Welcoming an international student into your home is a great way to learn about a new culture and share your own culture and values. Children often enjoy being cultural ambassadors, introducing their new brother, sister and parents to local customs, traditions and national holidays. Everything from preparing meals to sightseeing are opportunities to discover and appreciate cultural and other differences.

AFS is a leading student exchange and study abroad programme for secondary school students, supported and monitored by trained staff and volunteers. Since 1947, AFS has prepared young people with practical skills, knowledge and more needed to compete in a global world.

AFS has invited families to welcome international students in their homes since 1947. Long considered a key element in the success of the exchange programme and ensuring the well being of an exchange student, host families provide so much more than shelter and meals.

Connection for generations

‘I would like say a big thank you to everyone who has made this year the best of my life, especially all my amazing friends and wonderful host family.’ Frida from Sweden – her new host family in Opotiki

‘I had a lovely family and as I am an only child at home, I had for the first time the experience of having a (host) sister.’ Jonas from Switzerland – his new host family in Wellington

Apply to become a host family