Become a Homestay Host

Homestay hosts

All potential NorthTec homestay hosts are to undergo a thorough vetting process to ensure they meet the requirements of The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (The Code), which provides minimum standards and best practice frameworks. A full copy of the Code and a short summary pamphlet are available here.

Homestay hosts are also carefully selected for their warm, welcoming attitudes and their healthy, comfortable homes that provide international students with a suitable standard of living and study environment. 

Students who are invited to join in with daily family activities have the best homestay experience. They will be seeking opportunities to practise their English as well so they will often need encouragement to join in with family conversations and activities.

For each incoming student application the most suitable homestay who best matches the student requirements and preferences will be selected so please note that there is no guarantee as to the timeframe or the number of student placements available to each host. 

Homestay expectations

$230 weekly homestay fee is to cover the following:  

  • Fully-furnished private bedroom with desk and chair, linen, adequate lighting, storage and heating 
  • 3 meals a day, including a packed lunch on NorthTec days, and reasonable access to healthy snacks 
  • Internet WiFi access with a minimum of 1GB/day/student free data 
  • Power and water usage
  • Access to shared facilities, e.g. lounge, bathroom, laundry, etc. 
  • Transport 
    • Students who can make it campus in 30 minutes on foot are expected to walk 
    • Students whose homestay lives further afield are entitled to NorthTec International subsidy on the CityLink buses and to use the free NorthTec International shuttle between the Rose St bus terminal and campus 
    • Some transport support may also be needed for other course-related travel, as well as for students’ social lives to a reasonable extent

International students come to study at NorthTec from a number of countries. 95% of those requiring homestay are, however, from China with the occasional student from the Philippines, India, Germany, Russia, Korea, Japan, etc. 

Most Chinese students are 16-20 years old. They arrive mostly in groups of 10 or so from our new partnership schools hoping to study at NorthTec in diploma and degree level programmes for 2 years and over after meeting the English entry requirement, which normally takes them a semester or two in English classes. 

So even though they are hoping to be long-term students at NorthTec, on arrival often they don’t know themselves how long they will want to stay in homestay. Some only remain homestay students for the first few weeks, while others never move on from their homestay, maybe just become private boarders. Overall the average stay in homestay tends to be around 6 months.

Homestay is compulsory for international students under the age of 18, while mature students have several other options to choose from, e.g. NorthTec apartments, board, flatting, private hostels, etc.

Student expectations

International homestay students are expected to do the following: 

  • Be polite, considerate and have good standards of behaviour 
  • Join in with common household tasks 
  • Cover the costs of their own: 
    • mobile phone plan 
    • medical/dental expenses (compulsory insurance cover) 
    • course-related costs 
    • personal items and entertainment 
    • special dietary requirements 
    • any breakage or damage above normal wear and tear 

On-going monitoring and support, as well as 24/7 emergency access is available to homestays and students from the Accommodation Coordinator. 

Private board

After the first few months, some homestay students wish to stay on with their hosts as private boarders to keep costs down by paying for their room only, taking care of their own meals and transport, and sometime twin sharing with a friend.

As board is considered a ‘private’ arrangement, hosts and students are to negotiate with each other directly all terms and conditions, including the amount of the weekly board payment, inclusions, retainer, notice, etc. 

While the Accommodation Coordinator facilitates the initial ‘matching-up’, the weekly board payments are not administered by NorthTec International, nor is there on-going monitoring or support available for private board arrangements

Applying to be a homestay host

To comply with The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (The Code), all homestays need to be fully vetted by the NZ Police so please follow the steps below to give your consent:

  1. Complete the Homestay Application Form.

  2. Complete the Health Declaration Form.

  3. Complete the Police Vetting Service Request and Consent form. It can be filled in digitally if you’re planning to return your pack via email. Use a separate form for each adult (18+ years) family member, boarder and frequent guests of your household. Refer to the User Guide for further information on the vetting process.

Return all forms (police, homestay application and health declaration) and copies of driver’s licence and passport for each family member to be vetted to the NorthTec International Accommodation Coordinator via email at or post to:

Accommodation Coordinator
NorthTec International
Private Bag 9019, Whangarei 0148


Accommodation Coordinator
Accommodation Coordinator

The Accommodation Coordinator can help you with information and advice on the different accommodation options available.

Contact the Accommodation Coordinator