Q: My student wants to wash her underwear every day. What should I do?
A: We generally recommend that using the washing machine for clothes is allowed once a week, as this is normal in Australia.
However, many students from China may want to wash their underwear daily, by hand, as this is part of their culture. If this is the case, we suggest you provide them with a bucket and ask them to wash using the sink in the laundry for hygienic purposes. Please ask them to hang their underwear outside on the line, or somewhere with open air, not in their wardrobe.
Q: Can my student bring their parents to stay with us?
A: We don’t recommend that hosts allow the parents to stay with the student at your home. Homestay is for students only, and it may become uncomfortable if you have other students with you. Your student’s parents can stay at a nearby hotel, and they can meet outside your home. Some parents may want to visit their child at their homestay, and meet you, when they first arrive, or if they come to visit. However, they need to ask for your permission and come for a visit when you and your family are at home.
Q: Can I enter the student’s room to open the window and clean up the room?
A: If you have advised the student that you will enter from time to time to open the window, you can. However, most students would like their own privacy, and do not want anyone to enter their room when they are not there. Please speak with your student when they arrive to let them know you may need to do this from time to time to avoid any misunderstanding. Additionally, you are not expected to tidy their room, and they should not expect you to do so.
Q: Can I ask my student to help with house chores?
A: The student is part of the family and you can ask them to assist with house chores, however there should be clear boundaries when you ask them to do so.
Things you can ask (but not every day and all at once):
- Cleaning their bedroom
- Cleaning their bathroom (if they or other students are the sole users of the bathroom)
- Washing their dishes after meals and helping with dinner clean-up
- Washing their clothes and hanging them outside
Things you should not ask:
- Baby sit your child(ren)
- Vacuuming the house
- Cleaning the bathroom (if you also use it)
- Doing the gardening
- Cooking and looking after another student while you are away on holiday or emergency
Q: My student arrived last week, and I noticed he is still experiencing culture shock during his second week. Is this normal?
A: Although in general many people will experience culture shock between 1 to 2 weeks after their arrival, it depends on each person. Some may take longer, especially if they have never been outside their own country.
We suggest that you assist your students to adjust in their new environment by:
- Introducing them to your friends who have similar background
- Including them to your daily activities and let them know that you are available if they need any help
- Trying to talk to them as much as you can especially during dinner time. Some students may not say a lot due to their limited English, and that’s ok. They can just be a good listener. The main thing is for them to feel welcomed, and dinner is a great time to build this bond.
- Encouraging them to go out with their friends
- Encouraging them to find some new activities to meet new people and friends i.e. attending Meetup groups, going to the gym, joining university student association
Q: It’s almost midnight and my student has food poisoning. He needs to be admitted to the local hospital as soon as possible. I’m not the caregiver, and I have tried to contact that person, but there has been no response. What should I do?
A: With an urgent case like this, the host should assist to call the ambulance and accompany the student to the hospital, or drive the student directly to the hospital if available. We want to make sure that the student receives the health care they need. Their wellbeing is the number one priority!
Once you ensure student has received appropriate help health care, you may try to ring the carer again. If you are still unsuccessful then you can send a text message, letting the carer know that the student is currently at the emergency section at” … hospital” and ask the carer to ring you as soon as he/she receives the message.
Please also let Global experience know by sending a text to our emergency number, we can also assist to follow-up with the carer the next day, if need be.
Also, if you have any doubts when encountering this kind of challenge, it’s best to ring us at the emergency number +61 430 008 448 so we can give you some directions on how to deal with this case.
Q: I get along with my student very well however, she wants to cook lunch every day, and this is not part of the agreement. I don’t want to hurt her feelings as she’s a nice student. How am I going to approach the student about this limitation?
A: Ideally you need to communicate about this on the first day of their arrival. This way they are aware about the limitations of using home facilities in the homestay such as cooking. Let them know if they wish to bring lunch from home, they can prepare sandwiches instead. They can buy the ingredients and keep them in the fridge.
Q: Am I going to be in trouble for asking my student to cook a dish from their country during dinner time? Am I allowed since dinner should be prepared by the host?
A: Cooking a dish together is a great way to bond, and it allows the student to showcase a meal from their home country. However, the student should not be cooking every night, and they are not obligated to cook for you. We want to ensure they don’t misunderstand the intention of cooking a meal for you as a requirement. Instead, it is a cultural exchange and an opportunity for the student to eat a dish they enjoy, and show you something from home.
Please ensure you monitor them while they are cooking, as some safety and electrical features may be different (if your student is under 18, you may need to ‘do it together’).
Q: My student complains that my son is almost naked every day. This is not true! It’s summertime, and he just doesn’t put on his top and wears short most of the times. It’s normal in Australia!
A: Although walking around topless is quite normal for men in Australia, some students may feel uncomfortable with this, especially if they are female. We suggest that the host and family members dress modestly when having students (especially female). When dealing with people from different cultures and backgrounds, we should try to be culturally sensitive to avoid receiving negative feedback/comments from students.
Q: Can I take my student to dine at a restaurant with my family? Who should pay for his meal?
A: If you take the student out for dinner, it should be the courtesy of the host. Hence you should pay for the meal as dinner, as this is included as part of the homestay arrangement. However, if your student is over 18 and he would like to consume alcohol, let him know this is at his own cost.
Q: I enjoy hosting students from all over the world. I’ve never hosted a student requesting Halal meals though. What does that mean?
A: Normally, when student requests Halal food, it means that their food should not contain any pork or alcohol products (including wines, liquor, beer, etc., in cooking preparation). Double check with them as they may prefer to eat only fish, eggs and vegetarian dishes.
However, some students requesting Halal may mean Halal meat. You need purchase special Halal meat from the butcher (for chicken, beef and lamb). If this is the request, our staff will communicate with you in advance and an extra fee will be added to your weekly fee as a token of appreciation for your effort.