International education has boosted the economic value of Whanganui by $11 million.

At present 325 international students are studying in the city.

Of those, 244 are at local schools, 29 are in private training and education and 52 study in institutes of technology and polytechnics.

Many students who have opted for Whanganui have stayed with Tamaryn and Ben Toyne, whose four daughters have grown up with homestay international students.


Sophie, 8, was only six months old when the couple hosted their first international student and at the moment they have a student from Thailand staying with them.

"Sophie loves spending time with her and taking up activities such as painting and even baking together," Tamaryn Toyne said.

"She likes the excitement around who she is going to meet next, loves interacting with the students and says she wants to travel to places they come from when she grows up."

Since they started hosting the Toynes have welcomed at least 20 students posted with Whanganui Girls College and Wanganui City College.

As well as Thailand, the students come from countries including Japan, Brazil, Germany, Austria, France and Korea.

Toyne said the best part about being a homestay family is the lifelong connections that are made.

"We want to give them the best experience while they are in New Zealand, keep them happy and safe.

"My husband and I often joke about how when we are old, we will travel around the world and have a place to stay, wherever we go."


In new information included in the report, visiting friends and relatives of the international students contributed an additional $3m to Whanganui's economy.

You can read Education Minister Chris Hipkins' report here.