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Accommodation: Boarding and Homestay

We are proud to be able to offer our International Students hostel accommodation in our own family hostels, or with carefully selected homestay families.

Boarding Hostel

Boarding Hostel

“Our dietician plans healthy meals, there are no more than two students per room and transport services are provided for students.”

“Boarding life fosters lifelong friendships, a sense of responsibility, leadership and self-reliance.”

Boarding Hostel

Garin College and the Hostels were founded in 2002 to serve the Catholic community in the top of the South Island, New Zealand.

We take our responsibility seriously. We work to help our Hostel families become a community.  Our buildings are new and designed to meet the needs of High School students in a boarding situation. The intention is to create a caring and supportive ‘family’ environment where the students feel safe and valued. The students in the hostel live in houses that hold no more than 28 students. Each house has a ‘Live-In Supervisor” who is responsible for the health and safety of all the students. Each student has a private space to sleep and live.

There are two students to each bedroom and 3 bedrooms share a bathroom and toilet facilities.

Computer suites, television lounges and kitchen facilities are available for all students.

Boarding school offers positive advantages:

  • A safe living environment
  • Develop friendships
  • A fair system of discipline and clear rules
  • Controlled religious environment
  • Improved study conditions with set study times
  • Extra-curricular activities with transport provided
  • Learn independence and self discipline

Rights of the Boarder:

  • Boarders have a right to free and independent access to hostel staff, teachers, counsellors, administration and ancillary staff, and their parents.
  • Boarders have a right to expect that the hostel is a safe place in which to live.
  • Boarders have a right to live in an environment which respects differences in gender, religion, beliefs, ethnicity, culture, social perspective, family or geographic origin.
  • Boarders have a right to expect discipline in the hostel to be based on the principles of fairness, consistency and justice.

Responsibilities of the Boarder:

  • All students are expected to uphold the Catholic Character of the hostel and school.
  • Follow the Hostel rules

What we do for students…

  • We insist on regular home study
  • If students have problems, our pastoral and management staff help solve them
  • We help each student to continue to grow as a person, and educationally
  • We take students to after-school activities, and make sure they are organised to fit in all the things they need to do.

. . . and what students do for the community:

  • Our boarders are an important part of the Richmond parish
  • Our boarders are involved in the life of the Richmond community in their sport, culture and Christian Service
  • Every boarder has a responsibility to look after the people in the Hostel family

Boarding Fees for International students 2024

  • Boarding fee per annum: $17,532
  • Transport fee per term: $512
  • 100% refundable bond (per family): $1,500
  • Weekend and Holiday Homestay $45 per night: $2,700

It is important that parents emphasise the need for complete involvement in and out of the classroom. Involvement in sport, games, music and other activities is essential and should be encouraged whenever possible.

At the Garin College Hostels international students have a great opportunity to practice their English with their student friends in the evening. Our Homestay Coordinator visits regularly and sometimes bakes a cake to take along.

Hostel/Boarding Information for International Students and Parents

This Fact Sheet is designed to highlight some of the most practical questions and concerns parents of international students may have.

What to Bring?

Below is a list of items your child will need to bring to the hostel.  It is possible for you to buy many of these items in New Zealand if you do not want to include them in your luggage, or there is also the option for us to purchase a hostel pack with the items below, on your behalf.

  • Duvet (quilt) and duvet cover
  • Pillow
  • Personal clothing
  • Towels
  • Personal toiletries
  • Laundry powder
  • Personal snacks
  • School uniform including shoes – will be purchased at Garin College after your arrival
  • School bag or backpack
  • Pens, pencils, calculator, pencil sharpener, eraser and ruler.
  • Laptop
  • Electronic Dictionary if possible from your child’s first language to English
  • Lunch box(optional)
  • Small Padlock for cupboard
  • Coat hangers (if required)
  • Any Medication to be discussed with the hostel manager

The hostel supplies bed linen if you do not want to bring your own personal bed linen.  Stationary and books are issued by Garin College to the students on the first day of school.

Students will receive a Welcome Pack and Orientation Programme on arrival.

Recommendations on what to prepare before arriving in New Zealand?

We recommend you prepare/complete the following before arriving in New Zealand:

  • Dental check
  • Copy any prescriptions for glasses (spectacles) in case they are lost or broken
  • Photograph passport details and visa details onto student phone
  • Photograph and have a copy of official receipts for any valuable items such as laptop or mobile phone in case any of these items are lost and we need to make an insurance claim

Some suggested personal skills needed are:

  • Personal hygiene – it is important that all boarders know the importance of showering daily, changing underwear and socks regularly, using clean linen and towels and the need for soap, shampoo and deodorant.   Without this knowledge, it is possible that a boarder may be ostracized by their peers, creating a very difficult situation for both the boarder and the other residents.
  • The ability to make a bed in a neat and tidy manner.
  • Picking up and putting away one’s belongings.
  • A little knowledge of sewing such as buttons, nametags and simple hems would be beneficial.
  • The best ways to organise study times and achieve study goals set.   (This school has a formal programme in place to achieve this – the Individual Achievement Plan).
  • The budgeting of funds.
  • Set and clear a table.
  • Sort out laundry and use an iron.
  • Use and empty a vacuum cleaner.
  • Sweep and mop the floor.
  • Fold clothes, etc
  • Wash and dry dishes.
  • Accept responsibility and learn to work happily in a team situation.
  • Answer/use a telephone

Contact Details

Correspondence should be addressed to:


Mother Teresa House
1 Monro Place
Nelson 7020
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 5442145


Francis Douglas House
5 Monro Place
Nelson 7020
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 5440255


Please visit our hostel page for more information.



Homestay Family

Our personal and closely monitored homestay programme is a strength of our international student’s experience.  We are all mothers in our international team and we understand how important it is for our students to be happy in their homestays.

Jacqui, our homestay coordinator is a trained nurse and she takes pride in placing students with families who will match their interests and personality.  She has a family or her own and lives in our local community so she knows all our students and many of our families personally.  Her children are also part of our school community.

We have more homestay families available than we have students to live in homestay so we are able to match students with the family and ensure a positive experience for the homestay families and the students.

Features of our homestay programme include:

  • Students live with families in the local community and all homes are walking or cycling distance from school.
  • Regular homestay activities and information sharing and training with the families so they are well prepared and aware of expectations and cultural differences.
  • 24 hour access to the Director of International Students for emergencies
  • We know all our families personally, visit them regularly, police check them and do regular evaluations with the students and the families to make sure everyone is happy
  • All our homestay families are different because we know all our students are different and this helps us to find the right family for the right student.

We do our best to find the right family for our students but people are people and sometimes it is not the right match.  We cannot guarantee the first homestay family will be right but we can guarantee that if it is not working out for either the student or the family we will communicate any problems honestly and change the family if this is what will make everyone happy.