What is can be
like for the International student and how to create a Long Term Homestay
An international student will
experience a cycle of adjustments when he/she arrives in Australia because of
homesickness, differences in environment, language, and customs.
An awareness of the possibility of
unusual behaviour may help a host family to be sensitive to the student's needs.
A host family is expected to provide
the student with a friendly home environment that is safe and clean. The
student should have a private room with a study area, all basic furniture and
necessary household items. The student will require three meals a day and
should be treated as a member of the family. He/she should not be asked to do
heavy housework or babysitting. Whenever possible, the family is asked to give
practical assistance to the student and to introduce the student to Australian
Pre-Arrival / Arrival
When your student arrives in
your house, please show him/her around the house and introduce him/her to
all members of the family.
You will want to tell the
student how to address you and other family members. Ask the student by
what name he/she should be addressed.
Many international students are
not accustomed to household pets. Therefore, please exercise considerable
caution when the student first arrives.
The First Days / Weeks
Help your student familiarize
with your neighbourhood and the general areas and facilities in your area.
Accompany your student on their first time to school.
If you have any children,
encourage them to talk to the student. Be aware that your children and the
student might require additional time to accept each other. Talk to both
your children and the student and help them get used to each other.
Let the student know your
family's schedule and house rules. In particular, the use of the telephone,
meal times, and friends visiting. Please bear in mind that house rules
should be reasonable and realistic. When your student arrives, a welcome
message with the house rules attached will probably be received very well.
Sit down and discuss the schedule and house rules with your student and give
him/her a copy of each for reference. Enforce all house rules firmly but
Be sure to give your student a
house key and a card with your name, address, and telephone number(s) in
case he/she has to contact you.
Ask the student about likes and
dislikes, especially concerning food. Take the student shopping. Inquire
about food and meal preparation in the student's culture.
Be sure your student knows what
he/she can use to prepare breakfast and/or lunch. If the food is in the
freezer, please take it out and put in the fridge the night before. Let the
student know what he/she can have for snacks.
Be aware that your student might
find his/her room cold. An extra blanket may be the answer. Also,
suggestions to dress more warmly can help.
Let your student know where to
put dirty clothes if you do his/her laundry. Be sure the student knows how
to operate the machines, especially if you wish the student to do his/her
Let the student know how he/she
should pay for long distance telephone calls. Telephone cards are probably
the most convenience way to pay for the calls. Let the student know where
to buy the telephone cards. If your student wishes to have his/her own
line, please help him/her to apply. If you offer the use of your
computer/internet, make sure you set a rule for time and cost. (Refer Host
some time with
your student everyday is very important. Conversation helps your student
get to know you better, practice speaking English, and learn about
Australian culture. This can be an enriching experience for you also.
- Stress punctuality to the
student. Explain that Australians are time conscious and that lateness is
often seen as disrespectful.
- Food for the student should be
nutritious and sufficient By our calculation, half of the homestay payment
should be spent on food for the student. apart from the three meals, a
couple of snacks a day should be provided. Be sensitive to the fact that
your student is facing major dietary changes.
- Host families are expected to
cook dinner and weekend meals, and eat meals with the student most of the
time. During school days, students should be able to prepare their own
breakfasts and bagged lunches once they feel comfortable to do so.
- Conversation during mealtimes
may not be the custom in all cultures. As well, your student might be timid
in speaking English. It will take time for your student to get accustomed
to his/her new environment.
- The student's room is a private
space for the student. You have reasonable access to the room; although, in
normal circumstances entrance should be in the presence of your student.
- The student's room will have a
bed, a closet, a desk, and a night table. If the lighting is poor in the
student's room, please provide a desk lamp.
- Please provide the student with
toilet paper and detergent. If is also advisable to provide bath soap,
especially if your student shares the bathroom with other family members.
- Invite the student to join in
family activities but be understanding if he/she declines the invitation.
- Please realize that the student
is a young adult. He/she is lonely, often disoriented with the new physical
and social environment, and may be struggling to lean a new language.
Culture shock often produces a sense of insecurity. Be tolerant, honest,
and courteous when communicating with your student. Try to listen patiently
and offer support when necessary.
- Improper behaviour towards a
student is unacceptable. Should this happen, the student will be moved
immediately. Certain behaviours may be perceived by the student as
inappropriate. Communication is the key.
- If an emergency involving a
student occurs, the host family will provide necessary assistance to the
student. If the incident is serious or life-threatening, contact
Homestay Australia immediately.
If you have any problem or concern
regarding your student, try talk to the student. If it cannot be solved, please
contact us. We will do our utmost to help you and your student find a solution.