David Bycroft, Peter Spolc, Chris Everson, Sylvia Lewohl
Homestay is a wonderful, educational experience that provides an ideal opportunity to learn about another culture. Each year both Australia and New Zealand open their doors to thousands of new international students, many apply for homestay, believing it to be the very best way to experience a new environment.
Each student must have a safe, supportive place to live and each student must be made sufficiently aware of dangers and hazards in their new surroundings. One of the most complex issues is the care and monitoring of students in homestay, especially those under eighteen years of age and it is in the education provider's best interest for Homestay providers to have good policies and procedures in place and function under good practice guidelines. Unfortunately this has not always happened.
In Australia a group has got togther to solve the problems associated with Homestay by forming The Australian Homestay Network and have produced an online, fully compliant, management system which is extremely easy to use and gives both the student and host access to orientation material, interesting articles and chat lines. Each student and host is fully insured and has access to telephone assistance twenty four hours a day seven days a week.