Homestay and private board
Homestay or private board is when a student lives with a local family in the family’s home.
A handy guide providing key information and responsibilities for homestay host(s), parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and students including:
- What a homestay is
- How to apply
- The role of International Student Care Ltd
- UC special requirements for U18 students
- UC support services
Who homestay is suitable for
Homestays are very popular for international students with English as a second language. Homestays give you an opportunity to practice English and learn about New Zealand's culture in a safe and supportive environment. It is recommended that if you are an international student under the age of 18, you choose homestay accommodation.
Homestays are also a good option if you prefer living in a family environment. All homestay families are carefully selected for their friendly, helpful attitudes and comfortable homes.
This type of accommodation is suitable for individual students and sometimes couples, but not students with families.
When and how to apply for a homestay
Your applications for homestay accommodation must be received at least two weeks before arrival. Homestay is for a minimum period of 8 weeks' accommodation.
Locations in Christchurch
Homestays are available throughout Christchurch in a variety of homes, offering a wide range of living situations, from families with children to single people living by themselves. Due to current demand for accommodation, you should expect to use a bike or bus to travel to campus.
One off placement fee of $330 (NZ$)
- Vetting and selection of host family
- Arranging health and travel insurance, if required
- Arranging airport pick-up and transport to host family upon arrival
- Arrival pack containing bus schedules, orientation booklet in your language, and other relevant information
- Helping you to arrange a bank account, phone card and bus passes, if required
- Interpreter help during initial settlement period, if required
- Ongoing support and monitoring of placements
Weekly fee of $270 (NZ$)
- A fully furnished room including desk, chair, good lighting, storage, bed and bedding, and heating
- Three meals per day- breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Bathroom and laundry facilities
- Power and telephone rental - toll calls and some internet charges are extra depending on your usage
Leaving a Homestay
When it comes time to leave your homestay, complete a Request to Leave Homestay Care form and send it to International Student Care.
Contact Accommodation Services for more information and advice. The University of Canterbury has agreed to observe and be bound by the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.
Contact UC’s homestay agent, International Student Care to discuss homestay options.
Host and student profile
'I always buy a slab of New Zealand chocolate and place it on their pillow with a welcome card.'