Mike & HeyJoung Millward have been hosting international students for around ten years. 

The Millward Family

Mike & HeyJoung Millward have been hosting international students for around ten years. Both have lived overseas and know how difficult it can be to settle into a new country, especially if you are a young adult. 

The family has hosted students from Saudi Arabia, India, Papua New Guinea, China and Japan. 

“Learning about our homestay students’ culture, language and religion has been a hugely rewarding experience for the whole family, “ says HeyJoung. “Our children now understand that what makes a person good or better is not their nationality but their personality.” 

“Sometimes we use body language, write things down, or use pictures. Nowadays we can use google translate if we are desperate!” 

The Millward children are aged 8, 10, and 12. HeyJoung says they often say that when they grow up they want to be an exchange student at an overseas high school or study at a foreign university. 

“Their whole world view has widened since we have had so many different homestay students. They still keep in touch with their homestay brothers and sisters overseas and are looking forward to visiting them. For our children, the world is not too big.” 

Mike says that communication can be an issue from time-to-time. “Sometimes we use body language, write things down, or use pictures. Nowadays we can use google translate if we are desperate!” 

“Our children now understand that what makes a person good or better is not their nationality but their personality.” 

Over the years there have been many memorable experiences says HeyJoung. However, one memory will stay with her forever. “We had a Saudi Arabian student who left us earlier than expected. He went back home, and then one evening he just showed up at our front door. We all screamed and hugged. We enjoyed having him back in our family and most of all I liked the fact he felt our home was his own home.” 

Family with homestay student

Millward Family with their current homestay student Ayuka Koga who is studying at IPU New Zealand