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Young Men Taking Their Place in the World

International Students Accommodation

International students at Nelson College have the choice of living in a Boarding House at the College, or living in homestay accommodation with a New Zealand family.

Nelson College has a policy of Year 9-11 International Boarders going into Boarding and for Years 12-13, they can choose either Boarding or Homestay.


There are currently two Boarding Houses at Nelson College –  Rutherford House and Barnicoat House with approximately 60 students in each house.  As a boarder you will have the opportunity to:

    • Live in a caring structured environment
    • Boarding offers 24-hour supervision, with all meals provided, 7 days a week
    • Live with a group of New Zealand students
    • You will live in a dormitory with other boys your own age. Younger students share a cubicle and most senior students have their own.
    • Fully participate in school life
    • In boarding you have the opportunity to join in with many sporting, cultural and social activities both in and out of college.
    • Make many New Zealand friends of your own
    • In boarding you will always have the company of other boys, and be able to develop your everyday communication language skills.
    • Study regularly in the evenings with supervision and assistance
    • Tutorials and homework classes are offered to help you with your study. The Computer room and Library are open at set times, and senior students and supervisors will be available to assist you.

If you choose boarding, we will place you in one of the two houses, hopefully where at least one other student speaks your first language. We do not allow you to change your accommodation during the term, and you may not change from boarding into a homestay or change into a different homestay, unless both the school and your parents allow it. One term’s notice is required to move from boarding to homestay.

One of the two boarding houses will remain open in the holidays for those International students who do not travel. Alternatively we will find a good homestay for you, either in Nelson or somewhere else in New Zealand, where you can live with a New Zealand family and experience the New Zealand way of life.

Homestay Accommodation

This gives you the chance to:

    • Live with a New Zealand family and experience a New Zealand way of life
    • All homestays are carefully chosen and monitored by the school. We will find a homestay that is best suited to your individual needs. All our homestays have undergone a police background check.
    • Develop everyday language skills
    • Homestay families make an effort to help you learn English and practise in a friendly environment.
    • Have your own room and private study facilities
    • As a homestay student you will have a private bedroom equipped with a desk, giving you your own personal space.
    • Join in with family activities in the weekend and holidays
    • The best way to learn English is to spend time with your family. You will also be able to learn new ways of doing things, and have some fun.
    • Share your own culture with your New Zealand family
    • Our homestay families choose to have international students staying with them because they want to learn about a different culture. You will be able to share yours with them and maybe cook some of your own special food.