Have you ever thought about hosting an international student? We asked one of our homestays, Anna, about her experiences hosting international students in her home.
When did you first start hosting international students and why?
We started in 2014 when we moved to Brisbane for 1 year due to work commitments. We thought it would be a good idea to host international students as our 5-year old son was on his own and we thought it would be good for him to learn different cultures as he was an only child.
What countries have you hosted students from?
Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Brazil, China, Korea, German, Norway, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam.
How long does it usually take for a student to feel settled in and part of the family?
We feel it takes about 4 weeks.
What has been the most rewarding experience about hosting?
Watching them grow as a person and discovering the Australian culture as well as improving their English and knowing that they realise that they have grown into a better-informed person.
What have been some of the challenges?
Homesickness, shyness, and students not meeting people or wanting to go out exploring.
Are there any particular activities that your students have most enjoyed?
Yes, we take our students to Black point (Yorke Peninsula) for the weekend about twice a year and they love the peace, serenity, beach, and just having fun for the weekend. As well as Gorge wildlife park, extended family get-together’s, any kind of celebration that we have in Australia e.g. Xmas pageant, Halloween, Easter and eating different foods
Do you have any handy hints for other homestays in our program?
Make them feel welcome and part of the family, the long life friendship is rewarding.
If someone was thinking about becoming a homestay for international students, what would be your advice and recommendations?
Just do it!! It’s a learning experience for everyone!! Learning about different cultures and showing them what a great country we live in and the bond and friendship we create is phenomenal. We are strangers at first that turn into family.