Agreement to Host Overseas Students

Please find the link to sign up as a homestay family or update your information at the bottom of this agreement.

The aim of the host family system is to give our foreign guests a chance to:
- practise their English communication skills outside the classroom 
- experience New Zealand family life in a comfortable home

A special note

Our students come to New Zealand to have a “Kiwi” experience and expect to live in an English-speaking homestay. If you or others in your household are unable to speak English for the time that a student would be placed into your house, then it will not be possible to receive a student from us.

Nelson English Centre aims to give students the highest quality homestay experience possible during their stay in Nelson. The school recognises the hard work that you, the host family, put in to making this possible. We, in turn, will provide you with practical support when required.

Meeting the student

On the day of arrival, a Nelson English Centre representative will generally meet the student at the airport or bus stop and bring them to your home. However, where it is not possible for our representative to meet the student, we would appreciate your help in meeting your student. We would also be grateful if you could arrange to drop them off at the end of their stay, or help them book another means of transport. The exact arrival time and date will be confirmed the week of arrival, as we often don't receive this information too far in advance. A welcome note and homestay information will be given to the student upon arrival.


The host family should provide breakfast and an evening meal of a reasonable standard every day, and lunch during weekends. The evening meal should be varied and of a reasonable quality, so frequent fast-food, for example, is unacceptable. If you are a busy household in which everyone helps themselves to breakfast, explain this to your student. You should have your evening meal with the student. Explain which foods are luxury foods, and not freely available. Please do not supply students with lunch during the week.


The student room must be suitably furnished with a bed and adequate storage space and lighting. The room should be made appealing, with natural light, and the furniture in good condition. Clean sheets, bedding and towels are essential. The room must be for the student’s private use, i.e. it is not a room used by the family. One student per room and a maximum of one student per nationality in each house. As the student is usually studying, please ensure they also have a quiet space where they can work or skype their family.

A reasonable quality bed, study facilities and standards of cleanliness are expected. Bed linen should be changed once a week. Please make sure your student is warm and has enough blankets or the use of an electric blanket. To help make the student feel welcome you might like to place a small basket of fruit/snacks in their room and a small welcome card.

Baths and showers

Cultural differences can be significant here, especially with Japanese students who love long baths and showers. Students are entitled to a reasonable length shower daily. A little time explaining the limits early in the stay will save misunderstandings later. The bathroom must be kept clean and in a good state of repair.


The host family agrees to keep the house clean and tidy. Students are not expected to do housework. Nelson English Centre information to students explains that they have no obligation to do any housework, but does suggest that they could help occasionally with small tasks as a gesture of thanks. E.g. helping with dishes, unloading the dishwasher, or setting the table, keeping their own room clean and tidy. Students are informed that the relationship is that of a guest, not a hotel. Please do not ask the student to babysit.


The host family is expected to do the student’s laundry. However, some students prefer to do their own. Chat with them to see what works best for you both.


Internet charges are now included in the homestay weekly payment and this should give the student at least 40GB of data per month. We recommend getting an unlimited plan if you are worried about your student’s internet usage. Please note the student should not be required to pay any extra internet charges if they exceed your broadband limit. It is your responsibility to either communicate the limitations of your internet, or to order an unlimited plan.


The host family should speak to the students regularly. (English must be the main language of the household). Please spend sufficient time with students in the crucial first few days after they arrive.

Family outings and activities

The host family should include the student in family outings and activities. The school offers an exciting activities programme to allow the students to make friends with other students, so host family enthusiasm and support for these activities is appreciated. Female students should not be left alone in the house with host father/adult single males for long periods of time.

Winter warmth

There should be heating in the student’s room on winter evenings, but not of course while they are asleep or out of the house. Extra blankets should be offered to students in winter, even if they do not ask. Compared to many individuals from other cultures, New Zealanders tend to be much more tolerant of the cold, so do not be surprised if students say they are cold. The rate of payment to host families has been weighted to allow for some extra winter heating costs, so a few extra dollars on the monthly power bill should be allowed for.

