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 Welcome to Homestay!

Homestay is a positive and rewarding experience and we hope it will be enjoyable for you.  These guidelines are designed to help you to adjust to life with your family as quickly as possible so that the cultural exchange is a happy one.  When you arrive in Australia you may feel a little confused.  Australian families and household customs are very different from your home country and you will need to approach homestay life with a positive, open mind.  You may experience some feelings we call “culture shock”.  Ideally homestay is a two-way exchange in which both students and homestay families do their best to get to know and appreciate each other – and in the process have a very good time.

You are going to be confronted with values and customs, different from your own, and you will have to come to terms with them while at the same time you are missing the support of your own family, friends and culture.

All homestay families in Australia are different.  The image of an Australian family consisting of father, mother and two children does not reflect the diversity of the Australian family of today.  Families can be a mother with children, a lady by herself (divorced, widowed or single), a young couple, an elderly couple or an extended family which includes a grandparent or other relative/s.  We are a multi-cultural society and all family members are valued equally.  Australians don’t always do things together as a family.  Some parents may work long hours, go to meetings or take children to after school activities and not be at home all of the time.  It is good to try to do many things by yourself and the family will respect your efforts to be independent and you’ll gain from the experience too.

These guidelines may help you settle into homestay more easily.


  • Homestay is not like a hotel/motel.  The type of homestay will vary

from small apartments to large houses.

  • Brisbane is wide spread and you will probably have to travel some distance to get to the University, and in most cases will have to catch two buses or bus and train to get there.   The overall time travelling can be up to one hour.

  • Students at ICTE are not entitled to concession fares on public transport.  This is a local government policy as you are not studying on an award program (eg Undergraduate degree).    It is cheaper to buy a weekly, monthly or ‘ten trip saver ticket’.  ICTE and your homestay will advise you on how and where to buy these tickets.

§         The majority of homestay families have a pet of some description.  If you have never had much contact with dogs or cats don’t discount living in a family with a pet – you may be surprised to find how much you end up liking them.

  • Most Australians do not smoke and the majority of homestay families do not want people smoking inside the home.  Please respect their wishes.

  • Most families go to bed early and get up early.  Dinner is usually served early as well.

  • Homestay families provide food for breakfast and dinner on Monday to Friday and three meals a day on the weekend.  Ask what the normal meal times are.  If you plan to go out in the evening or you do not want dinner at home please tell your homestay before you leave in the morning.

  • Australian meals are not banquet style, so if you are still hungry do not be afraid to ask for more.  Remember food tastes differ in all countries so try to be open minded and try new foods.  Most Australian families do not do their grocery shopping every day.  You will notice that some foods will be frozen, such as meat and bread and thawed and served at a later date.

  • Table etiquette.   In Australia it is considered good manners to eat with the mouth closed and to eat quietly.  Most Australians think noisy eating or slurping of food is rude.
  • An Australian-style breakfast usually consists of cereal and milk, toast and tea/coffee/juice and perhaps some fruit and yoghurt.  If you would like rice or noodles for example, please say so.  Breakfast is a very informal meal and you will probably be expected to help yourself.  Lunch at the weekend is similar to breakfast in that it is a light meal and can include bread or something reheated from a previous meal.

  • All members of the family usually help with many of the simple chores eg washing the dishes and setting/clearing the table and it would be a friendly gesture for you to do so as well.

  • Some households do have guidelines. If you find them to be unreasonable please discuss this with your host or contact the ICTE Homestay Officers (room 327) for advice.

  • South East Queensland is now experiencing drought conditions. Water levels in dams are very low.  The Local Government has imposed a number of water restrictions to minimise water consumption.  Please limit your shower times from 5 to 10 minutes.

  • All household members are expected to leave the bathroom tidy, clean and reasonably dry.  Please consider the other members of your family and discuss what time is suitable for you to shower.

  • It is your responsibility to keep your own room tidy.  Please do not keep food in your room and dispose of food wrappers and packaging in the garbage bin.

  • Every homestay has different arrangements with regard to your washing, some will do it and others will show you how to use the machine.  Discuss this with your family.  All wet clothes should be dried outside on the clothes-line.

  • A limited number of local telephone calls are acceptable, however, all international calls must be paid for by you.  Phone cards can be purchased at any newsagent.  Please talk to your family about using the phone.

  • ICTE students are given free internet and email access for use in the ICTE computer rooms and UQ general computer facilities  Some Homestays may have internet access but others will not.  Homestays are not required to provide this service.

  • You will be given a key to the house.  Look after it.  It is essential to lock the door behind you if you are the last person to leave the house.  Make sure the window in your room is locked if you are going out.

  • If you plan to be late home let your homestay family know where you are going.  Be prepared to pay for a taxi fare home if you miss the last bus.  It is not your family’s duty to collect you if you miss your transport.  If you plan to stay overnight at a friend’s house it is courteous to let your homestay know in advance.

  • Many Australians are very informal and casual in the way they behave and dress.  You may find that they hug, kiss and touch each other, especially as family and friends.  Children behave informally with their parents and many are very noisy in the house.  If you would like to take photos of the children please first ask the permission of your homestay parents in advance.

  • Australians say ‘please’ when asking for something and ‘thank you’ (with a smile) when receiving something or if someone does something for them.  This is considered extremely important.  It is also important to say ‘I’m sorry’ if you make a mistake and ‘excuse me’ if you wish to interrupt their conversation or activity.

  • It is important to talk to your homestay family, it will do wonders for your English and will help your family to understand how you are feeling.  Don’t worry if your English is not perfect they will respect you for trying.

        本資料摘錄  http://www.isu.edu.tw/upload/04/5/files/dept_5_lv_2_6246.doc  

Home stay 生活照