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.


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.



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.


The “kiwis” are kind and welcoming, which made it easier to find my way around. My host family was a big part of the NZ experience and they made sure I was safe and happy my entire stay. Natalia from Chile

Since the beginning I felt welcome at the college, where the teachers made me feel more involved in lessons, and at home thanks to my host-family, who have been really nice to me. Leonardo from Italy

My host family are really nice. We have a really good relationship and have so much fun together. I couldn’t have a better family. Lara from Austria

Before coming to New Zealand I was a little bit scared about my new family and that I would not understand or I would not have friends. Now I know that my worries were totally unnecessary and I'm enjoying every moment here in New Zealand. Natalia from Slovakia

I have never really thought about homesickness. My host family was the best fit ever. We got on so well and my two host siblings became like real sisters to me. We did a lot of things together and did always have fun. I’ve also been on trips with my host family, such as visiting “Hobbiton”, which was really awesome since I’m a huge fan of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”. Alexandra from Germany


Parents of International Students


Marcela Aguilar, mother of Regina Rubio Aguila from 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!!!


Silke Kobe, mother of Olli Wiemeijer from 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.



Education New Zealand


Become a Host Family

If you and your family are considering becoming a host family, please contact our Accommodation Manager for more details.