I am a Mother of three adult children and now have my first Grandchild. Jeff and I have been married for 37 years You can read more about us here.
Research and Concerns:
My husband was reluctant at first and thought that having a stranger in our home would impinge on his privacy and limit our ability to dine out, travel or have guests over.
I filled in an online application as part of the research process as I figured that most of my questions would be answered in the first interview and we would take it from there. It was also reassuring to discover that each placement is initially for 28 days and that each host is allocated a Supervisor who is available to help with questions.
When we decided to get started as Homestay Hosts we were very clear on the fact that the students arriving in our home would be treated just like we would want our children to be treated. We have also found the students often ask for some help with assignments, essays and clarifying questions and luckily, Jeff comes from an education background and is able to assist them.
The students are also included in family events and celebrations.
Organising my home:
There are some basic requirements to make sure that the Homestay Students are comfortable, have privacy and can study easily. We already had the bedrooms set up but did need to purchase desks and lamps. We bought a couple of nice desks and chairs from Ikea and have found that the students are happy to study around the noise and action of the kitchen.
I also have a list of “House Notes”, to give the students when they arrive. These notes include information to make them feel confident and comfortable about how our home works, meals, snacks plus some details about our dog.
Meals and snacks are planned out for the week ahead and the Meal Plan for the week ahead is put on the fridge. Although I am not completely inflexible on the plan, it does provide a good base for shopping and keeping the meals interesting and diverse. You can download a copy of this here:
Homestay Hosting and us:
I don’t believe anyone should register for Homestay Hosting if the only objective is to earn money. Although we receive a payment for hosting, we view it as quite a privilege and a responsibility to make sure that each young woman gets the best home life away from home that we can possibly give.
The International Students that we have hosted have all been highly intelligent, well travelled young women who have high work ethic. They come to Australia to experience another culture, so are willing to try new “taste sensations” and it’s fun to see them tasting foods that they have never had before. It’s also great to learn about their backgrounds and traditions and meet their families.
Hosting International Students has been a great experience for us. We have had some challenges but have always viewed these as solvable and found ways to ensure that there is harmony at all cost.
If you would like more information about Hosting international students you can contact the Australian Homestay Network www.homestaynetwork.org
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*This is not a sponsored post and although I am a current AHN host I do not receive any money for this post. The opinions in this post are my own.
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