Experience an authentic Kiwi lifestyle

Homestays are a popular form of accommodation for students and visitors, especially for those who want to improve their English and experience New Zealand culture. It is a great way to settle down in a new country and get to know the surroundings. We pride ourselves on carefully matching students and visitors to their ideal host families by providing each party with a detailed profile. You can feel safe and secure knowing that all host families are interviewed and police screened.

What can you expect?

  • Welcoming family environment
  • Reference families with police checks
  • Laundry availability
  • Reasonable use of internet, water, and electricity
  • Great value – affordable
  • 24/7  emergency support
  • Breakfast and dinner on weekdays
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekends and public holidays



They provided me a wonderful host family. My host family was very nice and generous. They showed me lots of beautiful landscape in Auckland. The food was tasty, and everything was perfect.


It has been a great experience living in new Zealand, the family that i have been living with is one of the best and i thank the nz host families for setting me up with them. The rules and guidelines were well explained and transparent. I highly recommend nz host families to any one who is a student looking for accomodation.


Thank you Host Families NZ for making my time here so unforgettable!! I had a real kiwi experience with my host family. I couldn’t imagine having a better family, which was so welcoming and made me feel like a real family member.

Types of Homestay

Standard Homestay

Homestay Plus 
Private bedroom
Bed linen 
Desk and chair
Storage for belongings 
Reasonable use of electricity, water and internet provided
Shared bathroom with host families and students
Shared bathroom with one other student 

The Application Process

Complete the Application

  • Please read and understand the homestay guideline
  • Fill out and submit the online application

Receive and Accept Quote

  • Once we receive your application, we will contact you and provide a quote
  • If you are satisfied with the price, we will send an invoice for you to make payment

Make Payment

  • You may pay by either international transfer or credit card, which must be specified in your application

Host Family Confirmation

  • Once we receive your payment, we will search for a host family that best suits your preferences and will notify you when we find a match


What is a homestay?

Homestay is a popular form of accommodation provided to international students. It is a great way to settle in a new country, to learn a new culture, and practice and improve English at home. In New Zealand, each family or household can host up to 4 international students.

The host family will provide you with a private bedroom, a bed, study desk, chair, lamp and somewhere to put your clothes. Beddings will also be available for you to use, however, you are welcome to bring your own linen.

Personal thing such as toiletries and shampoo are the student’s responsibility.

What does a typical New Zealand family looks like?

New Zealand is a linguistically and culturally diverse nation. It is a country made of people from diverse nationalities, religion, social and finance statics. Therefore, each family is unique and has their own way of doing things. Although it may differ from what you use to, most of the students in the past find New Zealand families friendly and easy to get along with.

In New Zealand, a homestay environment is not limited to a traditional family structure – mother, father and siblings. Family types such as sole parents, couples with and without children, and people living alone also very common.

New Zealanders are informally known as “Kiwis”. So, most Kiwi families are pet lovers and it is very common for them to have dogs or cats.

Respect and manner are very important to Kiwis. Please remember to say “Please” and “Thank you” at all times.

What are the benefits of living with a host family?

Living in a homestay is a wonderful opportunity to get exposure to a new culture and lifestyle. It is safe, affordable, and convenient accommodation with a family that is familiar with the country. You will have a chance to interact and participate in family activities making it feel like a home away from home. The relationships that you build in your homestay are rewarding and unforgettable.

Can I choose which family I am going to live with?

Unfortunately, you are unable to select a host family.

When you apply, we will ask for your accommodation requirements and our team will match a suitable family for you.

How early do I need to apply?

We recommend you to apply at least 4 weeks prior to your arrival.

However, if you have any emergency bookings, please email us at admin@hostfamilies.co.nz. Our team will try our best to assist you.

What is provided by the host family?

Your host family will provide you with:

  • 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)
  • Bathroom
  • Wireless internet
  • Laundry facilities
  • TV in common area

Any other personal items are not included, such as toiletries, public transportation expense, medical expenses, insurance and etc.

Do I need to arrange my own transportation on my arrival?

Host Families NZ can book an airport transfer for you on your arrival. Please let us know your flight details.

If you prefer to make your own way to your homestay,  please inform us about your arrival time so we can make sure your homestay is at home to welcome you.

Are there house rules that I need to follow?

Yes, please click here to find out more details.

How can I get to school?

You will need to take public transportations to get to school. Your homestay will help you to get familiar with surroundings such as showing the nearest bus/train stop and let you know which bus/train to take.

Will my host family provide meals to me?

It depends on what meal plan you requested. There are three options you can choose from:

  • 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)

What kind of food can I expect in my homestay?

In New Zealand, a typical Kiwi breakfast is often a help-yourself meal with cereal or toast and a cup of a hot drink. Your homestay will show you which food or ingredients are used for breakfast meals. You can simply prepare your own breakfast, eat and then tidy up once you finish

Lunch on weekends and public holiday is either a help-yourself meal or prepared by the host family. Lunch in New Zealand is often a cold meal like a sandwich with bread, cheese, ham and salad.

Dinner is the main meal of the day in New Zealand households. It is eaten after 6 pm and often includes meat or fish, vegetables or salad with rice, bread, potatoes or pasta.

What if I have allergy or any other special dietary requirements?

You will need to specify whether or not you have special requirements or concerns that need to be considered when we search for a host family. We have numerous host families throughout New Zealand and will provide you with accommodation that meets your requests.

If a special dietary requirement (vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, only Halal food, etc.) or allergy (peanuts, shellfish, soy, etc.) is specified, you will need to pay an extra fee.

Will there be other participants living with the host family?

It is possible that you will be living with other international students during your stay. In New Zealand, each family can host up to 4 international students.

What if I do not fit in my homestay?

Living with a family you do not know can be challenging. New Zealand is a diverse country and our families may come from a different background. Therefore, a lot of things may differ from what you are used to.  What seems normal to you may not be normal to them. However, surprisingly, most of our students are getting along with our host families. The key is communication. If you keep an open mind and communicate with your homestay closely, you will enjoy their company.

However, if you still feel uncomfortable after communicating with your homestay, please give us a call or email us. Our team will do our best to assist you. If necessary, you will need to give two-weeks notice to your homestay and we will look for another homestay for you. Please note, a replacement fee may be charged.

Do I need to pay if I cancell my booking?

Yes. Below are our Refund and Cancellation Policy:

When written notice of cancellation is received,

  • 8 (+) Days prior to commencement of the Homestay, HFNZ will retain the Placement Fee and agrees to refund the balance of the Homestay fees paid, within 14 days of receipt of written notice of cancellation.
  • 7  (-) Days prior to commencement of the Homestay, HFNZ will retain the Placement Fee and 1 week’s Homestay fee, and agrees to refund the balance of Homestay fees paid, within 14 days of receipt of written notice of cancellation.

Apply Now!


By submitting the application form, you are declaring that you agree with the homestay guideline