Who can host a cultural student?

Our host families come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and ages. Retired couples, single parents with or without children, couples with primary school children, couples with teenagers and a family pet…all can apply to become a host family and all can benefit in many ways from the hosting a cultural student.

Do the students speak English?

Students have all been tested and speak English well enough to attend classes at a local school. As with any non-native speaker, there may be a period in the beginning where they need extra help and patience as they get used to speaking and hearing English.

How are students selected?

We work with partner organisations around the world with which we have long standing relationships. Every new cultural student is interviewed, their medical and academic records are checked and references are always required. Students come from over 15 countries, are usually aged between 15 and 18 years old and their natural parents must have the financial means to support them while they are away. Each student comes with a passport and return ticket plus money to cover personal expenses and school costs.

Why does the program use volunteers?

Cultural programs help promote international understanding and good will and depend on the good will of a number of participants. Volunteers help to look after the students while they are here and provide additional support services. The combined result is that many more students from around the world can share in the experience of living and studying in another culture.

What are our responsibilities as a host family?

Your basic responsibility is to welcome the cultural student as a member of your family and to provide the same care and support you would give to your own children. We ask that you provide a bed and two to three meals a day. Students assume the normal responsibilities as a member of your family and are expected to undertake the same simple chores you would expect your own children to do.

What are the student’s financial responsibilities?

Students are expected to have access to a minimum of $AU350 / $NZ400 a month to cover personal expenses and all ongoing school costs such as subject levies, excursions, school books and uniforms (no tuition fees are paid by the student).

Where do the students go to school?

Cultural students will go to a private school, our office will arrange the school enrolment and your family might be asked to assist with finalising the enrolment details.

Can we select our own student and how do we choose?

We will provide you with profiles of students which will include information on their interests and family background, and a ‘letter’ written to you as a prospective host family. This will often give you a special insight into the student which will help your decision. You then make a decision based on the students available.

Do the students have health insurance?

All students have overseas student health insurance cover with the same benefits to the student as Medicare.

What role do we play?

We provide a local coordinator who will live nearby. Trained by us, this person provides support to the host family and the student. Full time staff is available 24 hours a day in case of an emergency. We arrange transport for the student to the nearest main airport when they arrive. We also provide you with handbooks and other information.

Is it really as good as you say?

We’re probably biased, but YES! We can have you talk to families who tell us how their lives changed by participating in student cultural program. Having said that we wouldn’t dare say your short program would be without its problems –after all you are welcoming a teenager into your home. But we find host families cope well and help students through any problems they have and we are here to support you locally and at the national level.

We would love to hear from you

If you would like to talk with us about what is involved in hosting a cultural student or to find out more about students arriving soon, please fill in your details below to arrange a call from our hosting coordinator.

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