Information for Parents


This exchange will give your child an “experience of a life-time” and your family will be part of it.  The exchange is designed to enable any Lower Hutt student who meets the selection criteria, regardless of their financial circumstances, to participate.  As a consequence of this accessibility, it is necessary that the applicant has the full support of their family, and that their family is prepared to invest time and effort into fundraising and hosting.

Three applicants will be selected, and they and their families will work together as a group, with the guidance of the Hutt Sister City Foundation Student Exchange Co-ordinator, to fundraise to cover all the costs of the exchange, approximately $10,000-$15,000, and to organise a programme for the Tempe students when they arrive in Lower Hutt.

Three Lower Hutt applicants are selected in September each year to participate in the exchange programme after presenting a speech and going through an interview process with a selection panel from the Hutt Sister City Foundation.  Applicants are interviewed, applicants’ parents/caregivers are also interviewed, and a home visit is made.

The three Tempe students are selected in February and they are then paired with the Lower Hutt students.  Students and their families are able to communicate via the internet to meet and get to know each other before the exchange begins.

The Tempe students arrive early June and visit for five weeks.  They do not attend school, although usually a day is set aside in the programme for them to attend school with their Lower Hutt student.

The programme usually involves visits to tourist sights and activities in the Lower Hutt and Wellington area, and usually a short trip is made to Rotorua/Taupo.  Students are able to use public transport to get to places, but parents are expected to accompany the students as much as possible.

A few days after the Tempe students return home, the three Lower Hutt students leave for Tempe, where they are hosted by their Tempe family.  They spend time with them before they join delegates from nine other countries who are also visiting on their student exchange.  In recent years, this large group of students have camped at the Grand Canyon for a couple of nights, visited Disneyland, and attended an American Prom!

Important points to note:

  • Be prepared for time commitments.

  • You are working together with two other families.

  • Allow time to attend meetings.

  • Be proactive and participate in the decision-making of the group.

  • Allow time to assist with fundraising activities.

  • One person needs to be responsible for organising and managing a bank account for funds raised.

  • Host a Tempe student for five weeks. This student will not be attending school full-time and will be participating in a programme of activities which are organised by the exchange group (students and parents) with the guidance of the Student Exchange Co-ordinator.

  • Some Annual Leave may need to be taken during the time that the Tempe students are with you.

  • Funds raised go towards the programme costs - lunches and living costs whilst your student is staying with you are not included.

  • A parent group report is required at the end of the exchange for the HSCF.