Short term homes needed for academics

Chinese-doctor-standardThe University’s manager, international research development and manager of the Homestay Program, Mr Julian Zhang says 40 future education leaders from 25 universities in China will join 20 doctors from Nantong University who arrived in Bendigo on 19 June.

Mr Zhang says that the program is economically and culturally beneficial to Bendigo.

‘This year we will host 60 Chinese academics, the largest number of visitors we have had since the program began 11 years ago – and we are urging previous hosts and potential new hosts to come to our Homestay information night if they think they can offer some assistance,’ said Mr Zhang.

‘The academics come here as part of an exchange program between the La Trobe University and a number of universities in China. They pay to come here and spend most of their time in Bendigo because we have a friendly, warm-hearted community.

‘It’s a great way for the academics to learn about Australian culture and for host families to get a taste of China’ said Mr Zhang.

Mr Zhang said that the 20 doctors from Nantong University have been placed with families for the seven-week duration of their visit but more families are needed to accommodate the influx of 40 scholars who will arrive in Bendigo on 17 July.

He said the Chinese doctors will learn the English language and enjoy academic exchanges with La Trobe staff at the Bendigo Campus during the seven-week stay in the city. They will also spend time with doctors in Bendigo to learn about their medical practices.

The 40 future Chinese education leaders, who are aged between 30 and 40, will learn Advanced Teaching Methodology and exchange cultural experiences with the Bendigo community.

Mr Zhang said many of the Homestay hosts will receive $220 per week for providing an individual bedroom, meals and transport scholars to University. He said the program has many regular supporters and he hoped that potential new families would come along to the information session to consider providing accommodation for the extra intake of Chinese academics.

The session is from 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm on Thursday 28 June in Room IBC 114 in the Ironbark Centre at La Trobe University.

Interested members of the public can get more information from the Homestay program coordinator, Jacqui Fraser by calling 0411 231 554 or by email to

Mr Zhang can be contacted on 0409 517 602 or email

The scholars will stay with homestay families for 3 weeks from 17 July.