There has always been the option of becoming an exchange student in High School, and it is no surprise that as this generation becomes older, braver and wiser and clearly more head strong that they will make the most of these sort of opportunities.
However High School students are still teenagers and as much as they will like to think they are strong and independent and able to deal with life by them selves, you will find that once they are put in a circumstance such as being an exchange student they may change from being the most out going and out spoken person to being shy and nervous. Which is no wonder it is a pretty daunting experience.
For this reason the Australian Government offers Government approved families for Homestay programs. This gives international students a closer more family oriented environment to call home for their stay in Australia. A more supportive stay will always be a better one for young people.
Australia is a great place to live and visit and who better to be staying with then the locals themselves, they will be able to show you all the things that go on in a usual Australian town and house hold as well as showing you the great spots that only the locals know about.
There is no better way to see Australia, and don't forget you'll be learning at the same time.
Australia celebrates a unique lifestyle that is desired by many around the globe. Tourist brochures promote sun-kissed Aussies enjoying time with friends and family wether at the beach, in the bush, dining out or at home. And they couldn’t be closer to the truth. Many foreigners are attracted to these images and come to Oz in search of a deeper understanding of our warm culture, and most like it so much they decide to stay as long as they can.
One of the best ways to delve right into the Aussie way of life is to partake in a homestay program. There are many recognized agencies that enforce strict screening processes to make sure the most suitable host is selected for you and that your stay will be safe and comfortable. Usually the rates you pay include at least two meals a day, boarding, utilities and other services such as Internet usage.
Taking part in a home stay experience is popular with foreign students, as it allows them to learn first hand about Australian culture whilst remaining comfortable in homely surroundings. Usually, the host family will spend the first few days showing you around your new area and helping you adjust to Aussie life. They will most probably have many questions about your home country, as you will have about theirs. This is why some people refer to homestay programs as a ‘cultural exchange’.
In some cases the guest may be required to take part in small household chores, such as cleaning, dish washing, gardening or dog walking. But you don’t have to think of it as work, instead use the experience to gain a deeper understanding of the day-to-day routines of Australian family life.
The duration of homestay programs can vary, with most starting at a minimum of 14 days and lasting up to one year or longer. Payment is usually preferred in advance, but each family may prefer a different system.
If you are thinking about applying for a homestay program, search more than one agency to ensure you find just the right family for you. It is possible to search directly for private families, but make sure you cross check them very carefully for your safety.
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Homestay accommodation is popular for students, here a student will stay with a government approved Australian family. A homestay is usually organised by the students educational provider. Students will need to help pay utilities, and will be required to pay a bond and deposit at the beginning of their stay to help pay for any damages which may occur. Meals are usually provided by the host family. Rent is payable to the host family and is generally between AU $110 and $270 per week.
Home stay (about $110 to $270 a week)
Home stay is when you live with an Australian family in their home. For young students, living on a budget and are studying for a short period of time, this is good. For short term English courses this option is popular. Single or shared rooms are available and costs vary. Meals are usually included, but cheaper self-catering home stay is available.
Another option is farm stay, which offers the same kind of services exept is in the rural part of town, is more quiet and relaxed.
These families usually have done this before, it wont be the first time with an international student, but still you can ask them all the questions you want and get in touch with them as often as you feel you need too.
You need to pay before you arrive or on the day of your arrival, so make sure this is a decision you want to follow through on.
It might just be like living at home but with a new family, you will be expected to pick up after yourself and your things, especially in shared areas. You should seek approval before installing any equipment in your room, such as television or nailing something into the wall or painting the room.
Your host is their to help you and try to make your transition a little easier but if you feel that is not occurring you can also contact your institution for assistance.
Some questions you should be thinking about and asking the host are:
- When should I pay for the rent or phone bill?
- What are the rules about using the kitchen, washing my clothes, going out and having friends over?
- What time at night should I stop receiving incoming telephone calls?
- When is the latest I can return home after school? (For students who are in high school or under the age of 18.)
- How much notice should I give if I decide to move out? When can I get my deposit returned?
- How much space would be available to me?
- Are the essential (such as a bed, night stand) already provided or is it extra?
- Questions provided by the Australian government guide for international students.
Homestay accommmodation can provide you with the 'real Australian experience". You can share a home with an Australian family (with or without children/pets). All meals are provided and shared facilities. If you are interested in homestay accommodation, you should contact your International Student Office, and ask for details of people who provide this service.
Cost is approximately AUS$140,00 - $170,00 per week including meals.