Q: I just arrived at my homestay today, and I saw a spider in my bedroom. I found think the entire house is clean, but this spider has become a concern. Can you help?
A: It is common in Australia to see insects in the house, especially during warm weather. They want to cool off from outside! during warm weather. Although your host has tried to control the pests (sometimes by spraying outside), some insects may get inside the house. When this happens, you may approach your host so she can spray your bedroom. You can reduce the number of insects that may come into your room by not keeping food or rubbish in your room.
Q: My host asked me to wash my dishes after meals and help clean up with dinner. I don’t think this is my responsibility, I have maids at home to do this. I paid my homestay fees so I shouldn’t be asked to do any house chores.
A: In Australia, most families do not have maids or house help. Everyone in the family helps to clean up, including their own dishes after meals and cleaning the communal items. Your host will appreciate if you can help to wash your own dishes and will be very happy if you can help clean up the rest of dinner!
Q: How many times a day can I shower? Can I also take a bath?
A: You can shower up to two times a day if you need, however, you cannot have a bath. Your host is allowed to have rules about shower time, because water is a precious resource in Australia. During the summer months, Australia is normally in water restrictions, and your shower time needs to be even less.
Q: Will my host do my washing and ironing?
A: Your host will teach you how to use the washing machine and show you where the ironing board is. You are expected to be able to do this chore on your own. Please note that your access to laundry is once a week.
If you are a female student, and it is part of your custom to wash your undergarments by hands, please speak to your host mother. She may give you a bucket so you can do your hand wash. Please make sure you do it in the laundry, not in the bathroom or kitchen. Do not hang your undergarments in your bedroom, ask your host mother for a private area outside you can hang them.
Q: How come my host doesn’t cook me hot breakfast?
A: Breakfast is self-serve (cereal, toast, muesli, etc.), and in Australia, and most majority of people have an early start to go to work. They dwon’t have time to cook hot food in the morning. Therefore, you may need to adjust yourself to eat cereals and toasts.
If you want to eat noodles for breakfast, Some of you may use to eat noodles for breakfast, please ask your host if they would be willing to buy instant noodles for you speak to them about it so they can buy some instant noodles for you.
Q: Can I cook my lunch at home?
A: You can cook lunch at home if your homestay option is a self-catering (no meals) and if you are over 18. However, if meals are included in your package, you are not supposed to cook. Some hosts may allow you to cook small meals, but you need to ask for permission.
If you are a minor, cooking is not permitted due to safety reasons.
Q: I miss my food from my home country, and I don’t like the food my host cooks. What can I do?
A: It can be hard adjusting to new food. Your host is doing their best to provide nutritious, delicious meals, but we understand they may not be what your familiar with. You can talk to your host and ask them if they are willing to try a recipe from your home country, it would be a good chance to engage and bond with them about cooking in your culture. It’s also important to try new foods, and not dislike a food just based on look or smell. You may be surprised how tasty it can be.
Q: I like snacking at night and my host told me that I cannot keep and eat my food in the my bedroom. Can you explain whyWhy is eating in the bedroom is forbidden?
A: Eating in the bedroom can attract unwanted insects to the bedroom, i.e. cockroaches. You need to store your food in the storage area as advised by your host. If you want to snack, the best place way is to eat is in the kitchen or dining room.
Q: Do I need to inform my host if I don’t come home for dinner? My host cooks nice food, but I just happen to have friends who’d like to dine out often.
A: Dinner is an important time to get to know your host family and bond with them. It’s part of the many reasons you chose homestay. If you won’t join your family for dinner, Yyou must inform your host if you wdon’t come home for dinner (ideally in the morning before you leave to school) so your host doesn’t need to cook extra meals food for you. If you are running late for dinner, please let your host know so they can set your food in the fridge.
However, if you are a minor, you are expected to be home each night for dinner.
Q: Why my host doesn’t allow me to turn on the heater the entire night?
A: Due to safety reasons, you must turn off the heater before you go to bed. You need to use the heating equipment wisely, we suggest and it is advised that you turn it on 1-2 hours before you go to sleep, and then turn it off and return it to your host.
Q: Can I bring my friends home?
A: You cannot bring anyone home (including your own parents or relatives) without asking permission from your host first. Please remember that you live at their home, and you need to respect them as a host.
Q: I’m intending to buy a cat. Am I allowed?
A: Although Australians are pet lovers, you still need to discuss this it with your host. If your host agrees for you to have a pet, then you can bring your cat home. Unfortunately, if they say no, you must respect their decision.
Q: I’m not a minor over 18, can I bring alcohol home?
A: Even if you are not a minor over 18, you still need to ask permission from your host if you wish to bring alcohol home. Some hosts may have restrictions due to customs and religion, and you need to respect that.
Q: I’m a minor, and I’m planning to go on a road trip with my friends. They are around my age, and we will be accompanied by my friend’s brother (he is twenty years old). He will escort us to our destination. However, my host mother told me last night that I cannot go. Could you explain to my host?
A: Generally speaking, you cannot travel domestically without having any adult relative’s presence, and this usually must be your parent. PA permission must be granted by your institution prior to your departure. If you are going home to your country during school holidays, you may go alone.
With your case, although your friend’s brother is considered as an adult, he is not your relative.
Q: I lost my keys and I’m scared to tell my host. What should I do next?
A: Although you feel uncomfortable and scared to tell your host, but it is best to be honest from the start with them. Your host may ask you to pay for the lost keys or in some cases, they may want to replace locks in the entire house. You may need to cover the costs associated with the key replacement. If you do not tell them the truth, this can make other problems, and they may not want to host you anymore.
Q: I’m a minor, and I’m staying with another two students in my homestay. My host told me that she must travel for an emergency for three days. Her sister will come every day to the house to bring food for us. I’m under the impression that there should be an adult presence in the house, which has not been the case.
A: You are completely correct. If your host leaves you with the other students in the house only, and no one spending the night with you, you must contact Global experience immediately by calling +61 2 9264 4022 or our emergency number + 61 430 008 448. This condition is not acceptable, and your host is obligated to inform us if they are leaving for an emergency and cannot find an adult to look after their students. We will relocate you to another homestay immediately, and your host may be suspended.