Homestay is a cultural exchange between a local individual or family (called a Host) and a visiting international student.

The student lives as a guest in the host's family home. The homestay experience helps the student understand the culture and customs of the region in which they are studying.

Unlike many other accommodation options, students don't need to pay a bond, sign a lease or search for a property themselves. Students are provided with a furnished room to study and rest in, as well as a supportive family environment and home to live in. To make the most of the experience there is a minimum stay of four weeks.

Students are required to pay a weekly fee. This weekly fee may vary depending on your provider and package (e.g: how many meals your host provides you with). This fee may include:

  • insurance
  • emergency telephone support
  • student/host matching service
  • meals
  • furnished accommodation
  • utilities (power, gas etc.)

Homestay benefits

  • Settle into a new culture and community with the help of hosts.
  • Assistance with everyday conversational skills.
  • Hosts will assist you with learning basics such as buying public transport tickets, the location of local shops, how to access banking, internet, mobile phone and personal safety tips.

How to organise it

La Trobe University does not provide a homestay placement service. The private agencies listed below can organise homestay accommodation for students. A placement fee of approximately AU $150-$240 (additional administration and bank transfer fees of $10-$50 can apply) will be charged by homestay placement agencies for this service.

Disclaimer: The agencies listed below are not owned or operated by La Trobe University. They are independent of the University and operate as private businesses. The onus of responsibility is on each student to assess the homestay facilities as suitable for their needs. Any arrangements, financial or otherwise, are strictly between the student and the homestay provider and/or homestay placement agency. Prices are subject to change without notification. Rates may not include GST. Please contact the homestay provider or homestay placement agency for current prices and GST information.

Homestay placement agencies

Information for hosts

Vacancies for hosts

  • do you live close to La Trobe University or near a public transport line?
  • do you have a spare room?
  • are you interested to learn about the many benefits of hosting an international student in your home?

Opportunities exist now for people wanting to learn how to host and welcome international students to La Trobe University.

Welcome to the Australian Homestay Network (AHN):

The Australian Homestay Network (AHN) is the leading Manager of Homestay placements in Australia.

Opportunities exist now for friendly individuals and families to host and share a unique cultural experience with International students.

As a host you will be fully supported and trained by AHN.

If selected you will be paid tax free expenses and provide a safe, clean and friendly place for an international student to study, rest and temporarily live in while they become accustomed to our environment and culture. The commitments lengths for hosts are negotiable however most initial placements are for four week.

AHN supports hosts with:

  • free training and ongoing support
  • appropriate contents insurances* for both Hosts and Students
  • professional 24/7 phone support including emergency and critical incident management (including emergency  Interpreter** support)
  • Homestay community networking opportunities

A variety of hosting options are available, visit the AHN website for further information or call us on 1300 024 628.

*A $100 excess will apply for each incident giving rise to a claim
**Interpreter assistance services are for approved emergency/medical support and not for non-essential day to day assistance.