Become a homestay host

If you are a family living in the Northern Territory (NT), you can apply to host an international student in your home.

As a homestay host, you will welcome a student aged between 15 and 18 years of age into your home while they study.

Students will attend school to study, but are also encouraged by the homestay host to do all of the following:

  • take part in sporting and social activities
  • socialise with other international students as well as friends at school and your family, friends and contacts
  • attend school regularly and inform the school if they are sick or unable to attend for some other reason. It is a condition of their visa they attend school.

Read below to find out about the conditions and how to apply.

As a homestay family you will be expected to provide all of the following:

  • a bedroom with air conditioning or ceiling fan
  • bed linen
  • furniture in the bedroom including a bed, mattress, wardrobe (or storage for clothes), study desk, chair, study lamp
  • meals
  • toiletries
  • laundry facilities
  • electricity
  • internet access
  • key to the house
  • orientation to the local area and facilities including the public bus system
  • a friendly and relaxed atmosphere treating the student as a member of the family.

You will also negotiate with the student regarding all of the following:

  • cleaning the student's room
  • use of kitchen and cooking facilities
  • use of vacuum cleaner and iron
  • use of telephone
  • watching television with the family.

Students are not encouraged to drive a car unless they have their parent's permission and have a valid licence.

Students must keep you informed of their whereabouts and must notify you and the school of holiday addresses and activities.

Working with children clearance card

All family members in your household over 15 years of age must have a working with children clearance card (Ochre Card).

Your homestay coordinator will provide you with the documentation or you can apply online.

Read how to apply or renew a working with children clearance.

Details of fees for various services are listed in the table below.

Initial student airport pick up Free of charge
Homestay accommodation AU$280 per week, which includes access to breakfast, ingredients to make lunch, snacks and a cooked dinner seven days a week. Students are to have the same access to food as all other residents of the household. Students must have their own room.
Room retention AU$50 per week when you are absent from your homestay accommodation during stand down time. Homestay families can ask for up to 50% of the weekly board if the student is away from the homestay during school semester time (minimum one week).

Students must give two weeks' notice when they leave your homestay, or pay two weeks' board in lieu of notice. If this is before the agreed period, the notice must be in writing.

If you want to cancel the homestay arrangement after the minimum period, you must give the student two weeks' notice of termination in writing.

You are advised to have an insurance policy that covers loss of property or injury and accidents to paying boarders.

Any issues should be referred to International Services.

The student is responsible for any damage in your home.

Disputes between you and the student in relation to property damage, unpaid rent and other bills are dealt with by you and your student directly.

The Department of Education has no obligation to make good on damage caused by a student or pay bills incurred through hosting a student.

In the case of medical and police emergencies, it is your responsibility to contact the appropriate emergency services. You must also inform the international student officer at the school during business hours.

To apply to become a homestay host, fill in the form.

Homestay host form PDF (660.2 KB)
Homestay host form DOCX (78.6 KB)

Submit the form by mail or email.

International Services
Department of Education
GPO Box 4621
Darwin NT 0801

If your application is successful, you will be asked to sign the homestay agreement form.

Homestay agreement form PDF (483.7 KB)
Homestay agreement form DOCX (52.3 KB)

For more information, contact International Services.

Last updated: 17 October 2022

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