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Host FAQ

Q: I have my student’s email address and/or phone number. Am I allowed to contact him or her?

A: Yes, you are. We encourage the host and student to make contact prior to arrival to break the ice and get to know each other more. The student also has your contact information, so they may reach out to you as well.

This is also a good opportunity for you to ask the student’s favourite food, so you can prepare it on the day of arrival. This will help the student to feel welcomed.
Q: I opened my home to the students and at the same time, I would like the students to obey my house rules. Am I allowed to create a set of house rules for my students?

A: Yes, you can. We suggest that you explain the general house rules on the first day, after your student has had a chance to settle in. However, it is important to make house rules sound friendly and approachable by adding appropriate words such as; please, appreciate, etc. For instance, “Please turn the lights off before going to bed”, “It is appreciated if you can keep the room neat and tidy”, etc.
Some students may have limited English skills, and it is important for them to understand that those rules are created to avoid any misunderstanding during their stay. While asking them to follow the house rules, we also want the students to feel like home. If you are printing out rules on paper, it may be helpful to have pictures to help them learn visually

Q: My student arrived last night, and he refused to eat his dinner. He said that he doesn’t eat onions and veggies. I didn’t know anything about this before as no one informed me; On top of that, my student is also a smoker. My daughter has asthma condition, so this student will not be a perfect fit for our family.
A: As much as we want to provide accurate information about the students, especially when it comes to food preferences and smoking habits, students do not always write those preferences or additional information when completing their booking form. We apologise in advance if there is any information that is not listed in the profile.
To avoid having surprises from your student related to their food preferences, we suggest that you double check again when your student arrives.
If they are a smoker, and we didn’t advise you when confirming the booking, please ring us to discuss for an immediate relocation. We understand that when someone in the family member has an allergy or other health issues, we must act promptly to move the student.

Q: Do I have to show them how to get to the institution on the first day?
A: Yes, please do, particularly if you are hosting an under 18 student. If your student arrives on the weekend, you may show them how to get to their place of study during the weekend (as many hosts have work commitments on Monday).
Regardless the age of the students, please bear in mind that that vast majority of them are totally new to Australia, and most of them may not have travelled abroad on their own. It is important for you to guide them and provide as much information as you can. You can do this by writing the bus numbers, the station to get on and off, drawing a map, installing phone apps for the public transport timetable, etc.
Please remind your student to keep your contact details safely just in case they need to contact you and ask for some help.

Q: My student arrived with no personal toiletries. They expected me to provide them, as they expect homestay to offer similar services like a hotel. What should I do?
A: Every student is expected to bring their own personal toiletries as outlined in the students’ guidelines. If they don’t bring any, you can take them to the supermarket nearby to purchase them and explain to them that this should be purchased at their own cost.

There are the items that must be supplied by the hosts:
1. Bed linen, blankets, and towels
2. Toilet paper
3. Laundry powder
4. Hand soap for the bathroom

Q: Am I obligated to assist my student to open their bank account?
A: You are not obligated to do so unless you are the ‘carer’ of the student (student is U18 and we tell you that you are the carer). If they are over the age of 18, they are more likely to be more independent, so they may not need your assistance. However, it is always a nice gesture from the host when trying to help their student to settle in Australia, given the fact that they are a total stranger to this country, and their English may also be limited.

Q: Can I ask my student for their mobile number?
A: Yes, please do. Since the student lives with you, it is part of your duty of care to check where they are, especially if they are under 18. Hence, you ‘must’ keep their contact number. Some students may come here for a short period of time and do not have a local number; in this case you may ask for email, WhatsApp number, WeChat ID, etc.
Q: I’m hosting an under 18 student who told me that she wouldn’t come home for dinner and will return home by 10pm. It is 10:10pm, and she’s nowhere to be seen. What should I do next?

A: First, try to make any possible contact with the student via phone call, SMS, email, or even check in their social media (if she has any). If you have another student, ask the other student to call, as sometimes a “student calling a student” may be helpful. If she does not respond to you, you are obligated to let Global experience know by ringing or texting our emergency number at 0430 008 448 by 10:30pm the latest. Please note that some institutions require us to report this incident immediately (on the same night).
Also, kindly note that if the student does not respond to you within 24 hours, you are required to contact the nearest police station to report your student as a missing person. When this happens, please make sure you also inform Global experience and the carer (if applicable).

