Family of the month

Family: Charmaine, Shane and Thomas
Homestay Since: 2001
Family Background: South Africa
Family interests / hobbies: Food, Craft, Art, Boxing, Golf, Martial Arts, Ice Hokey

1) Why did you decide to become a host family?

We became a host family to help a Japanese Homestay student who had been living next door with our neighbours to stay in Sydney when our neighbours moved to Melbourne. She had been like a family member anyway, so having her move in with us was easy. After we did the mandatory paperwork, the homestay organization asked us if we'd like to host other students, and so it began. That was in 2001. We have been hosting students ever since.

2) Which activities your family enjoy doing with the international students you host?

My work keeps me fairly busy, and now that I work for myself I am even busier, but I love to cook, so most of our activities are centred around food occasions. Most of our students come back to visit after leaving Homestay - either for dinner or Sunday breakfast and certainly for a farewell feast before they return to their home country. We also stay in touch with many of our students long after they leave us.