HOMESTAY FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTs
WHAT IS HOMESTAY?
Homestay is a program of complete immersion into the Australian culture and lifestyle, where students are welcomed into the home of a local family whilst studying at St Aidan’s. Australian homes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Homestay families may live in an apartment, a townhouse or a freestanding house with a garden. Australian households are also diverse. Some different types of households are two parents with their own children, an older couple whose children have grown up and moved out of the home, a single mother, a young couple with no children or an extended family where the household also includes other family members such as grandparents. Australia is a multicultural society and families may come from a range of cultural backgrounds. All Homestay families will speak English in the home, as this is part of the full immersion experience.
HOW DOES HOMESTAY WORK?
St Aidan’s has a Homestay program for International students. The school employs an International Student Coordinator to oversee this program. As part of the process of arranging a suitable placement, the requests and profile of both the student and homestay family will be taken into consideration. When a suitable student applies for enrolment, the school will contact you with details. We will then ask you to accept or decline the placement.
We encourage communication with your student prior to arrival in Australia. This could include things like:
Meeting and chatting to members of the family via Skype or exchanging emails.
Exchanging photographs and videos.
Discussing things such as family routines, what sort of food to expect, questions about life in Australia, hobbies and interests, etc.
HOW LONG DO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS STAY?
Students come to Australia for varying lengths of time. Short term visiting students generally stay for 2-6 weeks. Medium term placements can be for one school term or semester. Long term students may stay for several years.
Some students change families during their time in Australia to maximise the variety of their experience. This is no reflection on the family they have been staying with. Others stay with the same family for years. There is no definite pattern and what works for one student may not work for another.
Homestay parents assume the role in loco parentis (Latin for ‘in place of a parent’). In loco parentis describes a relationship to the student similar to that of a parent. This means that whilst in your home, you assume all aspects of parental care and responsibility for the student. You will act as that student’s guardian whilst they are staying in your home.