Homestay and private board

Homestay or private board is when a student lives with a local family in the family’s home.

Updated 5 April 2019

Please Note:  Consistent with UC’s commitment to wellbeing and safety within all campus settings and informed by legal and medical advice, all homestay students and hosts require a valid Covid Vaccination Passport.

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. We recommend all international students under the age of 18 on arrival apply for UC approved 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 only.

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.

Contact International Student Care or Accommodation Services/Te Ratonga Nohonga for an application form or see 2023 Homestay Application Form.

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.


2023 - One off placement fee of NZ$350

This covers:

  • 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

2023 - Weekly fee of NZ$300

This covers:

  • 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.

More information

The University of Canterbury is committed to supporting the wellbeing and safety of our students. Along with other tertiary education providers in New Zealand, the University must ensure that it is compliant with the expectations set out in the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021.  Refer to our Pastoral Care webpage for further information.

Contact UC’s homestay agent, International Student Care to discuss homestay options.

Phone +64 3 360 2394
Fax +64 3 360 2395

Host and student profile

Carlos Gaona

Carlos Gaona

'Your host parents will help you with the things you need...'