Aotea College will organise and oversee homestay accommodation for our international students.

Our Homestay Coordinator carefully places students with families who have interests which are similar to those of the students or who can support student interests.

What is a homestay?

It is your home away from home. You will be treated as a member of the family. You will have your own room and a supportive caring environment for you to live and study.

Living with a local homestay will give you the opportunity to experience New Zealand culture and the Kiwi life style firsthand. You will become a member of the family and improve your English through the immersive environment.

All homestays are vetted by the NZ Police.

What is a Kiwi family like?

There is no typical Kiwi family. Your host family may be a single parent household, a couple with young children or teenagers, a couple with no children or retirees.

Children are often involved in sports such as rugby, football, netball, basketball and Hockey or other extra curricular activities such as dance or Scouts.

Pets can be important members of the family, with cats and dogs being the most common.

Where are the homestays?

We try to keep our homestays within our usual school zone. Our students walk, ride bikes or catch the bus to school.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are host families selected?

Kiwi families who are keen to host an international student go through a rigorous safety check, our Homestay Coordinator reviews their application form, completes a police vet and then visits their home to check that they and the house are suitable.

Once they are part of our network the Homestay Coordinator matches students with a suitable host family using the information on both the students and the families application forms to match interests and hobbies.

Can I choose the host family myself?

No. We will try our best to match you with a host family that suits both of you.

To give us the best chance of this, please provide as much information about yourself as you can, so we can find a good match.

What if I have an allergy or dietary restrictions?

If you have dietary requirements or allergies, it is very important to let us know so we can place you with a family that can accommodate these. If we don't have a current host family, we will advertise to find one suitable.

There may be additional costs for dietary requirements.

What if I am not happy at my homestay?

If you are not happy at your homestay, you can talk with the international team, we can try to resolve the situation.

It always helps to talk about things early, rather than keep things to yourself. Most issues are resolved easily though sometimes we feel it is best to move you to a new homestay that would suit you better. When this happens we need to give your homestay two weeks notice.

If the matter is urgent, immediately call the homestay coordinator on the 24/7 phone.

What is provided by the host family?

The host family will provide all meals, electricity, internet, bed, drawers, desk and heating.

What will I need to pay for?

  • Your transport to and from school
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Personal spending money, for example if you go to the movies with friends or shopping.
  • If your family takes you on a holiday they may ask for a contribution from you to cover some extra costs. You can discuss this with our Homestay Coordinator if you have any concerns.