Critical Hospitality Symposium, Critical Hospitality Symposium II: Hospitality IS Society

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Exploring the role of hospitality in New Zealand migrant students’ experiences: Transitioning from international students to New Zealand residents/citizens.
Ashlee Li

Last modified: 2018-07-02


Introduction or Background – I am a Master of International Hospitality Management student who is currently starting my thesis at AUT.  My personal experiences in the transition from an international migrant student to a citizen in New Zealand has resulted in my interest in studying this phenomenon. This paper will outline the background and research aims for my thesis.

With significantly increased numbers of migrants entering New Zealand over the last few years, interest around migrant experiences have grown.  Research has looked at issues including migrant exploitation, skill shortages and housing (Anderson, & Tipples, 2014; McLeod & Maré, 2013; Searle, McLeod, & Stichbury 2015; Stinger, 2016). With international education being New Zealand’s fourth-largest export earner, research regarding migrant student experiences would be timely. The paper will outline how this study will explore the experiences of New Zealand student migrants’ transitions from international students to New Zealand residents/citizens. The presentation will show how research aims to use a hospitality lens, including Derrida’s concept of conditional and unconditional hospitality to illuminate the topic and how this research will aim to gain a broad understanding of the student migrants’ experience in New Zealand. The paper will outline how the findings of this study will aim provide meaningful information to support the planning of future immigration policies, particularly within the international education sector.

The presentation will show how the research will apply the combination of autobiographical narrative plus in-depth, semi-structured interviews as methods. Finally, the paper will outline these initial research questions and seek feedback from the conference audience: What insights can the application of Derrida’s conditional/unconditional hospitality lens bring to the experiences of migrant students transitioning into New Zealand citizens?  How does the migrant student transition experience reflect aspects of: host/guest transaction; domestic discourse; commerce; inclusion/exclusion; ‘laws’; performance; politics of space; type and sites; and social and cultural dimensions?


Anderson, D., & Tipples, R. (2014). Are vulnerable workers really protected in New Zealand? New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations (Online), 39(1), 52.

McLeod, K., & Maré, D. (2013). The rise of temporary migration in New Zealand and its impact on the labour market. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Retrieved from

Searle, W., McLeod, K. & Stichbury, C. (2015). Vulnerable Temporary Migrant Workers: Hospitality Industry. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Retrieved from

Stringer, C. (2016). Worker exploitation in New Zealand: A troubling landscape. Auckland, New Zealand: University of Auckland.

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