Homestay Accommodation for International Learners
The purpose of this policy is to provide all international learners studying at Dunedin or Cromwell campuses with the opportunity for homestay accommodation.
This policy will also ensure that there are systems and processes in place to:
- provide a suitable living environment conducive to study and a safe and supportive home life.
- assist the learner to successfully integrate into the New Zealand way of life.
- involve the residential host in the welfare of a learner away from the learner’s family and home country.
- work towards the overseas parent’s peace of mind knowing that the learner is well cared for in New Zealand.
- comply with the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021.
Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021
1. As specified in the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021.
international learners under eighteen (18) years of age must be in supervised accommodation. They will not be permitted to rent a flat/room/house/apartment or to live on their own.
2. Otago Polytechnic Limited can arrange homestay accommodation for international learners under eighteen(18) years of age and may provide an option for homestay to other international learners for the first month if required.
3. In the provision of homestay accommodation Otago Polytechnic Limited is responsible for:
3.1. Providing a 24/7 emergency contact person for problems with accommodation; and
3.2. Selecting, monitoring, and approving all recommended accommodation including recording the results of all homestay assessments and reassessments (refer to clauses 6-8); and
3.3. Providing a support infrastructure for homestay hosts (refer to Clauses 5 and 11); and
3.4. Providing a supportive infrastructure for international learners in homestay accommodation.
4. Within the first week of arrival or during Orientation all homestay learners must attend a homestay meeting with the Student Success International Homestay Service and sign a “Welcome to Homestay” document. This will ensure that the homestay learner understands the guidelines, expectations, and processes of their homestay.
5. All homestay accommodation queries, issues, and concerns will be dealt with initially by the Student Success International Homestay Service.
5.1. Pastoral care issues or concerns of learners arising from homestay accommodation arrangements will be referred to the appropriate pastoral care staff member or a designated member of the Student Success team.
6. For each learner in homestay, the full name, current address, contact phone number, occupation, and relationship of the residential host will be held on file by Otago Polytechnic Limited and maintained by the Student Success International Homestay Service.
7. All homestay families will be police vetted, every two (2) years.
8. The dwelling and the host providing homestay accommodation for an international learner will have an annual* onsite assessment of the dwelling to determine that homestay accommodation living conditions are of an acceptable standard and are not a boarding establishment and that the host will provide a safe, physical, and emotional environment, as outlined in the Code.
*if learner is under eighteen (18) then the dwelling assessment with occur every six (6) months.
8.1. Follow-up visits will be carried out if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the homestay accommodation has become unsuitable.
Responsibilities of Homestay Hosts
9. In the provision of homestay accommodation, the host is responsible for:
9.1. Informing the Student Success International Homestay Service of anyone in the home eighteen (18) years or over for Police vetting checks.
9.2. Providing access and availability for homestay accommodation checks every six (6) months when hosting a learner under eighteen (18) years of age, otherwise annually.
9.3. Providing a safe and friendly living and studying environment and to look after the learner to the best of their ability.
9.4. Providing day-to-day care including:
- three meals a day and access to snacks
- own room
- bed and warm bedding
- study desk and chair
- adequate bedroom furniture to store clothes, i.e., wardrobe and drawers
- adequate lighting and heating
- transport arrangements (car, taxi, bus) to and from Otago Polytechnic Limited for the first three (3) days minimum, and every day for short-course learners
- bathing and showering access
- laundry facilities.
9.5. Treating the learner with respect, making them feel comfortable and part of the family.
9.6. Notifying Otago Polytechnic Limited if there are any changes or additions to the household, especially when anyone living at the homestay accommodation is eighteen (18) years or over as they will require a Police vetting check, as per clause 9.1.
9.7. Notifying Otago Polytechnic Limited immediately if there are any problems or concerns about the learner e.g., medical condition, misconduct, very homesick or depressed.
9.8. In light of issues or problems raised the host and family must be willing to participate in a homestay family resolution process, if required.
9.9. Providing reasonable internet access for the learner for short course international learner groups, however, this is not a requirement for other long-term individual learners.
- Homestay hosts are not expected to:
10.1. Pay for toll calls or mobile phones or mobile phone calls; or
10.2. Cook special food specifically for the learner, unless previously agreed for allergy, health, or cultural requirements; or
10.3. Insure the learner’s belongings or pay for property the learner damages or loses; or
10.4. Offer accommodation to visiting family and friends; or
10.5. Comply with unreasonable requests.
- Advice and support for homestay accommodation hosts will be provided by Otago Polytechnic Limited through the Student Success International Homestay Service with the support of the Student Success Team.
Responsibilities of Homestay Learners
12. International learners in homestay accommodation will be invoiced four (4) weeks (twenty-eight (28) days) homestay payments in advance for the duration of their homestay.
13. Where the homestay learner wishes to discontinue living in the homestay accommodation with the family for whatever reason, then two** (2) weeks’ notice must be given in writing to the Student Success, International Homestay Service.
**CAP nursing learners require only one (1) week’s notice.
14. Where a learner in homestay accommodation has concerns or queries regarding the homestay accommodation/environment or family they must inform the Student Success International Homestay Service as soon as possible via email or face-to-face appointment.
15. In light of issues or problems raised the homestay learner must be willing to participate in a homestay family resolution process if required.
16. Learners staying in a homestay are required to exhibit appropriate behaviour, refer to Otago Polytechnic Limited Learner Rights and Responsibilities.
16.1. Where a learner’s behaviour or demands are such that the homestay accommodation hosts cannot reasonably be expected to have the learner in their home, Otago Polytechnic Limited will shift the learner from that homestay accommodation. The timeframe for the learner’s removal will be negotiated with the host homestay accommodation family.
17. All international learners entering into homestay accommodation will be interviewed on arrival as part of their orientation and induction. Feedback on completion of the homestay is gathered from short course learners and used to improve services and homestay experiences.
18. Where a learner in a homestay has concerns or queries regarding the homestay accommodation/environment or family they must inform the Student Success International Homestay Service as soon as possible via email or face-to-face appointment.
Pre-Departure and Arrival Guide – available on the Otago Polytechnic Limited website
Welcome to Homestay document – for signature by each homestay learner within the first week of arrival or during orientation (available from Student Success International Homestay Service).
Dr. Megan Gibbons
28 July 2022
Policy Version: V2: Previously Coded MP0608