Host Families and Boarding School
International students studying at Australian high schools live either with a registered host family close to the school (most schools) or at the school’s own boarding facility (some private schools offer this). In special cases, international students may live with their parents, a close relative or a legal guardian. These arrangements require official approval so if you are thinking of one of these options, please talk with us.
We will work with you to identify the right host family for you. Suitable host families are selected, are strictly monitored and must meet specific quality standards. The goal is to provide international students with a safe, secure and homely environment to experience the everyday life of an Australian family, while practising and improving their English language skills.
Every school has an International Student Coordinator to assist with any problems you may have regarding school or your host family arrangements. Many schools also have a dedicated Homestay Coordinator. And of course, we at HSA are here to help with any issues you have for the duration of your stay in Australia.
A number of private schools also offer in-school boarding for their students. Students attending these schools can stay in dormitory style accommodation with all meals provided in a group dining room. This arrangement makes it easy to make friends with other Australian boarding students, many of whom come from farms and ‘outback Australia’. You also have easy access to all school sports and music facilities before and after school.
The cost of accommodation with a host family depends on individual circumstances and location and is included in our prices (which cover tuition, accommodation and health insurance). It varies between $250 and $350 AUD per week for state schools (costs for private schools upon request; boarding school accommodation costs are at the upper end of this price range or in some cases above).
- In return, the host family provides you with the following:
- Own room including bed, wardrobe and desk
- Three meals per day and in-between snacks for hungry teenagers
- Towels and bed linen
- Access to telephone, computer, internet and TV (details need to be discussed with the family upon arrival).
You will be included in family activities and treated like a normal family member. On the first school day, someone from the family will accompany you to school. The host parents will also look after your health. If necessary, they will take you to the doctor, accompany you to parent-teacher nights, and keep an eye on your homework and all school activities in general.
Australians are envied around the world for their climate and relaxed lifestyle. Summers are long, and the winters are mild by European standards. The sunshine, endless beaches, rainforests, the Great Barrier Reef and the Outback inspire excitement and wonder. Australians are friendly, and international students are welcome participants in the great variety of social, cultural and sporting activities on offer.
After school: Depending on your location, you can try surfing, golf, horseback riding, fishing, or maybe go for a walk or a swim. You can meet with new friends or join a sports club for activities such as volleyball, hockey, soccer, surf lifesaving and so much more. Or you might like to do some shopping or go for a picnic in the park. The choices are endless.
Weekends: Sports activities are mostly held on Saturdays. There are various school and club competitions; footballers play matches, and surf lifesavers train in the ocean. You can do excursions to other towns, go shopping or visit markets, spend a day at the beach, visit galleries, theatres and concerts, or go hiking and explore nature trails.
Holidays: The period between terms is school holidays! This means the chance to have fun with your new friends, or even to visit other parts of Australia on an approved school tour. Just remember that Australian high schools (state and private) take your welfare very seriously, and require any trips you take to be properly supervised. So if your host family wants to take you along on their holiday, no problem.
Working in Australia
Some casual work after school is great for boosting your finances, your social network, and your English too. An Australian student visa lets you work up to 20 hours per week. Possibilities include supermarkets, boutiques, shops, cafes or restaurants. Ask your Australian friends for tips on where to look. Depending on your location, you can even do occasional fruit picking in the countryside on weekends.