Q: My student is under 18, and she doesn’t wish to follow the curfew time, no matter what I say. What should I do?
A: Curfew time for under 18 students is non-negotiable. They must be home by 10pm the latest, some institutions may even have earlier curfew time. Please check with the Liaison Manager for your case. They may not stay overnight at someone’s house during school days (including relatives like parents or siblings, or friend’s homes). If they would like to spend the night at a relative’s during school holidays, they must seek approval from the carer and institution. They are not permitted to stay anywhere else other than homestay before an approval has been released and confirmed by Global experience’s Liaison Manager in charge.

Q: I work early in the morning, and I’m hosting an over 18 student. Am I allowed to implement a curfew time, so I can rest at night?
A: Although curfew time is mainly imposed for U18 students, there is no reason why you can’t implement a curfew time when hosting over 18 students. They live with you, and they should be mindful that they share the house with you.
In this case, you can ask them to be home within reasonable time such as 10-10.30pm during weekdays and up to midnight during weekends. Since they are over 18, they can stay at their friend’s home if they wish to. However, as a courtesy, they should let you know, so you don’t wait or prepare dinner for them.
Q: I’m having a hard time with my student and her behaviours. I have asked her to clean her room more than ten times in the three months she’s been here. I tried to be patient, but I do not think I can put up with it anymore. Can I ask the student to move out? What if she is under 18?

A: Yes, you can. You need to feel comfortable in your own home, and if the student does not listen to you, and you feel you have no option other than letting her go, then it is ok.

Ideally when there is a case like this, we expect the host to give two weeks’ notice to both the student and Ge, to allow us to find a suitable family for the student. Sometimes, the student’s school or agent can have a chat with the student and that helps the situation improve, and then the student does not need to move out.

When hosting a student (regardless the age), please bear in mind that you cannot kick the student out without letting us know. As you know, you are the first point of contact for the student and if you do, the student has nowhere to live. You may also find yourself in a lot of trouble for doing so when hosting a minor student. We appreciate your patience, and we hope you understand. Please call our office (02 9264 4022) or emergency contact (0430 008 448) to discuss.
Q: It’s been two years since I had a long holiday. I have been continuously hosting international students, and they have been happy staying with me. Hence, they have no intention to move out anytime soon.However, I am ready for a holiday.
Can I take a holiday even though I’m hosting students? What sort of arrangements do I need to do to ensure my students are looked after while I’m away?
A: As soon as you have an intention to go on holiday, we will appreciate if you can let us know immediately. There are two options while you are on holiday. You can either have a family member or close friend stay at your house as a temporary carer. They need to have a valid WWC and follow all the same homestay rules as you do. We need their name, contact details, etc. This way your student can remain in your home. Alternatively, if you do not have anyone who can be a temporary carer, we can relocate the student temporarily. Please let us know as soon as possible so we can help you have an enjoyable a holiday.

Q: I need to leave immediately as a family member who lives overseas has urgent health issues. However, my sister-in-law can stay with my student while my family is away. Is this okay?

A: Referring to the case above, this is okay. Again, you need to provide Global experience with full details of that person including name, contact number and a current working with children check clearance.
If you do not have a close family member or friend to stay with your student, we need to relocate them immediately.

Q: What happens to the payment when my student goes on holiday? My student told me that she is going away for two months and although I have agreed to keep the room, can I offer it to short term students while she is gone?
A: When the student is going on holiday, and you are happy to reserve the room for her, you will receive half of the weekly rental fee. However, while she is on holiday, you should not rent the room to anyone, not even for a day or two. While the student’s belongings are still in the room, and you are receiving holiday holding payment, you need to respect her privacy. Please do not alter the room or use it for another student (or other visitors).
Q: My student wants to extend her stay. What are the next steps?

A: Please advise Global experience regarding the extension, so we can advise you whether the student needs to make a payment to his/her institution or to Global experience.

Q: My student insisted that she doesn’t want to pay her homestay fees through her institution after the initial booking period. Is she allowed to make a direct, private arrangement with me?

