International students who choose to do homestays in Australia usually find them very rewarding.
A homestay is a type of cultural exchange, it allows a student from overseas to live in the home of a local host for their first four weeks in Australia. Your hosts could be a family, a couple or an individual and they are carefully selected to provide you with an enriching experience and a comfortable, safe place to stay while you adjust to your new city.
Here are some excellent reasons to choose homestay:
Help getting oriented in your new home
Your hosts will be experts in their local area and your new city. It’s easy to feel lost in a new place, but your homestay host will show you around and point out the fun things to see and do in your neighbourhood. Many students and their hosts go to places like zoos, the movies, parks, shopping centres and sporting events. Your host will also be able to give you tips on using local transport.
Culturalisation and language support
Homestay provides you with a real Australian experience. While you live with your host, you’ll be fully immersed in the culture, the food, and importantly, the language. You’ll get to take part in real, everyday conversations (and maybe learn some Aussie slang).
Your hosts will also know that you’re going through a big adjustment period, especially if you’re still learning the language. They’ll be understanding, so there’s less pressure on you to know everything and speak English perfectly. They’ll be there to help you out if you’re feeling overwhelmed or need to ask a question.
Homestay hosts will also be interested in learning about your language and culture, so you’ll have the chance to share your unique knowledge and perspectives with them in return.
Homestay hosts are carefully selected and will provide you with a safe and comfortable place to live. This gives students peace of mind, which is great because worrying about your safety is the last thing you want while adjusting to your new life.
It usually takes some time to get to know the best ways to stay safe in a new place, but a homestay host can provide you with a local’s knowledge of how to look out for yourself while you are exploring your new city.
Help choosing long-term accommodation
Finding the right long-term accommodation can be hard, and you don’t want to rush the job. It can also be a little confusing, so it’s nice to have someone to guide you through the process.
Your hosts will be able to give you lots of advice and support while you look to find a place that’s right for you. You’ll also be matched to a host that suits the location of your university campus – so the places you’re looking to stay in, are probably the places they’ll know best.
Importantly, you’ll also have somewhere safe and secure to base yourself while you take the time to figure out where you want to live in the long term.
Having a local host/mentor for future reference
The benefit of your relationship with your host can continue even after your stay with them has finished.
They might be one of your referees when you apply for new accommodation or even a job. After your visit, you can continue to stay in touch and learn from one another.
Maybe most importantly of all –homestay gives you that chance to make a strong connection with someone new – you might even make some long lasting friends.