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International Students under 18 years of age

Parental consent conditions

If you are an international student under 18 years old, there are certain additional rules that apply to you while you are studying at the University of Otago Language Centre and Foundation Year.

  • Parents or legal guardians must sign the "Parental Consent Conditions" on the application form.
  • The student must live in a Homestay provided by the Language Centre or Foundation Year or with a caregiver designated by parents or legal guardians. If parents choose a designated caregiver, they can request the "Designated Caregiver Agreement Form". Please email
  • The student must meet with a Student Support Officer once a term to discuss accommodation, academic progress, general health and well-being and to talk about any concerns or complaints.
  • The Student Support Officer will contact parents or legal guardians once a term to discuss student's general health and well-being.
  • An application form must be filled out every time the student wishes to travel outside of the Otago area. After the form has been completed the student will meet with a Student Support Officer to discuss travel arrangements. Once the Student Support Officer agrees to these travel plans s/he will contact the student's parents to advise them of their plans.
  • All the above conditions will be in place for the duration of the student's course of study at the Language Centre or Foundation Year. If the student turns 18 while enrolled, these conditions cease to apply from the date of their 18th birthday.
  • The student must comply with all conditions in the "Parental Consent Conditions."
  • By signing the Student Contract (application form), the student agrees to these extra conditions.
  • The University of Otago Language Centre and Foundation Year has agreed to observe and be bound by the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 - Tertiary published by the Minister of Education. Copies of the Code are available on request from this institution or from the New Zealand Ministry of Education website.

Important Information


It is against New Zealand law for a person under 18 years of age to purchase alcohol or to enter licensed premises.


The use of illegal drugs is prohibited at all times.


Smoking is an increasingly unacceptable habit in New Zealand.

Smoking is not permitted inside any public buildings and many Homestay parents do not allow smoking in their homes.

It is against New Zealand law for a person under 18 years of age to smoke cigarettes.


Please notify us if the student has permission to leave New Zealand.

The student must notify the host family if they intend to be away overnight at any time.

If the student is leaving Dunedin, they must see a Student Support Officer to complete a “Holiday Application” form.

Hitch-hiking is not permitted.


Comprehensive medical and travel is compulsory for all international students.

Parents will be responsible for the cost of any treatment required for pre-existing conditions of the student.

Medical Authorisation

Parents authorise staff to obtain information from hospitals and medical practitioners regarding their child's medical condition, so this can be sent to parents or agents.

In the event of a serious condition or accident parents will be advised as soon as reasonably possible so that permission can be given for treatment and/or surgery.

If, in the event of an emergency or accident parents cannot be contacted, the parents give permission to hospitals or medical practitioners to take whatever action they find appropriate after consultation with staff.

Driving in New Zealand

It is recommended that students under 18 years of age should not be allowed to take driving lessons, obtain a driver’s licence or own a car.

Going out after school

Class may finish between 4.00-5.15pm and the family evening meal is usually between 6-7pm.

Generally students are expected to be home in time for the family meal.

The host family may give guidelines on what time the student should come home and the student must follow these.


If a student does not meet the rules of the University of Otago Language Centre and Foundation Year or the Homestay family, the Divisional Manager may send him or her home after consultation with the parents.

In this case no tuition fees will be refunded.


Parents agree to meet the cost of all fees/liabilities incurred by their child during their study by the due date required.


If parents have any questions or problems about any of these matters they can contact the Divisional Manager or Accommodation Manager and NOT the Homestay parents.

The Accommodation Manager is in regular contact with the Homestay parents and will discuss any concerns with them.

Under 18 Checklist

Before the student leaves home, it is important to have done the following:

  • Completed the Homestay form and returned it to the University of Otago Language Centre or Foundation Year.
  • The parents or legal guardian have understood and signed the "Parental Consent Conditions" on the application form and this has been returned to the University of Otago Language Centre or Foundation Year.
  • There is an email address for a family member or family friend that can speak English.