School support and Communication

The homestay coordinator is always available to discuss any concerns you have. There could be at least one call or email from the school during your student’s stay to see how things are going. Please let the school know if you have concerns such as: Very homesick or depressed students, or a non-trivial medical condition. This is mainly aimed at high school groups but on occasions even adult students may need our support services.

Under 18 students

If you wish to receive a student under the age of 18, you may need to be police vetted or checked upon inspection. This may require everyone from your family over the age of 18 to fill out page 2 and 3 from the following police vetting form found here: Vetting Request and Consent Form 

You can then send your forms directly to or there is a option to attach these forms to the application once you've hit "Sign up now" at the bottom of this page.

If your Under 18 student is staying longer than 4 weeks, we will need to send regular progress reports to their parents and we may require a small conversation with you before sending these. This conversation will usually entail us seeing how the student is getting on in your household. 

Under 18 students, in contrast to adult students, may require lunch to be provided every day upon individual request. You will be paid more accordingly. 

Homestay families are required to make sure that under 18 students abide by New Zealand law, e.g not consuming alcohol, and report any breaches to the school. 

An under 18 student may not be away from homestay for any number of nights without receiving written permission from the school. 

If you need to be away from your home while hosting an under 18 student, this will need to be approved in writing by Nelson English Centre first. Please let us know. This will be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis. 

The under 18 student must abide by a reasonable curfew set by the homestay family and tell the homestay family any problems they might have in complying with it. 

An under 18 student must arrive at school for class each scheduled day. Any unexplained absences will be reported both to the homestay family and the student's legal guardians.

Homestay families are not expected to

- Pay for charged phone calls, or insure students’ property.
- Offer accommodation to visiting friends or relatives, or cook special food unless by choice.
- Generally comply with unreasonable requests (if unsure, discuss with Nelson English Centre Homestay Person)
- Provide lunches Monday to Friday. Only on weekends.

Terms, Rates and Payment

- Your weekly homestay payments are processed on the first Wednesday of your student’s stay. Depending on your bank account, the money may only be in your account by Thursday morning. Any enquiries about payment should be directed to Nelson English Centre, and never through the student.
- For your protection, the rate of $250.00 per week is non-negotiable. You may not offer accommodation to a Nelson English Centre student under any other terms, except as in this agreement.
- The student must leave the homestay within 4 days of finishing their course at Nelson English Centre.
- HS families must provide their bank account numbers on the application form.
- If a student goes on a holiday from HS (must be 5 nights or more to be considered a holiday) the HS family will receive a homestay retention payment (currently $50 per week).
- Refunds of HS fees to students: Whenever possible, we try to get students to give 2 weeks’ notice to leave homestay, or finish on the last day that the student has paid up until. Please note that students only have to give 1 weeks’ notice to leave homestay. There are exceptions to this rule and these are dealt with on a case by case basis.

- If a HS wants a student to leave immediately, then the HS will have to return any money paid for any period after that date. If the reason the HS family wants the student out immediately is due to an illegal action by the student or by breaking any rules in the HS information pack, then the student will forfeit any money already paid.
- If the student wants to leave immediately, they will in the first instance be asked to stay until the date of the last payment made. If the reason for them wanting to leave immediately is because they feel unsafe (e.g. unwanted sexual advances) or the HS family has committed an illegal action, then they can leave immediately and the HS family will forfeit any money already paid.

- Please make sure that you read the back of the student information sheet that is sent to you with every new student you receive, as this information can change.
- On accepting this student, you are agreeing to comply with the terms and conditions as stated in the Homestay literature provided on this page.

The school wishes you every happiness with your guest, and hopes that your experience of being a host family is very rewarding. By signing up as a Homestay Family or updating your details, you agree to the homestay conditions specified above.