Paraparaumu College requires international students to have a safe place to live, with a responsible adult who will provide the necessary care and support to enable the student to settle successfully into a new culture and educational system.
All international students must live in accommodation approved by the College. They have the choice of living with a homestay family, their own parents if they accompany them to New Zealand, or living with a caregiver nominated by the student’s family. The Ministry of Education Code of Practice states that international students at secondary school cannot live independently, or in a boarding hostel, even if they are 18.
Paraparaumu College highly recommends homestay accommodation and believes a student's safety and well-being is paramount. We have lovely families waiting to host and care for students. All homestay homes have been visited by our dedicated international team and assessed for their suitability as hosts. All adult residents of a homestay house have been police vetted.
Students may live with one of the following:
With a family member or close family friend known to the student’s parents. This person is called a designated caregiver.
Their mother or father, who may apply for a Guardian Visa
In a school-approved homestay.
Some international students live with a relative, or a designated caregiver, arranged by the student’s family. A designated caregiver is someone who is known to the student’s family who can accept responsibility for the student’s welfare outside of school. The Designated Caregiver Agreement is an option on the online enrolment form which is sent to the College when the application is submitted. The student's parents are required to sign an indemnity document taking full responsibility for this placement. Even though the parents have chosen the caregiver, the College, under its duty of care, must be satisfied that this arrangement meets the standards it requires for the safety of international students. This includes police vetting everyone living in the home aged 18 years and over. Our international team will meet with, and maintain contact with, this 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. Parents living in New Zealand must hold appropriate visas.
Most international students at Paraparaumu College live with a local family during their stay. The host family provides their student with their own room with a bed, and furniture for personal items and study. Students receive three meals a day (and snacks!) and are cared for as a member of the family. The student’s room and meals are included in the homestay fees. Students may be placed in a home where they have Kiwi brothers and sisters, or even another international student (from a different culture). Becoming part of a New Zealand family immerses students in the New Zealand culture and makes the experience more rewarding. Students meet other New Zealanders as well improving their English.
Our homestay families are carefully selected and many will have hosted other international students before. Local families apply to the school to offer homestay accommodation. The homestay coordinator then visits the family, carefully interviews them and checks that the family, home and student’s room are all of an approved standard. All members of the family over 18 years old are police vetted.
There are a variety of homestay options including in town or out of town (rural). Some homestays are right in town on small sections, and some are rural homestays which might include living on a farm where there are horses and other animals.
When students fill out their application form, they write a letter to their future host family. This helps the international student team to match students with a suitable family. The richer the information provided in a student application, the easier and better the host family match. Details about the host family are sent to students approximately one month before departure and we highly recommend students contact the host family before coming to New Zealand.
Students are given a 24-hour emergency telephone number which they can call at any time.
Students may travel to school by bus, walk, bicycle, or get dropped off by a private vehicle. If travelling by bus, the student will pay their own bus-fare. Most homestays are within a 15 minute bus ride from school.
While attending Paraparaumu College international students are not permitted to purchase or drive a private vehicle.
Hosting an international student is a great way to bring other cultures into your home. Not only will you teach a young person about life in New Zealand, you’ll also make lifelong friendships. The international staff support homestay families and students to promote a happy positive relationship.
Our host families come in all shapes and sizes. If you can provide a “home away from home”, please contact us - we’d love to talk to you.
What is homestay?
A homestay is an accommodation option for international students who study at our school. It’s a great opportunity for international students to improve their English and immerse themselves in our unique culture first-hand.
What is involved with being a homestay?
Students are looking to have an authentic Kiwi experience in an English speaking home. Most importantly, students want to feel genuinely welcomed as a part of your family.
Like any young member of a family, ensuring student safety and well-being is the most important part of being a homestay.
Students also need to:
Expectations of students
We have a comprehensive Homestay Handbook that details the expectations families should have of their students. In general, students are expected to behave just like any other member of your family.
Why New Zealand?
New Zealand is an attractive study destination for overseas students. Kiwis have a reputation for friendliness and progressive thinking. New Zealand is seen as a safe destination and a place of great beauty. Families love being able to show off what New Zealand has to offer visitors.
Why do international students choose New Zealand?
Although there are many reasons why students from other countries to study here, they generally fall into two categories:
New Zealand Experience
Usually students from Europe and Latin America. They generally arrive in February or July and study from one term (10 weeks) up to one year. New Zealand experience students are often here to improve their English, and learn about another country and culture, while living in a safe environment.
New Zealand’s education system is very highly regarded around the world. Students and parents often consider New Zealand to be a place where their children can have a world-class education that allows them to learn in a way that works best for them, learn to ask questions and think critically. Students usually enrol when they are 13 – 16 years old and stay with us for 3 – 5 years.
How are students allocated?
When students apply to the College, they submit a homestay letter where they tell us about themselves and what they would like in a host family. We use this, along with other information from their application, and your family profile, to make what we hope will be a great fit for you and the student.
Our preferred maximum allocation is two students per host family. To enrich the student experience, we avoid placing students of the same ethnicity in the same home, we also work to avoid placing male and female students together.
When do students arrive?
Although students can arrive at any time during the year, our largest student intakes are at the end of January and in July.
Can I specify the type of student I want to host?
Yes, both in the initial creation of your profile, and as you gain more experience hosting, we can refine the type of students that works best for you.
What if a placement doesn't work?
Our team will always be in close contact with you and students during their stay. Generally, we find that if issues are addressed while they are small, relationships work out. However, if there is an irrevocable problem, we will work to relocate the student.
Families receive a weekly reimbursement for hosting, which is paid fortnightly.
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