A: No, students are not allowed to make private arrangements with hosts, and hosts are not allowed to make private arrangements with students. Since the student was initially booked through Global experience, it is industry practice that we continue collecting the payments on your behalf. By having this system in place, we also have the visibility to know where the student is currently living. If this comes up, please inform us immediately. If we find out you or your students have set private arrangements, we will not be able to have you as a host anymore.

Q: My student spends around 30 minutes in the shower, and he uses his computer almost all night for video games and streaming. I tried to explain to him that electricity and water bills in Australia are expensive. Since hosting him, both water and electricity bills have skyrocketed. Can I charge my student for the excess usage?

A: Unfortunately, no. Since water and electricity bills are included in the homestay fee, we suggest you speak to us as soon as you notice this change in bills. We will be more than happy to speak to student’s institution or the student directly.
Regarding water usage, we will inform students during times of water restrictions that they need to be more mindful of their water use. You are welcome to do the same.

Please remember that we are here to help you if you encounter any kind of challenges with your students.

Q: It is wintertime and although I gave my student enough blankets, she still insists in using a heater. I heard stories from hosts that their students forgot to turn off the heater. This could be very dangerous, and for this reason, I am not keen to put a heater in her room.

A: We understand your point of view. What we suggest to our hosts and what works well is for them to lend the heater for 1-2 hours each night before the student goes to bed. This will help to warm up the room, and you have peace of mind that there is no danger. Then you can ask for the heater back before bed.

You also need to ask your student to wear enough warm clothes to bed. Some students only wear singlets and shorts during winter when they go to bed. Ask if they need help finding warmer pyjamas.

Q: I have been hosting students for over 20 years. I have not had to do a Working with Children Check (WWC) or public liability insurance before. Can you please explain why do I have to do this now?

A: The homestay industry has evolved in the last few years, and it is now mandatory for each family member over age 18 to have a valid Working with Children Check (WWC). One family member (the main carer) should have a “paid” WWC (“E” version), and each other member can have a “volunteer” WWC (free – “V” version). There must be one paid WWC for the main carer because hosting students is “paid” work.

Here’s the link to apply for Working with Children Check:

New South Wales:


Northern Territory:

Public liability insurance of $20 million is also now compulsory. Public liability insurance will help in cases of unexpected incidents of your home and contents. Global experience recommends AIG Homestay Host Insurance Plus, but please talk to us if you have your own insurance already. Please see the link below for AIG Homestay Host Insurance Plus website:


Q: My student wants to wash her underwear every day. What should I do?

A: We generally recommend that using the washing machine for clothes is allowed once a week, as this is normal in Australia.
However, many students from China may want to wash their underwear daily, by hand, as this is part of their culture. If this is the case, we suggest that provide them with a bucket and ask them to wash using the sink in the laundry for hygienic purposes. Please ask them to hang their underwear outside on the line, or somewhere with open air, not in their wardrobe.

Q: Can my student bring their parents to stay with us?

A: We do not recommend that hosts allow the parents to stay with the student at your home. Homestay is for students only, and it may become uncomfortable if you have other students with you. Your student’s parents can stay at a nearby hotel, and they can meet outside your home. Some parents may want to visit their child at their homestay, and meet you, when they first arrive, or if they come to visit. However, they need to ask for your permission and come for a visit when you and your family are at home.

Q: Can I enter the student’s room to open the window and clean up the room?

A: If you have advised the student that you will enter from time to time to open the window, you can. However, most students would like their own privacy, and do not want anyone to enter their room when they are not there. Please speak with your student when they arrive to let them know you may need to do this from time to time to avoid any misunderstanding. Additionally, you are not expected to tidy their room, and they should not expect you to do so.

Q: Can I ask my student to help with house chores?

A: The student is part of the family and you can ask them to assist with house chores, however there should be clear boundaries when you ask them to do so.

Things you can ask (but not every day and all at once):

- Cleaning their bedroom
- Cleaning their bathroom (if they or other students are the sole users of the bathroom)
- Washing their dishes after meals and helping with dinner clean-up
- Washing their clothes and hanging them outside

Things you should not ask:

- Baby sit your child(ren)
- Vacuuming the house
- Cleaning the bathroom (if you also use it)
- Doing the gardening
- Cooking and looking after another student while you are away on holiday or emergency

Q: My student arrived last week, and I noticed he is still experiencing culture shock during his second week. Is this normal?

