Your guide to hosting students!

Their arrival at homestay! – first things first…

  • Homestay House Guestrest and relax first
    • After a long flight they will be excited but tired, once the adrenalyn wears of they will want to sleep
    • offer a cup of tea and light refreshment
    • show them their room to unpack and let them relax if they wish
  • show them around your home
    • take a tour of the house
    • let them know the areas they are welcome to relax in.
    • show them how things work.  microwave, oven, washing machine, door locks, fans, lights and explain that things like lights and fans need to be turned off if they are not using them.
    • show them how we have sheets and doonas or quilt covers and how to turn them down to sleep under them.  Don’t expect them to know, every country is a little different.
    • make sure they are warm in winter, and have a fan in summer to keep them comfortable.
  • homestay laundrydiscuss how the house runs
    • laundry – will they do their own, or will you offer? What time day of the week is laundry?
    • wifi – explain they can download music and movies at school, but please don’t chew up the data at home.
    • meal times – when, and how they should contact you if they are going to be late or not coming home.
    • explain power (turn off lights and fans) and water usage ( keep showers short)
  • home access
    • keys – students normally will need a key

Getting Around – how, when and where

  • Homestay public transportlocal transport methods
    • let them know the best methods of public transport near your home.  train, light rail, bus, bike etc
  • bus stops
    • show your student where to catch the bus from your house to school.  It also a great option if you can to show them where they catch the bus at the school end as well so they are not nervous on their first day.
  • location of educator
    • show them on a map the location of the eductor and where you house is so they get their bearing.  Most students will use google maps anyway and are quite independent but its a great opportunity to do some bonding.
  • shops
    • show them where the local shopping centre is for their weekend adventures
  • restaurants
    • show them the local eateries, every student likes some fast food from time to time
  • local attractions
    • once they settle in and get use to the transport, show them how to get to attractions in your areas such as local beaches, national parks, hiking trails, zoos, theme parks, cinemas, markets

Menu Options – where to start and plan

  • types of cuisine
    • students are expecting a different diet to their own, typically they are expecting a western diet.  This does not mean they don’t want some dishes to make them feel at home, or are not willing to try some of your cultural cuisine, however it’s important that the menu is varied and incorporates protein, vegetables, salads and fruit for a healthy diet.
  • breakfast
    • general rule is show students where the food is and let them help themselves to cereal, toast, yoghurt, tea and coffee.   Some may want to cook up some eggs and bacon.  Discuss what they like to eat and where possible try and cater.  Some students are not a fan of weetbix , but they will eat things like cornflakes so, it’s good to discuss first before you go shopping.
  • lunch
    • if a student has paid for a lunch option in their homestay package, then it is customary to provide a healthy sandwich, muesli bar and juice as an example.  They may like leftover rice, meat veg from the night before.    Bee sure it is nutritionally balanced and sufficient for their individual appetites and you can’t go wrong.  Here are some lunch menu suggestions to get you started.

Lunch Box Suggestions

  • dinner
  • keep it varied, there is nothing wrong with a pasta or pizza night, just not every night.
    • here a three quick suggestions if you are in a pinch for time.
      • roast chicken or 2 from the supermarket, some mixed salad from the salad section and some potato wedges from the freezer section and you have dinner on the table in 25 minutes flat.
      • mexican – heat some refried beans, (or chili beans), add corn chips on top, then grated cheese, finely chopped tomato, cucumber, and cos letuce, top with sour cream and smashed avocado with lemon and salt to taste
      • Spaghetti Bolognese, beef, oregano, garlic, bay leaf, bottle of passata sauce, salt to taste, sided with a tomato, lettuce and cucumber salad and crusty garlic bread
    • for a more extensive meal planner click below

Weekly Meal Plans – Dinner


  • Homestay communicationlanguage level
    • language levels will vary from very low language skills to quite good.  Be patient and if you need to use technology to help you such as google translator until you establish how well you can communicate.  Speak slowly and clearly, use simple language while you get to know your guest.
  • technology
    • students use technology to communicatly so its good to get on board here are a list of the most common.
      • Facebook messenger
        • Number 1 app in 107 countries
      • WhatsApp
        • Over 190 countries use this app
      • WeChat
        • China
      • Line
        • Asia : India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand
        • Europe : Turkey
        • North and South America : Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and the United States
        • Oceania : Australia and New Zealand
      • Viber
        • Free calling and chat app used by more than  249 million people
  • Homestay topics of conversationtopics of conversation
    • types of food
    • siblings
    • schooling
    • Cultural differences they notice
    • Hobbies and interests
    • day at school
    • plans for weekend
    • things to see and do in the area
    • TV shows
    • pets

Safety and Curfews

  • Homestay safetyover 18
    • Students over 18 don’t have a curfew but are expected to;
      • keep in touch with their host and let them know when they will be home for safety
      • be courteous and quiet if coming home late
  • under 18
    • students under 18 do have curfew times that they must adhere to.  Some will also have travel distances (boundaries) they are allowed to travel on their own without permission.
    • each educator will provide clear guides to under 18 students as the education provider holds their welfare responsibility in place of the parents while they are in Australia.  Our job as hosts is to support the education provider and keep the children safe and in contact outside of school hours.
  • inviting friends over
    • This is entirely up to you as a host.  We recommend saying no if you will not be home, if they want to have sleep overs again depending on the age there are guidelines check in with us first.

Remember it’s your home, your rules so be clear, friendly but firm on things that are very important to you and be relaxed and easy going with everything else as the student picks up on your vibe, a relaxed host is a relaxed student.

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