Experience Comfort and Warmness

We pride ourselves on carefully matching students and visitors to their ideal homestay families by having a dedicated team and advanced booking system. You can feel safe and secure knowing that all approved host families are interviewed, police screened and house checked.

What can you expect?

  • Welcoming home environment
  • Reasonable use of utilities is included
  • Laundry available with no extra charge
  • One of the most affordable accommodations among students and visitors
  • Best way to settle in a new country or city
  • 24/7  emergency support
  • Meals available upon request
  • Safe families with police checks and references

Who should apply?

Homestay is a popular form of accommodation provided to students and interns. It is a great
way to settle in a new city, new country, or simply a new environment. We accept applicants aged between 15 to 35.

Experience an authentic Kiwi lifestyle

Homestay is super popular among international students or interns, especially for those who are interested in improving their English at home or getting to know a new culture.

Enjoy home comfort when studying in a new city

Enjoy your own space? Missing home comfort when moving into a new environment? Stay with a homestay and you will soon fall in love with your new journey.

Be loved by your host parents

It is very challenging for students at a young age to move to a new environment. Regardless you are an international student or a domestic student, come and live with our caring and responsible hosts. You will soon get familiar with the new surroundings.

Different types of homestays

We offer different forms of homestay to suit the various needs of our applicants. Whether you are looking for somewhere affordable, convenient, or somewhere that meets your specific needs, come and talk to us. Our friendly team will guide you through the process.

Click below to hear from our team, our lovely hosts, and our students.

Frequently Asked Questions!

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 things 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 apply at least 6 weeks prior to your arrival.

However, if you have any emergency bookings, please email us at accommodation@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?

How can I get to school?

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

It normally takes about 40 minutes to 1 hour to get to your school by bus.

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.

The Application Process is simple!

If you have any questions, please email us at partnership@hostfamilies.co.nz
or give us a call at +64 9 889 7397

01. Understand The Rules

Before you apply, you would need to understand what are your responsibilities as a homestay student. Please can find more details from below two documents.

Homestay Guidelines for Domestic Students and Visitors

Homestay Guidelines for International Students and Visitors

02. Apply Online

Once you understand and agree to abide by the homestay rules, please submit your online application. Remember to declare all necessary information to help us to find the best suitable homestays for you. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Homestay Preferences
  • Any allergies (food, pets)
  • Any medical conditions

03. Pay The Fees

After receiving your application, our team will send you a quotation base on your requirements.

If the fee schedule meets your expectations, please accept the quotation and make the payment. We accept bank transfers and credit card payments. Please note there will be a 3% bank fee if you pay via credit card or international transfer.

04. Receive Confirmation

Once your payment is received, our team will start looking for the ideal family for you.

When a homestay is found, you will receive a booking confirmation which includes

  • Host details
  • House and room photos
  • Assessment date

Ready? Apply Now!

By submitting the application form, you agree to follow the homestay guidelines set by Host Families NZ.