Building Bridges

At the end of August, we assisted Mahzaib and his wife move into his new home. Mahzaib, an international student
from Pakistan, is currently studying IT at the Victoria Institute of Technology.
Thanks to the NSW Government’s Temporary Crisis Accommodation Scheme to assist international students during
the pandemic, Mahzaib was eligible for free homestay for up to 20 weeks through Study Vision, an approved
accommodation provider for the program. With the generous support of the NSW Government, Study Vision
identified a friendly and caring homestay host, Angela, of Liverpool, to welcome Mahzaib and his family.
Matching homestay guests and homestay hosts requires patience and persistence. Australia is a favoured destination
for international students from across the globe. As good hosts, we respect and cater for the different cultural and
religious preferences of our special guests. We worked closely with Mahzaib to select the homestay that was the best
fit for him.
Homestay is so much for more than being a place to live; it is an authentic Australian lifestyle experience for
international students. It is also a chance for people of diverse backgrounds to meet and become lifelong friends.
Mahzaib and his wife are Muslims; Angela is a Christian. Living side-by-side, the three of them formed a bridge and
developed friendship and mutual respect. Ultimately, homestay is about integrating international students into the
wider community and enriching the lives of Australian hosts. We are delighted that our work has had such a positive
impact. Mahzaib’s story reminds us just how valuable our work is.