- Homestay is not like a hotel/motel. The type of homestay residence where you will live in will vary from small apartments (or units as we call them) to large houses.
- The majority of homestay families have a pet. If you have never had much contact with pets, don't discount living in a family with a pet - you may be surprised to find how much you end up liking them. However, if you have any allergies, please make sure to mention these in your application.
- Most Australians do not smoke and the majority of homestay families do not want people smoking inside the home. Please respect their wishes.
- Please respect family members at all times, and avoid making noise late at night. If you are speaking to your family or friends in your home country over the internet, try not to speak loudly, particularly after the normal bed-times of your host family members and neighbours.
- Some households have written (but often unwritten) guidelines or "house rules" that you will be asked to read and follow when you first arrive. If you find them to be too strict, or unreasonable, please discuss this with your host. You may also contact Study Vision for advice, if you believe the imposed house rules are intolerable or unreasonable and the hosts do not wish to understand your objections.
- You will be given a key to the house. Look after it. It is essential to lock the door behind you if you are the last person to leave the house. Make sure the window in your room is locked if you are going out. In some homestays, if you lose the house keys, you will be obliged to pay for the cost of lock replacement and new keys. It can be expensive.
- If you plan to return home late one night, please let your homestay family know as early as you can in the afternoon, and hopefully before they start preparing for your meal which you will miss. Tell them where you are going and the approximate time you will be back, so they know what to do in an emergency situation. Please understand you should never bother them to cook for you dinner if you are going to eat outside.
- Many Australians are very informal and casual in the way they behave and dress. If you feel uncomfortable in any way, please talk to them politely as soon as you can. If you feel uneasy to talk to them, email us at Study Vision - firstname.lastname@example.org - and we can discuss it first with you and give you guidance and support.
- Children in Australia behave informally with their parents and some can be noisy when they play at home. You may wish to lock your room to study if you do not wish to join them in their play. If you would like to take photos of the children, please remember to first ask the permission of your homestay parents.
- Australians everywhere, at home, on the road and at school, always like to say 'please' when asking for something and 'thank you' (with a smile) when receiving something or if someone supports or helps them. This is considered extremely important. It is also important to say 'I am sorry' if you make a mistake and 'excuse me' if you wish to interrupt their conversation or activity. Please, remember to treat your homestay family with kindness and appreciate having you as a guest in their home.
- It is important to try to talk to and to communicate with your homestay family at appropriate times, particularly during and after meal times. It will do wonders for your English and will help your family to understand how you are feeling. Don't worry if your English is not perfect - they will respect you for trying. Remember that your host wants you to feel welcomed and comfortable. If you isolate yourself from them they will feel uneasy and you will miss out on one of the greatest benefits of living in a Homestay- cultural understanding.
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