Homestay Guidelines for Students
(please click on topics below for important information)
Respect the Homestay
Please be polite, respectful and friendly to all members of the Homestay family and respect their privacy. It is customary and polite, to say "please," when asking, and "thank you" when taking.
- Australians generally do not have locks on their internal doors, please do not enter other people’s bedrooms without permission, even if the door is open.
- Do not enter the bathroom if the door is shut, knock first to make sure that no-one is using the bathroom.
- Please communicate with your family regarding smoking, playing music, eating etc.
The first payment of 4 weeks is to be paid in advance to Oz Homestay before you travel to Australia. Future payments are paid direct to the family every 4 weeks in advance. It is important that these payments are made on time and in full, the host should not have to constantly ask you for the money. Two weeks paid notice must be given to the homestay when vacating. Students should ask for a receipt when payment has been made to the host family.
Please inform the homestay of any damages around the house, or accidents. Students must pay for any damages or breakages caused by them or their visitors.
Please ask the homestay family, in advance, if you wish to have friends visit you at home. Your visitors must leave the house before 10pm at latest, or earlier if requested by the homestay family. Visitors of the opposite sex are not permitted in your bedroom unless approved by the homestay. Friends will only be allowed to stay overnight with the family’s permission, which should be requested in advance.
The student is to pay for all their own telephone calls. Please discuss the telephone arrangement with the family prior to making calls. Purchase an international phone card from the local shop to use when ringing home – do not ring mobile (cell) phones from the host family home – it is expensive. Inform your family back home of the time difference and ask them not to ring after 10pm Sydney time as it is not acceptable and inconsiderate, to most families to receive late night calls.
Internet connection is expensive in Australia – most host families will charge on average, $10 per week extra to have access to the internet – this fee does not give you unlimited access. Please do not download music or movies unless you ask the host first as this could use all their monthly usage. The weekly internet fee is to be paid to the host family directly.
Please keep your bedroom tidy and clean at all times. Your bed should be made daily. Please keep your possessions tidy and do not leave them around the house. If you are preparing snack’s for yourself, please leave the kitchen clean and tidy afterwards. Leave the bathroom clean and tidy after use.
- Please do not “squat” on the toilet seat. Sit with feet on the floor.
- Please do not put your used toilet paper in the waste bin – put in toilet only.
- Dispose of sanitary pads properly – wrap them and put in waste bin provided. DO NOT PUT THEM IN THE TOILET!!!!! If you are not sure, ask your homestay mother.
- When showering do not allow the water to go onto the floor outside the shower cubicle.
- As we have a shortage of water in Sydney, please keep your showers short (10 minutes maximum).
- Be considerate – do not spend too much time in the bathroom, remember other family members are waiting to use the bathroom as well.
- Help with tidying the table after meals and assist with wiping the dishes.
- The homestay family is not your servant and you are not living in a hotel where everything is done for you. You are living as part of a family and are expected to contribute to light duties around the house.
Host families are required to provide you with breakfast and dinner everyday and also lunches on weekends. Note that breakfast will usually consist of toast or cereal, and you will probably have to "help yourself." Cooked breakfasts are not common in Australia. Please call the homestay family, at least one hour before meal time, if you will not be home for the dinner or you will be late for dinner. It is a good idea to inform them before you leave for school in the morning.
Laundry or Washing of Clothes
This is to be negotiated with the family. The homestay family will provide a washing machine etc. Some homestay families will offer to include the student’s washing as part of the family wash, others prefer the student to do their own washing. Do not use the washing machine to wash only one or two items as this is wasting water. Make sure you have a half or full load, depending on the settings of the machine. Ask the homestay family how to use the washing machine and how much soap powder to use.
Cash and Valuables
Do not leave any valuables lying around the house. Keep all valuables in a locked bag in your room. Large amounts of money should be kept in a bank account or in a safe at the bank. Do not leave them in the house and do not tell anyone that you have large amounts of cash. If you are going out – do not carry large amounts of cash in your wallet or purse and make sure you don’t allow other people to see how much cash you have on you when paying for goods. Be discreet.
All care is taken by Oz Homestay and your homestay family to ensure you and your valuables are safe however they do not accept any responsibility in the case of personal injury, accident or loss of personal items. It is therefore important that all students take their own personal travel insurance to protect themselves against these occurrences. The OSHC, the compulsory medical insurance taken by all students on student visa, does not cover loss or damage of personal items.
If your family is going on an outing and invite you, then this is a great opportunity for you to see other places, talk with the family and relax. Try to participate with the family as much as possible, even if it is supermarket shopping, this will help with your English and learning the western cultures.
Please communicate with your family – this solves many problems. If you have a question – ask the family – they are there to help you settle into the home as well as into the Australian lifestyle.