If you're looking to pick up another language, have a young person around the house, encourage acceptance in your children, or simply get a new perspective on everyday life, then hosting might be for you.
Becoming a host family is also a great way to be more involved in your community and support your local school or tertiary institute.
Homestay families are varied and diverse. Some hosts have children, others have adult children who have left home and some don't have children of their own. The most important thing is that you are willing to welcome a student into your home life.
Depending on the student's course, the length of stay can range from three weeks to one year. Hosting a student for a short-term stay can be a good way to see if hosting suits your family.
Generally, high school students are aged between 13-18 years and require more support than English language school and tertiary students, who are often in their late teens to 20s and therefore more independent.
As a host, you'll need to live within a 30 minute commute from the school/institution. You will need to provide:
- a separate bedroom
- a desk, chair, heater and light
- 1-3 meals a day (depending on the student and institution's requirements)
Before being matched with students, families are vetted by the institution and police. Homestay families are generally paid between $230-$275 per week.