Make your house a home away from home
Thank you for your interest in becoming a homestay with Host Families NZ
What is involved?
- Provide a safe and comfortable home environment
- Care for the student as you would for your own family
- Meet all relevant legislative requirements
- Fully comply with the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International learners) Code of Practice 2016
- Provide a private and furnished bedroom
- Provide utilities and laundry facilities
- Make meals available upon request
- Pass all necessary assessments, includes but not limited to police vetting, inspection, reference chect, etc
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can become a host family?
Host Families NZ welcomes any form of family who is responsible and able to provide a caring home environment to students and visitors.
There is no typical host family and each family at HFNZ is different and unique. Some families are single individuals, some are couples with young children or teenagers, whereas some families are couples with no children currently living at home.
If you are willing to provide a home away from home for students/visitors staying in New Zealand, and able to comply with the rules set up below, apply now!
How long does it takes to get my application approved?
Overall, it takes about 6 weeks.
The application process involves inspection, police vetting and evaluation. After we receive your application, we will arrange an inspection with you which include the assessment of the house, take photos of the room, interview and collecting the police vetting form from all households who are 18 years old and over. Once the inspection is completed, it normally takes 4 weeks to 8 weeks to get your application approved. This is mainly because the average Police Vetting takes about 4 weeks. During peak seasons, it may take up to three months to get your police vetting results.
Can I select which students stay at my home?
Unfortunately, you are unable to select a student. However, you are welcome to let us know your preferences. Our team will try our best to do the best match.
What is the age range of the students and visitors in homestays?
Host Families NZ accepts students/visitors who are over 14 years old to apply for homestay accommodation. Most of our students/visitors are aged between 16 to 20 years old.
There are exceptions for group bookings. Occasionally, Host Families NZ has groups aged between 8 to 14 years old. Normally, the students/visitors are with their team leaders or legal guardians.
How long does it take to match a student/visitor to a host family?
It depends on how many booking requests we receive when your room becomes available. Our peak seasons are January to March and June to August. If you can get your room ready two weeks before our peak seasons and contact our team as soon as possible, the chance for you to get a student is high.
How long will students and visitors stay at my home?
The duration varies from 3 days to one year. Most of the time, it depends on the purpose of their visit.
What do I need to provide for students/visitors?
The most important thing we would need our host families to provide is a warm family environment. Most of the time, it is the first time that our students/visitors travel to a new city or a new country. Your warmness and kindness will make them more relaxed and settled in well in a new environment.
Other than that, you would need to provide them with a fully finished room. This includes:
- A private room with a desk, a chair and a lamp
- Bed linen (sheets, pillow, and blankets) and towels
- Storage for belongings (such as a chest of drawers or closet)
- Wireless internet and reasonable use of electricities and water
- Laundry facilities
- TV in the common area
Do I need to provide meals for the guests? If so, how often?
We offer three meal options to the students/visitors. You can select any of them to offer:
- Full board: Breakfast, lunch and dinner every day
- Half board: Breakfast and dinner every day, breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekends and public holidays
- No meals (Please note this option is not available for guests under 18 years old)
Also, we require our families to provide seasonal fruit to the students/visitors before or after meals.
Will I need to offer transportation?
Generally, no, you are not required to provide transportation. Host Families NZ will try to match the student with a family at the most convenient location so the student can take public transportations to commute from/to school.
However, we require you to assist your students/visitors to get familiar with surroundings, such as the nearest bus/train stop and how to get to school.
During summer and winter vacations, Host Families NZ normally has groups coming which may require families to pick up or drop off the student to/from school. If you would like to take some short-term students and able to pick up/drop off the students, please let us know.
How much do I get paid for the homestay accommodation?
It depends on the student age, location required, room type, meal plans and any other special requirements. Host Families NZ will confirm the payment when we send a booking request to you.
Is there any household rules for the student to follow?
Yes. Each student will receive a homestay guideline from Host Families NZ. Click here to download the homestay guideline to the student.
What if the house is damaged by the student?
If there is any damage made by the student, report it and send a picture to Host Families NZ as soon as possible before the student’s departure date. Obtain a quote to repair the damage. We will send this information to the agent or school so that they can discuss the reimbursement with the student.
Host Families NZ encourages you to have your own insurance (house insurance/content insurance).
Please be aware that Host Families NZ is not liable for any damage that is caused by the student.
What if the student does not fit in my family?
Hosting a student/visitor in your home can be challenging. Our students/visitors are coming from all over the world and they may have a different way of doing things. What seems normal to you may not be normal to them. However, surprisingly, most of our families are getting along with the student. The key is communication. If you keep an open mind and communicate with your students/visitors closely, you will enjoy their company.
However, if you still feel uncomfortable after communicating with your students/visitors, please give us a call and we will assist you. If necessary, we can ask the student to move out by giving them a two-week notice.
If you have a specific question about being a host family that is not listed above, please email us at email@example.com or phone + 64 21 026 91882
Become a host family – it’s simple & free!
Step 1: Understand the responsibilities of becoming a host family
- Please read and understand the Host Families guidelines before submitting your application.
- Please also read and understand that you must comply with The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (The Code) and The Education (Pastoral Care of Domestic Tertiary Students) Interim Code of Practice 2019
Step 2: Apply Online
- Complete the online application form (at the bottom of this page)
- Apply the criminal record for all households who are over the age of 18. Here is the link to apply: https://www.justice.govt.nz/criminal-records/get-your-own/. Once you receive the result for all households, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and address.
Step 3: Homestay Inspection
- After we have received your application, we will contact you to arrange a home visit. During the home inspection, we will explain to you the responsibilities of becoming a homestay host, the payment process as well as answering all your enquiries.
Step 4: Homestay Approval
- We will let you know your application result once we receive the criminal records for all your households (18+) and your inspection report from one of our team members.
Step 5: Wait for a match
- Host Families NZ will match you with a suitable student as soon as your application is approved