Scots College International

Life with a Homestay Family

All new students find that living with another family is different and you may be homesick.  It is normal to feel like this.  To help yourself get over these feelings, it is fine to spend some of your time with friends from your own country.

 It is important for you to get to know your Homestay family.  Your Homestay is sharing their home with you because they want to.  Show your appreciation by thanking them.  Join in with activities they may be doing and ask questions.

House Rules and Daily Routine

There will be rules at your Homestay, please learn these.  In the first days ask about the Homestay timetable, for example, when to get up in the morning, what time the bathroom is available to you, what time they want you to have meals.  Make sure you know what time your host expects you to be home from school and what time the family usually has dinner.  Be on time for meals and return home at the time you have said you would.  

You are not a visitor in the home.  It is expected that you will help with household tasks as other members of the household do.  

Your Homestay Family

Things that may make your stay easier:

  • You may want to spend a lot of time in your room but it is polite to spend some time each evening with your hosts
  • It is polite to offer to help with doing the dishes, collecting the washing of the line and setting the table for dinner.  Boys as well as girls are expected to do these things in New Zealand
  • Join in with your host family’s weekend activities if they ask you to.  You will make new friends and practice your English
  • Offer to pay for yourself if you are doing anything that involves expense, for example, if you go to the movies or have a meal at a restaurant occasionally with your Homestay family
  • Ask permission to do any cooking.  If you would like to eat food from your own country, offer to cook a meal for your Homestay family
  • It is important to make sure that the house is locked at night and when nobody is home
  • Sniffing loudly or spitting is offensive in New Zealand
  • If you need to stay up occasionally to study late, talk to your Homestay
  • Remember to say please and thank you, as this shows you appreciate what they have done for you

Personal Hygiene

  • Ask your Homestay when you should shower each day.  Try not to splash water on the floor, as it takes a long time to dry in New Zealand
  • Do not spend too long in the shower – 5 minutes should be adequate
  • The Homestay family is not responsible for the purchase of your shampoo or any grooming products


  • You may find New Zealand food difficult to adjust to
  • You could ask your host to cook rice or noodles once or twice a week
  • Thank your Homestay parent for your meal and tell them when you have enjoyed something in particular, so that they may cook it again

Caring for Your Bedroom

  • You need to make your bed each day. Ask your Homestay to show you how to do this
  • Your sheets and towel will be washed each week
  • You must keep your room tidy. You may be asked to vacuum clean it once a week

Telephone and Internet

  • Telephone calls made on the family’s phone should be brief (no longer than 10 minutes)
  • Always ask before making calls outside Wellington and NZ as these cost extra.  Your host may keep a log of toll calls as you will need to pay for these
  • If you wish to use the Internet, you will need to pay for your usage and may need to pay for your own phone line
  • Homestay parents are not responsible for the payment of your toll calls or internet connection

Communication with the homestay family

If you are going out the family needs to know:

  • Where you are going
  • What you are to do
  • Who you will be with
  • When you think you will come home
  • How you will get back home

If you are going to be late, are going to miss a meal or your arrangements change, please contact your Homestay family as soon as possible.


You may like to invite a friend over to your house.  Remember to ask your Homestay whether it is convenient for your friend to visit.  Make sure your visitor does not stay too late.  9.30pm is usually late enough.


Homestay families & students must respect each other’s privacy, including their personal space and belongings. Your room is your space to be alone if you wish.

Laundry or washing

  • Generally your Homestay will do this for you.  If your College jacket or trousers need to be drycleaned, you will need to pay for this yourself
  • If you are a boarder, arrange for your uniform to be washed in the boarding house, as your Homestay family should only be asked to wash your weekend clothing

Our Location

Scots College
1 Monorgan Road
Strathmore Park
Wellington 6022
New Zealand
Scots College
PO Box 15064
Wellington 6243
New Zealand