Will students have access to Internet/WiFi at their home and school?
Yes, students will most likely have access to the Internet/WiFi at home and school. Though, the Internet can be very expensive in New Zealand since data usage is not unlimited, which means that people pay for the amounts of information downloaded. Thus, students should ask the school and host family if they should pay extra in order to access the Internet or get a SIM card with pre-paid access.
Can students bring their own cell phones?
Yes, if a student has an unlocked cell phone, they could use their personal phone with a Kiwi carrier/SIM card. Students are encouraged to bring their smart phone, personal laptop or tablet to school to use during class.
Can students travel without an adult chaperone, if given permission?
Students cannot travel outside of the host area without adult supervision. Travel outside of the host area with adult supervision is authorized if approved by the natural parents, host family, local partner office and Quest.
How much money should students have for spending money?
Students should budget around $200/month for personal expenses, which include entertainment, personal hygiene items, long-distance calls, etc. Additional money should be budgeted for start-up school expenses, such as books and supplies. These fees are in addition to Quest program fees.
What are some cultural norms that describe a typical host family in New Zealand?
Kiwi families are diverse, so family expectations, interactions and activities vary widely. Some families may afford the student a great deal of independence, while others may expect the student to participate more extensively in family life. Some families may be very active or outdoorsy, while others may prefer to relax at home. Thus, students must be open-minded and ready to adapt to their new host family dynamics.
How are host families chosen?
Quest’s in-country partner is responsible for locating, screening and matching host families with our students. Host families go through a careful screening process, which typically involves in-person interviews, home inspections and references.
What is the visa application process and how long does the process normally take?
For stays over 90 days, students will need a visa. Students apply for the visa online and it can take approximately 4 weeks. As the details of this process may vary, neither Quest nor our New Zealand partner office can confirm the exact requirements. For this reason, Quest is not able to assist with legal visa documents. It is the student’s responsibility to research the current visa requirements and to obtain and submit the visa application.
How will the student get to and from school?
Most students are within walking distance. But, if not, they could bike, skate or take the school or public bus. Their host family may also be able to drop them off. Students are responsible for any transportation costs, which would be in addition to Quest program fees.
Is there a possibility for students to get tutors during their program?
Yes, it may be possible, some schools may offer this at no cost after classes in the library, whereas some may assign a tutor at an extra cost. Students should consult with the academic coordinator at their school for more information.
Can students receive an official document with grades and completed classes after finishing their program?
Yes, students will receive a final school report with the subject and associated assessment listed. But, students must complete all school assignments and take all exams in order to receive this. They must also communicate with the school officials in New Zealand about their desire to receive this documentation. Students must be proactive about this, as obtaining this documentation is their responsibility before they leave New Zealand.
Do schools offer different sports/activities?
Kiwi schools offer a vast array of sports and outdoor activities. Some of these happen during school and some happen after school. Since New Zealand is the land of adventure, you are sure to find exciting opportunities!