in depth to find out what their experiences were and how they felt about them. Analysis reveals a number of major themes. The findings are discussed, within an intercultural communication framework, and compared, where applicable, with those obtained from research focusing on students. Implications for host families, students, and homestay providers are outlined.


Keywords: International Students, Homestay, Hosts
Stream: Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Nittaya Campbell

Senior Lecturer, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato
Hillcrest, Hamilton, Waikato Region, New Zealand

Nittaya Campbell (DPhil) teaches business communication, public relations writing, and intercultural communication at the Department of Management Communication, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, New Zealand.

Ref: D08P0333