(please click on topics below for important information)
I wish to change homestay – how can I do this?
All homestay bookings are for a minimum of four weeks, so you must stay with the original family for at least this period.
After this, if you are an adult student you can simply request a change, but you must give your current host family two weeks paid notice. If you wish for Oz Homestay to find you another host family, you will be required to pay another placement fee.
If you are a student under the age of 18, you can only change to another approved host family. You must first seek permission to change from your Education Provider and they will advise how to go about this. If you wish to change to another host family, Oz Homestay can do this for you. If you wish to live with a relative or family friend, they must first be approved as a nominated carer. This process can take up to 6 weeks to be approved. Your current host family must be given two weeks paid notice before leaving.
Are students eligible for concession travel on public transport?
From early 2013, students may obtain a discount for 90 day and annual MyMulti2 and MyMulti3 passes. MyMulti passes offer unlimited travel on buses, Sydney Ferries, the Stockton Ferry and Light rail services in Greater Sydney, the Hunter and the Illawarra, as well as unlimited travel on some train services.
For more details, please refer to 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 will also often be asked to help clear the table, wash the dishes or other light chores. This is expected of students from all backgrounds.
What should be done about washing clothes and linen?
Some families will wash the student’s clothes and linen, while others will prefer the student to take care of their own laundry. Students will 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 may wish to handwash their personal items, this is usually acceptable, but the students must never hang wet clothes in their bedrooms.
Can I have visitors come to the home?
Sometimes students will travel to Australia with their parents. Homestay hosts will usually be happy to meet the parents and let them accompany you to the home on the first day, but they should be informed well in advance. Students need to have time to get to know their host family and settle in to Australian life, therefore it is best if the parents do not stay long.
If parents, relatives or friends wish to stay in the homestay with the student this must be arranged well in advance. Many host families will not have room for additional guests, so other arrangements must be made. If the host family does have room, the additional guests will be required to pay for their accommodation. The important thing to remember at all times is that homestay is a private home and should not be treated like a hotel.
Will there be locks on the doors?
Most Australian homes do not have locks on the bedroom doors. Many families feel these are dangerous in case of a fire or other emergency situation. It is also common not to have locks on the doors of bathrooms, especially in older style homes. The general rule in most households is that if a door is shut, you knock first to see if anyone is in there before entering.
Will my room have air conditioning and heating?
Many homes in Australia are not air conditioned and do not have central heating, particularly older style homes. If the home is air conditioned, this will usually only be the common areas of the home and not the bedrooms. Heaters must be turned off when you leave the room and should never be left on overnight. The host family will provide you with suitable bedding to ensure you are warm.