A safe, comfortable place to stay during your studies is just as important as the school you attend. That’s why we have high standards for our international student accommodation. Melbourne or regional Victoria, Australia: take your pick from heaps of great places to live or study.
Choose the best option for you and your family:
Live with one of our homestay families
We highly recommend our homestay program because it gives you a unique cultural and language experience. For this option you need to be 13 years of age or older.
When you choose homestay, the Department of Education and Training (DET) will take responsibility for
your wellbeing. On behalf of DET, your school will carefully select your homestay family and therefore your accommodation, conduct Working with Children checks on all members of the homestay family over 18 years of age and ensure the school meets rigorous government standards.
Victoria has many different types of families and communities. Meet one of our homestay families and find out how it all works.
Live with a parent or close relative
You can live with a parent or a close relative if they’ll also be living in Victoria during your studies. With this option, your parent or close relative has responsibility for your wellbeing instead of the DET.
All students under 13 years and students with special needs must select this option.
The relative must be approved by DIBP and must:
- be over 21 years of age
- fit one of DIBP’s set of
family relationships (for example, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandparent).
Nominate your own homestay family
You can stay in Victoria with a close family friend or a relative who isn’t on the list approved by DIBP. With this option, your school takes responsibility for
your wellbeing on behalf of DET.
For this option you need to be 13 years of age or older. Your nominated family friend or relative must:
- have a Working with Children Check
- provide suitable accommodation which meets our homestay criteria.
Our International Student Coordinators
We want you to have a true home away from home. Our International Student Coordinators (ISC) make sure you’re happy with your homestay family.
After you arrive, your ISC will check how you’re settling into your new student accommodation. Melbourne suburbs and Victoria’s country regions are all covered. They’re responsible for the quality of all accommodation, with the exception of a parent or relative approved by DIBP.
When you’re young and away from your own family, homestay in Victoria, Australia is a great way to feel that you belong.
Settling in, learning a new language and finishing your studies can be hard when you arrive in a foreign country. Having the support of another family and a connection to your local community can make all the difference. Homestay in Australia will help you adjust quickly to your new life.
Looking after your wellbeing
Your school will protect you and make sure you’re happy in your homestay arrangement. Your International Student Coordinator and school understand how important it is to feel happy with where you live.
Keeping your study on track
Your homestay family takes their responsibilities very seriously, especially your safety. They’ll be well aware of your needs as a new arrival in Australia.
They really want you to enjoy your homestay. There are opportunities for extra-curricular and social activities, but they’ll also make sure that you’re home at a reasonable hour and spending enough time doing study and homework.
Helping you to settle in
Our homestay families often have a child or children of their own who go to the same school as you. Your homestay family is also a very valuable link to your local community. This will help you make friends both in and outside of school. You’ll feel like you really belong.
Extending your network
Friends are important, but having a host family is something else altogether. It means getting involved with the broader community, not just your school.
You’ll be introduced to a new network of friends and family, local community events and activities. It’s a completely different experience to boarding school, where your community tends to be inside the school.
A second family
Unlike other accommodation options, homestay in Victoria gives you the chance to fully immerse yourself in another culture and language.
Your host family will become like a second family. They’ll introduce you to their family and friends, involve you in their day-to-day activities and show you around their local area. Soon you’ll see that your homestay family also wants to learn from you, get to know you and understand your culture.
Selecting homestay families
Our schools select homestay families according to a clear set of criteria and the needs, preferences and expectations of individual students.
Variety of backgrounds
Our homestay families come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. For example, there are:
- families with children your age
- single older people
- families with young children
- older couples whose children have grown up and left home.
Meet one of our homestay families and find out more.
Regular site visits
A school representative regularly visits the homes of our homestay families to make sure the accommodation is comfortable and of a high standard for:
- living and relaxing
- doing homework
- bringing friends over
- sharing in family life.
Interviews and screening
We interview new homestay providers to check how well they can look after an international student. This includes making sure that everyone in the household over 18 years of age has a Working with Children Check from the government.
Making a homestay profile
Your school representative will put together a profile so you and your own family can get to know your new hosts before you arrive. When you get this profile it’s very exciting. It marks the beginning of your experience of homestay in Australia. You can use it to start contact with your homestay family.
Monitoring homestay families
- visit homestay families at least once a semester
- invite families to school events and activities so they’re a part of your school community
- involve the homestay family in helping you settle into your studies
- do an annual review of all homestay families to make sure they’re meeting our high standards of care.