A: Although in general many people will experience culture shock between 1 to 2 weeks after their arrival, it depends on each person. Some may take longer, especially if they have never been outside their own country.

We suggest that you assist your students to adjust in their new environment by:

- Introducing them to your friends who have similar background
- Including them in your daily activities and letting them know that you are available if they need any help.
- Trying to talk to them as much as you can especially, during dinner time. Some students may not say a lot due to their limited English, and that’s ok. They can just be a good listener. The main thing is for them to feel welcomed, and dinner is a great time to build this bond.
- Encouraging them to go out with their new friends
- Encouraging them to find some new activities to meet new people and friends i.e. attending Meetup groups, going to the gym, joining university student association

Q: It is almost midnight and my student has food poisoning. He needs to be admitted to the local hospital as soon as possible. I’m not the caregiver, and I have tried to contact that person, but there has been no response. What should I do?

A: With an urgent case like this, the host should assist to call the ambulance and accompany the student to the hospital or drive the student directly to the hospital if available. We want to make sure that the student receives the health care they need. Their wellbeing is the number one priority!

Once you ensure your student has received appropriate help and health care, you may try to ring the carer again. If you are still unsuccessful then you can send a text message, letting the carer know that the student is currently at the emergency section at (name the hospital) and ask the carer to ring you as soon as he/she receives the message..

Please also let Global experience know by sending a text to our emergency number, we can also assist to follow-up with the carer the next day, if need be.
Also, if you have any doubts when encountering this kind of challenge, it is best to ring us at the emergency number 0430 008 448 so we can give you some directions on how to deal with this case.

Q: I get along with my student very well however, she wants to cook lunch every day, and this is not part of the agreement. I do not want to hurt her feelings as she’s a nice student. How am I going to approach the student about this limitation?

A: Ideally you need to communicate about this on the first day of their arrival. This way they are aware of the limitations of using home facilities in the homestay such as cooking. Let them know if they wish to bring lunch from home, they can prepare sandwiches instead. They can buy the ingredients and keep them in the fridge.

Q: Am I going to be in trouble for asking my student to cook a dish from their country during dinner time? Am I allowed since dinner should be prepared by the host?

A: Cooking a dish together is a great way to bond, and it allows your student to showcase a meal from their home country. However, your student should not be cooking every night, and they are not obligated to cook for you. Please ensure you monitor them while they are cooking, as some safety and electrical features may be different. If your student is U18, you must do the cooking “together” for safety reasons.
We want to ensure they do not misunderstand the intention of cooking a meal for you as a requirement. Instead, it is a cultural exchange and an opportunity for the student to eat a dish they enjoy and show you something from home.

Q: My student complains that my son is almost naked every day. This is not true! It’s summertime, and he just doesn’t put on his top and wears short most of the times. It’s normal in Australia!

A: Although walking around topless is quite normal for men in Australia, some students may feel uncomfortable with this, especially if they are female. We suggest that the host and family members dress modestly when having students (especially female). When dealing with people from different cultures and backgrounds, we should try to be culturally sensitive to avoid receiving negative feedback/comments from students.

Q: Can I take my student to dine at a restaurant with my family? Who should pay for his meal?

A: If you take the student out for dinner, it should be the courtesy of the host. Hence you should pay for the meal as dinner, as this is included as part of the homestay arrangement. However, if your student is over 18 and he would like to consume alcohol, let him know this is at his own cost.

Q: I enjoy hosting students from all over the world. I have never hosted a student requesting Halal meals though. What does that mean?

A: Normally, when student requests Halal food, it means that their food should not contain any pork or alcohol products (including wines, liquor, beer, etc., in cooking preparation). Double check with them as they may prefer to eat only fish, eggs, and vegetarian dishes.

However, some students requesting Halal may mean Halal meat. You need purchase special Halal meat from the butcher (for chicken, beef, and lamb). If this is the request, our staff will communicate with you in advance and an extra fee will be added to your weekly fee as a token of appreciation for your effort.