We’re looking for host families for 2025!
 Read on for more info or express your interest now

Hosting an AFS international student is your family’s chance to experience a new culture in your own home. AFS friendships last a lifetime, expand your horizons and give you a new son or daughter. AFS offers support throughout the entire process. 

As a not-for-profit charity, AFS doesn’t pay host families. Instead, our host families are volunteers who invite a student into their home and make them part of the family. Students are expected to do dishes, make their beds, everything a member of the household is expected to do! Additionally, AFS students are not international students: once in New Zealand they are domestic students.

All types of families are encouraged to apply; there is no “typical” AFS host family. Some AFS families have children at home. Some are same sex couples. Others are empty nesters with adult children or are couples with no children at all. Single adults and single parents are also welcome. Even busy families find time to enjoy hosting AFS students!

If you have more questions email [email protected]g or fill out our Hosting Enquiry form

It can't be described, it has to be experienced!

“Not only does the student become part of our family, but their family becomes part of ours and ours part of theirs. We’ve met our host son Edison’s parents and sister. It makes the events that happen in their part of the world more real. It makes the world a smaller place.”
Lucy Brown, AFS host mum, Greymouth

“If you’re not going overseas yourself, it’s almost the same kind of experience in terms of having someone from somewhere else, the opposite side of the of the world, living in your house and bringing their own unique cultural identity to New Zealand.”
Matt Paterson, AFS host brother

Find out more about the benefits of hosting here!

How to become an AFS host family


Learn more, then apply

Learn more by reading this website, or getting in touch by email or on our social media. You’re sure to have lots of questions and it’s better to get the answers straight from us!



Once you’ve talked it through with us and maybe your family or friends, then you’re ready to apply. We have students who are in the country for 10 months, 6 months, or short term programmes, so there’s something for everyone.


Get ready to host

Once all the paperwork is done, you’ll be introduced to the trained volunteers and staff who will support your family and help you learn how to make your AFS experience rewarding and fun. And then you get to select your new family member!


Welcome your AFSer

Exciting! Now you get to welcome your new family member. There will be laughs, challenges and lots of learning on both sides, as you learn from each other and evolve your family.

How does AFS support host families?


Experienced local AFS volunteers and staff will prepare your family for the challenges of welcoming a new member from another country.


24 hour local emergency contact and additional support from the AFS national office is available. AFS students have medical insurance, if health care is necessary. 


Trained volunteers and staff will support you throughout your hosting program, including meeting with you and your family at least once a month to make sure everything is working out.  


Your support volunteers will guide your family and student through the AFS Host Family Intercultural Learning Journey activities to help make the entire experience more meaningful and lasting. 

Host family FAQ

Think hosting sounds great but need more info? Find out everything you need to know about the AFS Host Family Programme with our Hosting FAQs.

Host family FAQ

Quick enquiry and application forms