Become a host family

Aotea College has many excellent families who provide a New Zealand home to our international students.

We are always happy to accept applications for families who are interested.

If you are interested in hosting an international student in your home, please email international@aotea.school.nz and our Homestay Coordinator will be in touch or complete the below application form.

Why host a student?

Hosting a student is an enriching experience for both yourselves and the student. You'll be able to learn and live with a person from another culture and accept and appreciate their differences.

What is expected from host families?

We ask our host families to:

  • Involve their student in their life, spend time talking with their students to give them confidence speaking in English and treat them as a member of the family.
  • Be caring and understanding, patient but able to set boundaries
  • Show their students how to get to and from school (e.g. where the bus stop is, how to access the bus schedule, how to walk to school).
  • Provide three meals a day and snacks (including a packed lunch during the school week).
  • Provide a fully furnished bedroom including a desk, heating and storage for belongings (such as a chest of drawers or closet)
  • Provide bed linen (sheets, pillow, and blankets) and towels
  • Provide wifi

What does it mean to be a member of the family?

Families should include students as they would any member of the family

  • Assist them getting to school, or to extra curricular interests.
  • Spend time together in the weekend, doing a little sightseeing, this does not need to be costly, head to the beach or go for a hike.
  • Students should be shown how to do their laundry, take part in chores as other members of the family do.
  • Assist students with their school work and their overall wellbeing. Let the international department know if you have any concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I select my student?

No. The Homestay Coordinator will do their best to create a placement that best suits each party’s needs. When we find a potential match, we will contact you and discuss the details of their stay.

You can you can make specific requests about things like gender or nationality.

How long will my student stay for?

Our students are here for anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 years.

You can advise how long you would like to have a student for.

What happens if a student wants to change homestay or if we can’t host the student anymore?

If there are any issues that arise where a student wants to change homestay or the host family is experiencing problems, they will inform the homestay coordinator and then this will be discussed with the host family and student.

We will go through any issues and try to resolve the problem, students will change host families if the issue cannot be resolved.

If you cannot host a student anymore, you will need to advise the homestay coordinator as soon as possible so we can arrange another family to have the student.

Do we receive payments for being a host fmaily?

Homestay families receive a weekly payment to go towards the expenses of having another person in their family.

What are we expected to pay for?

Host families are paid a weekly reimbursement to cover the costs of hosting the student. This covers their food, power, internet etc

Also:

  • If you are going out for a meal or getting takeaways as part of a normal family meal, you would pay for their meal too.
  • If you are going out for a family outing, for example to the Zoo, you would pay for their entry.

What happens if we have to go away for a night/s?

If you need to go away for a night without your student, you will need to let the homestay coordinator know as soon as possible. We can place them with another homestay for that period of time as all students under 18 years old need to be supervised overnight.

What happens if we have to go away for a holiday?

If you are heading away on a family holiday we encourage you to take your student, if they don't wish to join you then we can arrange alternative accommodation with another homestay.

You can ask for a contribution from your student to cover some extra costs. You can discuss this with our Homestay Coordinator if you have any concerns.

What can we do about the language barrier?

Be patient with your student.

They may have quite limited English to start with but the more you talk to them faster they will learn.

The International Department is here to support you both.

Will I need to provide transportation?

The students will make their own way to school using bus (they pay for their own fare), bike or walking or if you like, you can drive them.

If they are doing any extra-curricular activities and need transport, you are asked to treat them like you would your own child.

Often they can get a ride with someone doing the same thing and this may be organised by the student.