Host Families come in all shapes and sizes. EdVenture accepts a diverse range of “families” to host our students. If you have a keen interest in other cultures and would enjoy sharing your lives and home with others, consider hosting for us. Families with young children, families with older children, extended family units, empty nesters and single parent families are all eligible to become host families subject to meeting hosting criteria.
Host families are asked to provide a bed, daily meals, and welcome students into their family during their visit to Australia. You are also expected to take students somewhere that a visitor from overseas may enjoy – it can be the beach, a local sightseeing spot etc.
If you are hosting students under the age of 18, any family member over the age of 18 is required to have a BlueCard to be eligible to host. If you do not have a Blue Card already, we are able to assist you with the application. If you are only hosting students aged over 18, then a BlueCard is not necessary. Most of our students are under 18, however.
You are still able to host, even if you don’t have children enrolled at the host school. Our primary criteria for host families is that you are able to provide a safe and caring environment and have a genuine interest in learning about another culture and sharing your own!
It is not expected that you speak a second language. The students are here to gain confidence in their English skills, so please help them by speaking to them in English as often as you can. Many students may have limited English skills so speaking slowly or writing down some of your conversations may help, as is having patience.
Normal Australian meals are fine – most students have some experience of Western food and are keen to try new things! It is not expected that you change your meals for the student, however from time to time we may have a student with particular dietary needs. If this is the case, we will always check with you before placing that student in your home.
We do not expect that students will automatically have a room to themselves. It is fine for them to share a room with a host sibling of similar age and gender.
It is general policy that there is only one student of a given nationality with you at a time. However, it is acceptable for families to host students of diverse nationalities.
With some of our Group Study Tours we do have requests for double placements from time to time. If this is the case, we will always check as to what suits you best. If you host for another organisation, you are still welcome to host for us, provided that the other students are not the same nationality as EdVenture students.
No, you do not have to worry about airport transfers – we look after that for you. Usually arrival and departure day transfers are at the host school if the student is with a group. If the student is here as part of an individual study program, we will have a driver or an EdVenture staff member bring the student to you.
If you need help communicating with your students, we have staff available 24/7 – many of whom are bilingual.
For most Study Tour groups, there will be a bilingual staff member at the host school every day.
Rest assured that we have procedures in place to support you and your student in these situations. All students have their own Travel Insurance to cover medical expenses, so there is no cost to you if your student is unwell. Guidelines are in our Host Family Information Booklet, but in any emergency or serious illness our staff will always be involved in assisting the student.
At your Host Family Interview, our staff take time to carefully explain your role and our expectations, as well as answer any other questions you may have. We will provide you with a Host Family Information Booklet, and we are available to answer any further questions via email or phone call.
For our Group Study Tours, host families are invited to attend one of our Orientation meetings prior to the group’s arrival. There you will get to meet other host families and ask questions. We provide all new families with our comprehensive Host Family Information Booklet, which will be of great help! Our staff are also on hand to assist you and make your hosting experience a memorable one.
Prior to your departure, we will provide you with a list of clothes and other items we suggest you bring. This will depend on the season in which you are coming, the location where you may be placed, as well as the duration of your program. Basically, you will need to bring suitable clothes for the season, plus your toiletries. You may need to bring your school uniform, depending on your program. If you are here on an individual program and staying for a term or more, the local school may also require that you bring certain items. A small gift for your Host Family would be a nice thought, too.
Most study tour groups require students to wear their school uniform during the school week. Individual students might need to purchase the uniform of their host school (if their program is a longer term). You will be expected to follow the local school uniform rules in terms of hair length and jewellery etc. You may also be asked to bring a sports uniform.
If you are here on a Group Study Tour, you should be spending your free time with your Host Family, so we ask that you do not make arrangements with your classmates to meet out of school times. This will give you the opportunity to improve your English and form a good relationship with your Host Family.
Australian families eat a variety of different cuisines. As many Australian families are multicultural, so is our food. Australians will eat a variety of foods: Australian food, Italian food and Asian food are all very popular. Your family may prefer a certain type of food or may eat very differently every evening.
If you have any dietary requirements, please advise us when you submit your application.
This will depend on your Host Family. You might have to share a room with a host brother or sister (depending on your gender and age). If this is the case, the host brother or sister will be of a similar age to you.
This will depend on your Host Family home. Some families have more than one bathroom, and in some families, everyone shares the same bathroom.
If your Host Family asks you where you would like to go, you can tell them, but please don’t expect that your Host Family will take you to theme parks etc. Some trips can be very expensive for a family. If you need to go to the supermarket, please be considerate of your Host Family’s time and don’t ask them to take you when they are busy. Most host families are happy to take you to the shops as long as you give them enough warning and they don’t have other things planned.
For students who are part of a Group Study Tour, the EdVenture rule is no internet at the Host Family home. This is your time to practise your English and form relationships with your Host Family. If you are a long term student, you may have internet access to assist with your studies, depending on your Host Family. Please remember, each family has its own rules about internet usage and we ask that all students abide by those rules.
Every Host Family will have a different routine. On your arrival, our staff will give you a homework sheet, which has questions you can ask your family about what to do and family rules during your stay. It may take a few days to settle in, please be patient and always ask if you are unsure.
Host families do not expect your English to be fluent – they understand you are still learning. If you don’t understand what your Host Family is saying, just let them know. No one will be upset or angry and it is better that you tell them that you don’t understand. Practise phrases like: “I am sorry, could you say that again?”, “I am sorry I do not understand”, “Could you please say it again? etc to help you.
Students under 18: If you are unwell during your visit, please tell your Host Family and EdVenture staff. Depending on how sick you are, we will assist by visiting the doctor with you. Please make sure you bring your Health Insurance paperwork with you if you need to visit the doctor. It is your responsibility to pay for any medical treatment and medication that you need.
Students over the age of 18: Where possible, try to make your own arrangements for seeking medical assistance if you are unwell, provided you are comfortable doing so. We are always here to support you, so you can contact our staff if you need help.
If you need support, there is always someone there to help you. It might be EdVenture staff, your Host Family or a teacher/coordinator at your Host School. Please let us know if you need help – telling someone early means that the problem can be fixed faster!
If you are part of a Group Study Tour, your Host Family will make sure you get to school safely. You might walk or take bus/train with your host brothers/sisters or your Host Family might drive you to school.
If you are a longer term student, you will possibly take a bus or train by yourself after you get to know the area or you might even walk, if you live close to your Host School.
FAQ for Individual Students only
If you are finding your course too difficult, speak to your school counsellor, or to your EdVenture support person. They will help you to overcome any problems with your choice of subjects.
Changing a host school is usually not possible, however, if there are special circumstances, we will do our best to assist you. Extra school fees and other fees may apply if changes are able to be made. We also will not make any decisions to change schools soon after arrival. It takes time to settle in and become familiar with a school, its rules and systems so any change, if able to be made will only be considered after every effort is first made to adapt to the initial school.