Host Family FAQs
(please click on topics below for important information)
How will I be paid the fees for hosting a student?
For most students, Oz Homestay will transfer funds into your account directly for the first 4 weeks payment (less our service fee of $20 per week). These funds will be paid 5 working days after the arrival of the student. A cheque can also be organised if this is preferable, although this may delay payment. Once the student extends, they may be required to pay you directly, in which case they should always pay 4 weeks in advance. Oz Homestay will always confirm the payment method in the booking letter you receive to confirm the placement.
Do I need to pay tax on the fees I receive as a homestay host?
If you are only hosting one or two students at any one time, then you do not need to declare these fees as taxable income. However, if you are hosting more than two students we strongly suggest that you contact your own accountant and determine what your legal requirements are. For further information see the Australian Taxation Office website and search for homestay.
What should I do if I am having problems with the student?
The most important thing remember in the first instance is to communicate with the student and see if you can resolve the problems. If the problem continues contact us and we will see if we can mediate ourselves, or involve the students parents and/or agent if necessary. The last option is to move the student in to another homestay, which normally requires two weeks notice unless it is an extreme circumstance.
What should I do if the student goes home for the holidays and asks me to store their belongings and keep their room available for them?
Students who wish to have their belongings stored for them and their room kept available while they go away on holidays must pay the homestay family half rent for the period that they will be away. If the student is under 18, they do not need to pay any portion of the carer fee while they are away.
Are international students eligible for concession travel on public transport?
From early 2013, discounts are available for international students studying in NSW. Students will have to be registered full fee paying students on student visa. For more details, please refer to your institutions or 131500.com.au
Are students expected to assist with chores around the house?
All members of the family in Australia share the responsibility of making sure the household runs smoothly. A homestay student is expected to live as a part of the family and is therefore also expected to help with chores around the house. This usually consists of the student keeping their own room clean, as well as tidying up after themselves in the common areas. Students can also be asked to help clear the table, wash the dishes or other light chores. This is expected of students from all backgrounds.
Should I wash their clothes and linen?
Some students will prefer to do their own washing, whilst others are quite happy for the host family to wash their clothes linen. Students should always be expected to take care of their own ironing. It is best for the student and host to discuss the washing arrangements right at the beginning, so that everyone understands the procedure. Students must be reminded to never hang wet clothes in their bedrooms.
The student is eating huge amounts of food, yet is still hungry all the time - what should I do?
This is actually one of the most common issues faced by our hosts when teenage students are involved. Below are some ideas as to how you can help with this situation:
- Make sure you have carbohydrates as the main part of the student's meal - rice, pasta, potato etc. As students have very different foods back at home, they tend to over-eat when it comes to Western meals.
- Like many Aussies travel with a jar of Vegemite - Asian students feel a meal is not complete unless it includes rice! A rice cooker is a good investment when hosting Asian students. It’s easy to cook up some rice to go with your evening meals.
- Try to get the student to eat slowly and also encourage them to improve their table manners. Some students may never eat normally as a family, so this could be a new experience for them.
I will be out one night and not home to cook dinner, what should I do?
We usually suggest in this situation that you have a meal already prepared that the student just needs to heat up when they are hungry. Make sure that the student knows how to use the microwave to be able to do this. You can also discuss the situation with your student, they may say they are happy to prepare and cook their own meal for that evening.