Your role as a homestay host

We want to make sure we are offering our students a warm, friendly and safe home, to help them settle in and feel comfortable in their new country.

Homestay host and student

What you need to provide

Your student must be provided with:

  • three meals per day, seven days a week
  • their own bedroom (with a bed, study table, lamp, chair and clothes storage)
  • household utilities (such as gas, electricity, water and heating).

Setting house guidelines

Guidelines will help students understand what is expected of them. Try to set these guidelines before your student arrives.  When we come and visit you, we'll ask you if you have any specific house rules. Often our students are over 18 years, so please remember to try and be flexible. Our students are provided with a student orientation manual before they arrive to help them adjust to their homestay.

Washing and cleaning

It's your choice how you want to handle household chores. You aren't expected to do a student's laundry and cleaning. Talk through the usual family habits with your student and show them how to use things around the house, such as the washing machine.

Telephone and internet

Hosts will provide students with internet provision suitable for study purposes 'free of charge'. Students are provided with Internet usage guidelines before they arrive. Students are encouraged to have a mobile phone and must cover their own phone costs. If your student uses your home phone, let them know how you will keep track of their calls. For example, for international calls they can dial 0012 (instead of 0011) to find out the cost.

Settling in

Encourage your student to speak English all the time. But please remember to be sensitive to the cultural differences between Australia and other countries. Flexibility and patience will always help.

Keep to your usual routine

Your student is like a member of the family, rather than a guest. You should only need to make small changes to your daily routine. For example, you may need to assist with transport, but you do not have to cook Asian food every day.


Three nutritious meals a day is essential. Your approach, however, can be flexible. Make sure you explain how you typically organise meals in your home. Your students might be used to different traditions for meals. You can occasionally eat out or have takeaway food, but remember that all meals are included in the homestay fee.

Other requirements

Number of students

We have a limit of three homestay students in a house at one time, and they must be from different countries. This will encourage students to speak English, rather than their own language. Please let us know if you are hosting any other students.

Going away overnight

If for any reason you need to stay away overnight, please contact us to discuss an alternative arrangement for your student. Options include having your student stay at a friend's house, or a friend may come and stay at your house. We'll need to make sure your student is comfortable with the arrangements.

Communicate to work out issues

Concerns, misunderstandings or problems can usually be solved by talking with your student. If this doesn't work, one of the homestay team members can provide counselling and mediation. As a final alternative, your student may move to a different homestay.


Evaluating the experience

At the end of their stay, students are asked to complete evaluations about their homestay. This helps us to assess our students' experiences.

In an emergency

Our 24-hour emergency hotline number is 0411 475 232. This number must only be used for emergencies such as hospitalisation and assault.

Contact us

For all other issues, please contact us at: +61 3 9902 0122.