Become a Homestay Host

Become a Homestay Host

Hosting an international student in your home is a rewarding experience. As a host you play a vital role in the life of our students as they take their first step in their international education journey.

You will receive ongoing support and advice from our experienced Students Services staff throughout your hosting experience.

As a host you will:

  • enjoy the company and friendship of students from around the world
  • participate in cultural exchange including the opportunity for children to be exposed to different cultures
  • have an opportunity to practice another language (great for children who study languages at school)
  • be rewarded financially

Homestay is a voluntary relationship. Homestay hosts are under no obligation to accept a student from Hawthorn-Melbourne. As a host, we ask that you keep us updated if you have any availability to host a student, we will then discuss any possible placements with you before placing a student in your home.

What a host family needs to provide:

  • a friendly and welcoming home
  • assistance integrating the student into your home environment
  • a fully furnished room with a bed, desk, lamp and wardrobe 
  • plenty of exposure to the English language and opportunities for the student to practice English conversation in the home (our students place great emphasis on this feature)
  • the opportunity for students to experience our unique Australian culture and lifestyle
  • Meals:
    • a prepared dinner 7 nights a week
    • access to adequate fresh food for the student to make their own breakfast and lunch
  • all utilities including gas, electricity (except excessive use of electric heaters), but not telephone calls
  • the use of laundry facilities, washing machine, iron and laundry powder
  • a home no more than 50 minutes journey away from the Hawthorn-Melbourne campus, door to door, using public transport

Hosting a student under 18 years 
In addition to the above, hosts for students under the age of 18 years will

  • prepare all meals
  • assist the student with their laundry
  • liaise with the Hawthorn-Melbourne staff on welfare matters

The process for placing homestay students

Students and hosts are carefully matched. When you register as a host with us, we will create a host profile that includes your hobbies, interests and family members.

When a student’s needs and preferences match a host’s profile, Student Services contact you by telephone and/or email to ascertain availability. You then receive a confirmation in writing along with the student’s details. Sometimes hosts and students like to make contact with each other by email before the student commences their journey to Australia.

Students are met at the airport by our transfer service ToGoTo Australia and brought directly to the campus (or to the host’s home) at a pre-arranged time. Some students elect to find their own way to the homestay on a designated date and time.

The Accommodation Office also makes appointments for students already in Melbourne to visit homes to see if they are suitable. The benefit of this arrangement is that it gives both parties an opportunity to meet each other before deciding.

Hawthorn-Melbourne international students

Our students are studying in Australia to improve their English, they:

  • come from more than 40 different countries
  • are aged between 14 and 70 years (average age is early 20s) 
  • may be in Australia for a short time only (5 to 10 weeks) 
  • may be intending to stay in Melbourne long term to pursue further studies at high school or university.

Payment for homestay services

Upon arrival, the student should pay in cash directly to their hosts:

  • bond equivalent to two week’s rent
  • 2 week’s rent in advance

Students will continue to pay their rent every 2 weeks in advance, not by the calendar month. 

Students are only put into a twin room at their request, and with the approval of their institution and Student Services. Twin shares are sometimes arranged for students travelling together, or as part of a study group. This price also applies to couples who have requested a double room.

How do I become a homestay host?

Please contact our Accommodation Office to request an information pack:

Phone: (03) 9815 4033