Couple opens home to international students on Christmas

On Monday, Westminster College international students Amannisa Sawuti (front) and Jen Nguyen talk about their time spent Christmas Day at Catherine Pesce's house.

On Monday, Westminster College international students Amannisa Sawuti (front) and Jen Nguyen talk about their time spent Christmas Day at Catherine Pesce's house. Photo by Mandi Steele.

For Catherine Pesce’s family, inviting students from around the world into their home on Christmas Day has become a tradition.

Pesce, academic assistance coordinator at Westminster College, has opened her home to international students at the college for about the last 10 years, having them share Christmas dinner at her table. This year, Pesce, her husband, Jeff Young, their two children and a few friends of the family had about 23 students join them.

Pesce said having the students celebrate Christmas with her family is “a great opportunity to give them a positive experience about America.”

“These are my students, and I love them,” she said. “The thought of them sitting there while they know their classmates and everybody else is home celebrating, it’s just very depressing.”

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