1What can I expect as a student upon arrival at my host family?
Your new Homestay family welcomes you! Do not worry if you cannot remember everyone's names at first. It usually takes a week to settle in and to get to know each other, so give yourself some time to adjust. Bring lots of photo's from home as your host family will be interested in seeing your family and your home town. On your first day at school your host family will make sure you know your way around, to and from school and on public transport.
2Does Homestay Network perform a background check on hosts?
Hosting students falls under the Childrens and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998, NSW and other similar Acts in all Australian States and Territories . As a prescribed service provider Homestay Network Pty Limited takes its legal obligations seriously; therefore we conduct the appropriate Working With Children Checks in each state we operate in and National Police checks on ALL our families. Before we place students or guests with any host family we require the Working With Children Check to be conducted on all persons living at the address who are over 18 years of age.
3What about food?
The biggest adjustment to life in Australia for most students is getting used to Aussie food. Be positive and optimistic about your new food adventure, you may be pleasantly surprised!
4Do the meals include breakfast and dinner 7 days per week?
Your midday meals are not supplied by your host family, however most schools have a canteen where you can purchase lunch quite inexpensively. If you do require lunches during the week some families are able to supply this for an extra cost. Always let your family know if you have any food dislikes or allergies. You can drop hints about your favourite foods too. If you decide to request lunches, it may be that lunches on the weekend are ‘help yourself’.
5How long can I stay?
Our minimum Homestay is 4 (four) weeks. On leaving Homestay the host must be given 2 (two) weeks notice or paid 2 (two) weeks in lieu of notice. You are able to stay as long as you and the homestay family are in agreement and comfortable.
6What about house work?
Be courteous and helpful in your new environment and you will have a happy Homestay experience, being positive always helps. Commonly in Australian families, all family members help around the home. Each morning you should make your bed and tidy your room. You will be helped to change your bed linen. In Australia most families put washing outside to dry and not in dryers, this is due to Australia usually having very hot summers and mild winters. Never hang wet clothes in your bedroom or bathroom. Always look for ways to help your host family and they will appreciate your willingness and consideration to help and be part of the family.
7Am I able to smoke in the host’s home?
You will need to advise Homestay Network if you smoke as we will need to ensure you are placed with a family that is okay with you smoking. If you are a smoker, smoking is never permitted inside your bedroom as it could cause a fire and will make the house smell. You can often smoke outside the house or on a veranda or balcony if the family is in agreement for you to smoke.
8Will I have house keys?
Students will be given house keys, never put your address on the key ring holder. If you are the last person to leave the house, please make sure your window is closed and locked as well as exterior doors for security reasons.
9Will I be able to access the telephone and internet?
Students wishing to have internet access will need to arrange this at their own expense. Telephone use will be at the discretion of the host parents, students should seek permission to make calls to mobiles and overseas and reimburse the host family for the cost of calls, or purchase a calling card. You should keep a list of any local phone calls you make. Alternatively you may have a phone line installed, but must seek permission from the host parents for this. Charges for a phone line to be installed and costs associated with a phone are at the cost of the student.
10What happens to my homestay if I want to return home or take a break with my family away from my homestay for longer than 14 nights?