These may or may not be terms you are familiar with. Maybe you have heard of student exchange, study abroad or student hosting? Many families are experienced at home stay having accepted students into their homes while their children were still at school. This is often referred to as billeting students which was often for free by local school families.
Homestay has come a long way over the last 10-15 years. What we want to do is explain homestay and how it works to those who are considering becoming a host.
Students coming to Australia do so normally to study and practice their english skills or, hone their education to enhance job opportunities back home. The best way they can do that is to live with a english speaking family.
This is Home stay and the people who offer the accommodation are called hosts or hosting families.
Host families can host younger students who are here to learn english and study in high school or who are preparing for university. Other hosts prefer older students at university age for example. You can make that choice yourself.
These homestay programs are put together by schools, colleges, education agents and universities to create cultural diversity and attract overseas students to study here in Australia. It is a major source of revenue for the Australian Economy with up to 500,00 students visiting Australia in 2016 alone which has been steadily increasing.
These study abroad students either come in as an organised study tour group, for english language or, arrange to study here as part of their degree. Study tours operate during the student’s holiday periods between January and March and again in July through to September. Each tour can be anything from 1 to 6 weeks in length and range in size from 10 to more than 100 students.
Ages of students vary from early teens through to mature students in their 20s and 30s.
Tours can include intensive english, excursions and free time for the students to immerse in our culture, language and overall Australian lifestyle.
Students that arrive to study for longer periods often arrive and spend anything from one semester to the full length of their degree.
Host Families who support international students in their home are also compensated for providing room, power, water and quite often a selection of meals. Part of their support is to ensure the student feels comfortable, receives quality meals, has a safe place to relax and assist them in orientating into their new environment.
Many students that come to study in Australia end up making lifelong friendships long after they have finished study and started their own families. These homestay experiences are often profound which is why it is so important that Host families understand and are dedicated to ensuring a great experience for their guest. GBS Homestay works very closely in selecting host families, ensuring they are both suitable and provided with all the information needed to support them with this.
If you would like to be a part of this exciting industry and have a spare room available we can help you get started right now!