Most of our international students live with a host family while they are in New Zealand. It is also possible for students to stay with their parents if they are in New Zealand, or with a Designated Caregiver (usually an aunt or uncle). The Ministry of Education's Code of Practice states that international students at secondary school cannot live independently or in a boarding establishment. We highly recommend homestay accommodation as it gives our international students the opportunity to fully participate in New Zealand life and make the most of their New Zealand experience.
Our Accommodation Co-ordinator carefully interviews and chooses suitable host families who live nearby, sometimes within walking distance to the school, local shops and beautiful beaches. The surrounding suburbs are clean, spacious and safe and the houses are large and modern.
Host families treat students like their own children, supporting and caring for them while they are in New Zealand. Homestay is an amazing part of the New Zealand experience and students frequently stay in touch with their host family for the rest of their lives.
Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner) is provided by homestay families. New Zealanders typically eat British food, however, most people like eating a wide variety of food. Many rural areas of New Zealand are dedicated to farming so we have access to good quality meat and fresh fruit and vegetables.
When students fill out the application form, they must write a letter to their future host family. Our Accommodation Co-ordinator reads the letter and matches students with a suitable family and passes on the letter. Details about the family are sent to the student before they arrive in New Zealand and we recommend students contact the host family before coming to New Zealand so they can start getting to know each other.
Natalia from Chile
Parents of International Students
Mother of Regina Rubio Aguila - Mexico
Sending our daughter to New Zealand was the best thing we could have done. Regina loved the warmth and affection with which she was treated this year and truly felt part of the family. Her heart is now divided into two continents. Thank you New Zealand and Rangitoto College for opening your arms to our daughter!!!
Mother of Olli Wiemeijer - Germany
Our son spent – as he says himself - his best year of his young life at Rangitoto College in New Zealand. He enjoyed his time very much. He stayed with a very lovely, warm-hearted host mother who made his stay feel as if he were at home. She set limits as far as possible and as tight as needed.
Fortunately she attached great importance to integrate in the social and family life as well as to speaking English the whole time. As result our son speaks very good English and felt at home during his stay. Even after five years they are in regular contact and he has already returned once to New Zealand for a holiday.
It was a highlight to welcome his host mother this year in Germany and to get to know her finally. As for the school we can highly recommend Rangitoto College as a school that takes care of the international students and offers a wide range of subjects and possibilities to discover the kiwi culture and life.
Host Families Experiences
The Hames Family
It has been a privilege for us to host international students through Rangitoto College. The staff are very supportive of both hosts and students, and our experiences have been very positive. Our 3 young children are so much more aware of other countries, cultures, and languages now. They have also learnt what it means to welcome people into our home and be considerate of others.
The Padoa Family
Hosting students from other countries brought the world to us! We have been introduced to different cultures, customs and traditional foods and learned about the day-to-day life in other countries. Many of our students are still in contact with us years after their exchange. Some have come back on holiday to see us and our children have been able to visit them and stay with their families. We now have friends all around the world and I can honestly say it has been a truly rewarding and enriching experience.
Our children loved gaining a big sister, she became part of the family.
The Jones Family
We have had International students from Rangitoto for 8 years. We have had students from South America China and Europe, boys and girls ages ranging from 14-18.
We are a family of 5 with 3 girls now aged 24, 21,& 17, so all were of school age when we had the students. It is difficult to quantify the range of experiences we have had with these students. All were different but the vast majority were students looking to embrace the kiwi culture and lifestyle and also ultimately become an active part of our family unit.
Our girls always enjoyed having a new member of the family to connect with and we have had reunions with some of our students in Europe and Australia, and of course many are still constantly in touch through social media.
We as host parents also found the new faces in the family a real positive addition as we were able to show off the beautiful North shore as well as take many of them on our holidays to the far North and to the centre of the North Island as part of our family unit which they always enjoyed. We also found that the students were all really keen to talk about their own culture and lifestyle and contrasted many aspects of their lives at home and in NZ. The ability to walk freely and to take public transport to Auckland and further afield was always a real highlight for the students many of whom lived in communities where it was impossible to have the same amount of safe personal freedom of movement. I think this taste of a more independent and community style life experience was the most important thing the majority of our students take with them back to their own countries.
Many parents have commented on how much more outgoing and self-reliant their sons and daugthers were on their return from their exchange and they all saw this as a real positive and worthwhile outcome.
Homestays in New Zealand
Education New Zealand
Designated Caregiver (DCG)
A Designated Caregiver is a person / family that the student’s parents have chosen to take care of their child while they are in New Zealand. The parents take full responsibility and accept the decisions made by their DCG about the day-to-day requirements of their child. Even though the parents have chosen this family, the College has a responsibility to check that the home is suitable for the student and if the caregiver will be verified as a Designated Caregiver.
Some parents accompany their children to New Zealand. If students are living with a parent, then the parent has full responsibility for the pastoral care of the student outside tuition hours.
Become a Host Family
If you and your family are considering becoming a host family, please contact our Accommodation Co-ordinator for more details.