Principal addressing school assembly

Homestay Programme


Our homestay families are one of our most valuable resources and will form a crucial part of shaping your experience here in New Zealand. Your homestay family will teach you about the New Zealand way of life. They will introduce you to their own friends and family, show you around our beautiful region and might even take you away on holiday with them.

Homestay Family


All international students enrolled at Waimea College are provided with local homestay accommodation. Our host families have all undergone a full police check on each member of the household over 18 years of age and have been approved by our Waimea College Homestay Co-ordinator. Families are visited regularly, and Tori is available at the school to support students and families through any queries they may have.

Matching our incoming international students with the right homestay family is an important part of our job. The information you provide about yourself on your application form will be the basis of how we select your New Zealand host family so please tell us as much about you and your life as possible. We want to know all about your own family, your interests, what you’d like to achieve out of your time in New Zealand and what is important to you in your New Zealand host family when you apply. If you’d like to live in a rural homestay (e.g. on a farm or orchard) we are usually able to provide for this. Please indicate if this is your preference when you fill in your application form.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I know who my host family will be?
We will send you through a profile for your New Zealand host family a few weeks before you arrive in New Zealand. If you are starting in February, you will receive the profile in November of the previous year; and if you are starting in July, you will receive it in June.
Should I contact my New Zealand host family?
Yes, definitely! The profile will contain contact information for your New Zealand host family, and we encourage our students and their families to connect with and get to know their New Zealand host families in the weeks before their arrival.
What if I don’t like the host family profile I receive?

Don’t worry! It’s almost impossible to get to know a family from another country from a piece of paper. If you’re really worried about it, we encourage you to make contact with our Homestay Co-ordinator who will be happy to discuss your concerns with you.

Should I get my New Zealand host family a gift?

You are welcome to bring your New Zealand host family a gift if you would like to, but it is not an expectation. We recommend doing whatever you feel most comfortable with and it if it is part of your culture to bring a gift to your New Zealand host family, you are very welcome to do so.

My family is coming to visit me in New Zealand, what should I do?

We fully encourage our international families to visit their students in New Zealand. The best time to do this is after the first few months, once they are feeling happy and settled. Sometimes families will stay with their student at the homestay, and other times the family will arrange to stay in a motel. You can either arrange this directly with the New Zealand host family or our Homestay Co-ordinator can approach them on your behalf. Please contact Hayley directly to discuss your personal circumstances.

I have a different question – who can I ask?

Please contact Tori Puklowski, International Homestay Co-ordinator for further information. She can be contacted on +64 3 544 6099 (ext 867) or

Interested in Becoming a Homestay Family?

Hosting an international student is a fantastic opportunity to bring genuine culture and diversity into your own home. It enables your family to meet and connect with a family from another country, and is an opportunity for your son or daughter to have an international brother or sister from abroad.

Become a part of our Waimea College Host Family Community and enjoy:

  • Welcoming a young person from another country into your family home for 3, 6 or 12 months
  • Host Parent Workshops each term to support you in developing your skills as a host parent
  • Social days or evenings twice yearly where you can meet other host families and international students
  • Purposeful matching of your family with an appropriate international student
  • Ongoing support from our Waimea College Homestay Co-ordinator and international department

Waimea College Criteria for becoming a Homestay Family:

  • You love the idea of welcoming an international student into your family home;
  • Your home is in the Richmond area;
  • You are able to provide the student with their own room, as well as a desk and chair for studying at;
  • All members of your household over 18 must have a clean police record.

Please contact Tori Puklowski for further information on 544 6099 (ext 868) or