Do you want to experience the Australian lifestyle and improve your English at the same time? Homestay is perfect for you. You will live with a local family who will welcome you into their home. Many Hawthorn-Melbourne students live in homestay for part of their study period. All hosts are personally interviewed by Student Services staff and have a set of guidelines that make their obligations clear. You will also receive a copy of these guidelines so that you understand your rights and responsibilities.
Your homestay host will prepare the evening meal every night, and provide you with the ingredients to make your own breakfast and lunch.
For younger students under 18, your host will prepare your breakfast and lunch as well.
Your room will have a bed, desk, lamp and storage space for clothing. Most rooms contain one bed but there are also some homes with twin share rooms. Twin shares are sometimes requested by students travelling with a friend or relative who is also studying at Hawthorn-Melbourne.
Some homestay families host more than one student at a time. We try not to place you in the same homestay as someone who speaks your first language, to help you speak English at home!
The minimum stay in a homestay is 4 weeks. You must pay a bond (equal to 2 week's homestay fee) as well as 2 weeks' homestay fee in advance. You pay this directly to your host when they first arrive at the homestay. You then pay every 2 weeks, in advance.
Homestay families are very diverse and like all Australians, they come from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. All of our hosts speak English at home, although many hosts are also able to speak other languages as well.
Only 30% of host families consist of two parents with children. One third are single parent families and another third are single women or men who enjoy hosting international students.
70% of our hosts have a pet dog, cat or both. It is important for you to be flexible in your homestay preferences, particularly during busy times, or it may not be possible to find a host family for you.
There is really no such thing as a 'typical' Australian family’ or even a 'typical' homestay host. Australians include people from all over the world both recently arrived and here for generations. Homestay hosts reflect Melbourne's diverse community.
A third of hosts are single people. Another third are single parent families. The important thing is that all homestay hosts are English speaking and experienced with international students.
Our homestay homes are spread throughout Hawthorn and the nearby suburbs. Students usually need to travel a short distance to school on public transport. The campus is well serviced by public transport (train, tram and bus).
Homestays are generally no more than 50 minutes travel time from school with the average being 35 minutes.
It is unlikely that the homestay host will be able to accommodate both the student and other members of the family or guests. The Accommodation Office is happy to recommend a suitable hotel or Bed & Breakfast nearby for family members, they will need to make their own booking arrangements.
We can arrange for our airport pick-up service Togoto Australia to pick you up at the airport.