Being a host family is a great way to increase the understanding of other cultures and people. You get an extra family member to cherish and a new sibling for your children. It is also an opportunity to prepare for an academic year abroad, if one of the children of your family are planning to study abroad.
You register your interest, and will then get an introduction of the students that are coming to New Zealand. STS will do a home visit and thereafter you will get to choose a student that you believe will be a good fit for you and your family.
Being a host family is a voluntary initative. However STS in NZ do pay a weekly contribution towards costs to their host families. Being a host family is a unique experience, it is important that the exchange student feels like a family member.