1) What can I expect upon arrival at my host family?

Your new host family will make you feel at home! Don’t worry if you cannot remember everyone’s names at first. It usually takes a week to settle in and to get to know your host family, so give yourself some time to adjust. Even though at the very beginning it is harder to communicate, a great topic to start a conversation is to talk about your home country and the city you came from. To bring pictures from home to show them could be a great way to start it. On your first day at school, your host family will make sure you know your way around, and know how to get public transport to and from school.

2) What do I have to know about my bedroom?

Please let your host family know if you are cold and need more blankets. You are responsible for keeping your room neat and tidy - Australian families normally do not have housekeepers. Do not leave valuables or large amounts of money in your room. You can always deposit any large amounts of money in the bank. You are responsible for keeping your bedroom clean and tidy. Make your bed every day and keep your personal belongings organized.

3) Does Homestay Plus perform a background check on hosts?

Homestay Plus requeststhe “Working with Children Check” and/or “Police Check”, which are issued by the NSW Government, for ALL our families, before we can place students or guests.

4) What should I know about meals provided in the homestay?

Breakfast and dinner are provided for you everyday.

Breakfast is usually self-served.
Lunch is provided on the weekends if you are at home. Your family will normally serve a light salad or a sandwich with tea, coffee or some other drink. Please note that Australian families usually eat a very light and quick lunch, as it is not considered the main meal of the day. Dinner will be cooked for you, and will be the main meal of the day. Dinnertime is a good opportunity to have a nice conversation with the host family. If you plan to be out at dinner time, or if you will be late, it is important that you notify your host family so they know where you are. Also, if there are any foods that you do not like, or if you have any food allergies, inform it on the homestay application form and reinforce it with the family as soon as you arrive.

5) I would like to change my homestay. How can I do that?

All homestay bookings have a minimum of four weeks, so you must stay with the original family for at least this period. After that, if you are an adult student, you can simply request a change. If you would like HomestayPlus to find you another host family for after the first 4 weeks, you will be required to pay another placement fee.

6) What happens if I have a serious disagreement with my host family?

If there is something you are not happy about, we suggest that you first discuss the problem directly with the family. If the problem still can’t be solved, then you should contact Homestay Plus filling the Issues Form on our Website

7) What about housework?

Be courteous and helpful in your new environment and you will have a happy homestay experience - being positive always helps. It is common in Australian families for all the family members help around the house. Each morning you should make your bed and tidy your room. You will receive help changing your bed linen. In Australia, most families put washing outside to dry and don’t usually have dryers.This is because the summers in Australia are hot and sunny and the winters are mild. Never hang wet clothes in your bedroom or in the bathroom, ask your host mother where to do it. Always look for ways to be helpful to your host family and they will appreciate your willingness and consideration to help and be part of the family. It is not common in Australia for families to have servants, so everyone in the family helps with general tasks and cleaning up after themselves, and you will be expected to do the same.

8) Am I allowed to smoke in the host’s house?

You must advise Homestay Plus if you are a smoker, as we will need to ensure you are placed with a family that doesn’t mind the fact that you smoke. Nevertheless, smoking is never allowed inside the house, as it is a potential fire hazard and will make the house smell. You may be allowed to smoke outside the house or on a balcony, if the family agrees. Even members of the family who are smokers do not smoke inside the house, only outside.

9) Will I have my own set of house keys?

Students will be given house keys. Never write your address on the keyring holder. If you are the last person to leave the house, please make sure your window, and all the exterior doors, are closed and locked for security reasons. Take good care of the keys and remote controls for gates, as you will be responsible for replacing them if you lose them.

10) Will I have access to a telephone and internet connection?

Students who wish to have internet access will need to arrange that at their own expense, but some families might offer this for an additional charge, or they can help you buying your own internet stick. We recommend that students do not use the host family’s telephone, unless they have given the student permission to do so.

11) How do I wash clothing and linen?

Some families will wash the students’ clothes and linen, while others will prefer the students to take care of their own laundry. Students will always be expected to do their own ironing. It is best if the student discusses laundry arrangements right at the beginning, so that everyone is clear about the procedure. Students may prefer to wash personal items by hand. This is usually acceptable, but wet clothes should never be hung in the bedroom or bathroom.

12) Can I have friends or guests over at my homestay?

If the student’s parents, relatives or friends wish to stay at the homestay with the student, this must be arranged in advance. Many host families will not have room for additional guests; therefore, other arrangements will need to be made. If the host family does have a spare room, the additional guests will be required to pay for their accommodation. It is important to remember at all times that the homestay is a private home and should not be treated as a hotel.

13) Will there be locks on the doors inside the house?

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. It is also common not to have locks on bathroom doors, especially in older style homes. The general rule in most households is that if a door is shut, you knock first to check if anyone is using the room before entering.