Homestay Guidelines for Families
(please click on topics below for important information)
This is the private area for the student and families are requested to respect their possessions, privacy and the fact their room is their ‘security blanket.’ Ask the student if they would like you to vacuum their room weekly and change the sheets. Students are also advised to assist by keeping their room tidy and clean at all times and not have any food in their rooms.
Meals must be provided for breakfast and dinner 7 days per week and light lunches on Saturday and Sunday. It is advisable to have a supply of instant noodles on hand for students to make their own snacks between meals and fruit. It is recommended that rice be served with meals several times per week. Please indicate to the student what they can and can’t do in the kitchen.
We ask the student to assist in light duties, particularly assisting at meal times e.g. setting or clearing the table or drying up. Remember the student is not a house-keeper and whilst they are not a hotel guest, a balance must be reached. Communication is the best form of problem solving.
Laundry arrangements should be negotiated with the student. If you are doing the family wash, then it may be ok for you to wash the student’s clothes. Male students tend to like this, females may prefer to do their own. Please show them how to use the washing machine, where soap is etc. Also remind them not to hang any wet clothes in their bedrooms.
This is to be an arrangement between you and the student. Students are to pay for all their international calls. This can be done by various methods, ring back price, phone cards (cheapest and most convenient) or install their own phone line and meet their own costs. We do advise students to inform their family and friends not to ring after 10pm Sydney time. However, most students these days do get mobile telephones, so this is not as big an issue as in the past.
If you provide internet access you can charge students a weekly contribution of up to $10 per week. For this they would expect reasonable access, but should be reminded not to download illegal movies, music etc. Students who are staying in Australia on a long term arrangement may wish to look in to organising pre-paid broadband services e.g. Virgin, Optus, Three, Vodafone.
Safety and Security
Students should be provided with a door key. Stress to the student the need to secure the house should they be the last to leave – many cultures do not experience house break-ins to the extent that we do. Students staying in Australia for a reasonably long period are advised to open a bank account and should be discouraged from keeping large sums of money or valuable possessions in their rooms or on their person.
Students in need of a doctor or dentist are usually sent to a doctor or dentist used by your family. Students with Student Visas will have Medibank Private cover. Study Tour students will have Travel insurance. The students will be required to pay for the services and then will need to go to a Medibank office to claim back some of the costs.
Host families should help their students find the quickest and cheapest routes to their place of study and to other central locations. The website www.131500.com.au can be a great help with this. It is important to note that International Students are not eligible for travel concessions.
Students often enjoy accompanying the family on outings. Advice about places of interest to visit, local activities, sports facilities, shopping facilities etc, will always be welcome. If you invite your student to accompany you on an outing, make it clear beforehand what the cost to the student will be, so that it is not awkward when it comes time to pay.