Life is sweet for international students

Life is sweet for international students

15 March 2024

St Paul’s Collegiate School is quite a distance from home for Thailand-born students Mac Athikitrawee (Year 12) and Mark Sripinyo (Year 11) but life is pretty sweet for these two international students.

Mac and Mark came to St Paul’s in 2023 for a high school experience but were unfamiliar with anyone at the school or in New Zealand.

Mac, who will be joined by a sibling at the school in Term 2, resides with a family who have become his friends. He shares, “I discuss with them about my day, and they attend events to support me. Living with them is enjoyable.” When asked about his favorite New Zealand foods, he iconically responded, “Lamb, ice cream, and fish and chips.”

Mark, who has experienced both boarding and homestay situations, appreciates the tranquility of life with a family. Last year, he stayed with a family that had a Year 13 son at the school, and this year, he spends exeat weekends and school holidays with another family. He feels pampered by his homestay families, who take him on trips to Auckland and celebrate his birthday with him.

Both students express their gratitude for families who open their homes to them. “Living with a Kiwi family adds so much enjoyment to our time in New Zealand. It creates a sense of home for us while we're away from our families.”

Families interested in hosting an international student for exeat weekends or school holidays should contact: Marg Benefield


  • $50.00 per day (exeat weekends)
  • $320 per week for fulltime students
  • $350 per week for when students stay with homestay during the school holidays