Homestay - where true international experiences live
The Homestay program believes that each person can make a positive difference in the life of another.
It brings together people from all walks of life and various cultures and highlights the generosity, kindness and commitment of our local community to international students.
It can change lives and create lasting bonds.
Benefits for all
For many international students, the cultural experience is just as important as the study environment. Homestay provides a personal and family centered accommodation that benefits all:
- Students are 'embedded' in a family environment where they are able to practice their English skills, experience a fresh way of living and make friends in a new country
- The host families gain a unique understanding about diverse cultures and take these enlightened perceptions into the wider community
- The University fosters and supports these relationships through the values of the program and in turn, enhances the student experience
- Parents of international students have peace of mind that comes from knowing their children are settled as part of a family unit with 24/7 support.
The relationships between students and families build during the homestay and continue even after students return to their home country. The host families will attend weddings or other events - or even just go for a visit.
Lasting bonds also continue between the host families and the University, with many taking in new students. Bonds are also created between host families via the host network where stories are shared amongst the community.
A recipe for success
Homestay is recognised across Australia as something that the University does well. A key to this success is communication. This ensures that students, families and the University all learn and adapt to each other. Another key feature is flexibility. There is no typical scenario - just like there is no typical family. This means Homestay is able to offer a responsive experience.
Macquarie University is currently looking at our model as an example of best-practice. They are interested in the holistic way our program operates to inform development their future program.
Who are host families?
Host families come from all spectrums of life and culture. Many choose to host students because they see the University as 'their University', with this seen as a way to show support. Some have been doing this since the year 2000. Some hosts are also members of staff and gain great insight into our students as they share their lives, cultures and dreams.
Homestay has been running for 10 years and on average accommodates 500 students a year through 200 local families. 80 per cent of families have a full-time, long-term student.
Each family is interviewed and the accommodation inspected to ensure it is safe and appropriate for a Homestay student.
Join the international experience
If you would like to find out more about Homestay, or possibly become a Host yourself, visit http://www.newcastle.edu.au/service/accommodation/homestay/