Living in a homestay

This page has information for students on living with a homestay family.

If you are between 15 and 18 years of age and not living with relatives, you must live in homestay accommodation approved by the Department of Education.

A member of staff from the department will inspect the accommodation and interview the host family to ensure it is suitable.

Living with a homestay family provides an opportunity for you to learn about Australian life and improve your English.


If you stay with a homestay family you can expect all of the following:

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

Your homestay family will negotiate all of the following with you:

  • cleaning your room
  • use of kitchen and cooking facilities
  • use of vacuum cleaner and iron
  • use of telephone and internet
  • viewing television with the family.

You must keep your family informed of your whereabouts and you must notify your school of holiday addresses and activities.

You must abide by all of the following:

  • you may not remove any property from the premises without the homestay host's consent
  • you must get approval from the host before bringing friends to visit
  • you are responsible for paying your telephone bills, internet usage and so on as charged by the telecommunications company detailed in the account.

Initial student airport pick up

Free of charge

Homestay accommodation

AU$270 per week which includes access to breakfast, ingredients to make lunch, snacks and a cooked dinner. Students are to have the same access to food as all other residents of the household. Students must have their own room. Some families may charge more depending on the services they provide.

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 1 week).

You must give two weeks notice if you intend to 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.

You can apply to stay with a homestay family by completing and returning the homestay application form:

You can return the application form by either:

If you are successful in your application, you will be asked to sign the homestay agreement form (483.7 kb).

Last updated: 10 May 2018


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