FAQs for Students

What Is homestay?
Homestay is a cultural exchange between an international student or visitor and a local individual or family in the host country.
How does homestay work?
As a homestay experience, you will be provided your own fully furnished room with meals (if required) and be treated as a valued member of the family, treated with respect and support. You will learn about the local customs and culture and learn how to communicate in English.
How close will I live to my school?
We will find a host that will be no more than 1hour travel time by public transport to your nominated school.
My host said I should ‘help myself’, what does that mean?
You may take things such as food, towels or tissues without asking.
Does HSA accept students of all ages, in all types of programs?
Indeed, we cater to school groups, individual students, both short and long term stay, university students and working holiday homestay. We have a regulated guardianship service for students under 18.
How do I apply?
By filling out our application form. We will then contact you to discuss, payment, your preferences and match the perfect host for you.
What support does HSA - Homestay Access offer?
We provide 24/7 support for our hosts and students and are there for any emergency. We can provide interpreter services, and can contact student’s families if required.
What can I expect as a student upon arrival at my host family?
You can be expected to be welcomed as a new family member. Your host family will want to share their lives with you. It’s a good idea to take notes, however your host will want you to feel relaxed with no pressure as you integrate into the new culture.
Will I be able to access the internet?
Some host families may not have internet access. You may be required to arrange internet and phone access at your own expense. You may purchase a calling card for making calls overseas.
Some host families that provide internet access may charge a small fee for internet use at home and this is all negotiated during the application process.
Am I allowed to bring alcohol into my homestay?
It’s wise to ask permission if you can bring alcohol into the house. You will need to be over 18 years old to purchase alcohol in Australia.
Do the meals include breakfast and dinner 7 days per week?
All meals included (except weekday’s lunch) in your Home stay package. You are required to provide weekday’s lunch yourself.
What about house work?
Be helpful when it comes to housework. As a family member we encourage you to integrate into your new family’s routines and this involves house chores.
Am I able to smoke in the host’s home?
If you smoke, we will find a smoker friendly house to cater for your habit. You are however not permitted to smoke in your bedroom at any time and it is courteous to smoke outdoors.
Are there rooms in my homestay that I am not able to enter?
Other people’s bedrooms are considered private and should not be entered without permission or knocking first.
Does Homestay Access perform a background check on hosts?
For students under 18 years of age, Homestay Access does perform background checks. In Australia when you are 18 you are considered an adult and therefore background checks on hosts are not essential.
What do I call my host?
Your host may want to be called mum and dad. You can ask what they would like to be called.
Am I allowed to invite guests into my homestay?
Permission will be needed, but it’s common to only bring close and trustworthy friends to your home and for good reason. Some hosts prefer you to meet friends outside of the hose.
I do not know how to iron my clothes, what should I do?
You can youtube how to iron. Your host will be happy to teach you if you ask.
For how long can I shower? Can I take a bath?
5 minute showers are quite acceptable. Your host will let you know if baths are permitted if they have a bath, and it may also be seasonal such is winter baths only.
Can I put pictures and posters on the walls in my bedroom?
This will strictly depend on your host. It’s a great idea to ask and clarify.
What is the custom when it is a member of my host family’s birthday?
Wish them Happy Birthday when you first see them on the day.
Does HSA - Homestay Access comply with any Homestay Standards?
Yes, indeed we do. We follow a strict guide of minimum standards our hosts must fulfil for our students’ welfare.
Where do I store my dirty laundry and how do I wash my clothes?
This will depend on the household. Some may ask for your clothes to be put in a basket in your room or in the laundry or bathroom. Some hosts may ask you to wash your own clothes after teaching you how to work the washing machine and/or dryer.
Will I have house keys?
Yes. Ensure you lock the door when you leave the house and your window is locked. Do not put the address on the house key.
What time do I need to turn down my music, finish making phone calls or stop talking on Skype?
10pm is considered a polite curfew. If your native country has a later timezone for calling family, ask permission to make late night calls and minimise your noise levels.
My host has not given me a key to the house because of the security system, what should I do?
Contact us to resolve this issue
If I lose my key what should I do?
Contact your host immediately and contact HSA – Homestay Access.