Advantages of staying in homestay accommodation

Find out more about living with an Australian family

The many benefits include:

1. The opportunity to meet local people

Staying in homestay gives you a unique experience and insight to a new culture and way of life. It’s a way to live a destination, not just visit it. Additionally it can often help when also taking on studies to help with settling in to the new environment.

Some facts about typical Aussie families

The modern Australian family reflects the diversity of the Australian multi-cultural society. Four out of 10 Australians are migrants or children of migrants; so it is common to find married couples each partner is from different countries other than Australia and may speak other languages as well as English. This makes Australia richer and more culturally diverse.

2. Improve English skills

There is no better way to practice English, than by immersing oneself in and English speaking environment through participating in a homestay family. I not only helps with English skills, but also encourages learning in how to get along with people from all over the world—improving confidence and appreciation for other cultures.

How does Nice Homestay work

Nice Homestay works for international students who come to Australia for study opportunities and to improve their English skills. We introduce students to our culture by finding friendly home environments that meet their accommodation needs such as being close to public transport; or being close to a particular study institution; or providing meals etc. We interview perspective host families and make sure they qualify according to our guidelines for making suitable hosts.

To apply or enquire about homestay with

  1. Complete the “Student Application” form for either
    a)  individual student application; or
    b)  agents group application
  2. Download homestay student guidelines


Student emergency contacts and dealing with issues

Download student emergency contact list— general advice for dealing with issues or emergencies notice

Some helpful guidelines


This is your space. Remember to leave furniture and room fittings in the same position as you find them. Often there are no locks on bedroom doors in Australia, so don’t expect this. However, you are entitled to your privacy. Other members of the household should always knock before entering your room and your hosts should make your room “off limits” to young children and pets. You can indicate you want some quiet private time by closing your bedroom door.

Typical rules regarding bedrooms

No smoking. Smoking will make the room smell. It is also dangerous.
Careless use of cigarettes cause house fires and can be life-threatening.

No storing and eating food. This will attract mice and cockroaches.

No wet clothes. In Australia clothes are usually dried outside on a clothesline. They are not dried in the bedroom. The wetness causes mould to grow and damages furniture. Nor are they draped over heaters to dry because they could easily catch alight and start a fire.

Laundry and washing

Some families will wash and change your bed linen each week and some will even wash your clothes. Others will want you to do your own washing. You will always be expected to do your own ironing. Your hosts will explain their system; otherwise always ask what is expected.

If your host does your washing they will explain where to leave your dirty clothes. Your hosts will understand if you want to hand-wash your own underwear. Most hosts do not like underwear to be washed in the bathroom handbasin and prefer you do it in the laundry.

If you are to do your own washing, your host will allow you to use the washing machine and will show you how to use it. Australians typically use the washing machine once or twice a week when they have reasonable quantities of washing. One cup full of powder or liquid is enough to clean a full load of washing. If you put too much in, you will damage your clothes. You will be expected to wash bed linen about once a week, even if you shower/bath before going to bed each night.

Typical rules regarding laundry

If unsure or confused about what is expected; or how to use the washing machine; or anything with regard to the laundry system keep asking questions. Hosts would rather repeat instructions than have you struggle.

Personal underwear items: If your host wants to do the washing but you prefer to hand-wash personal underwear items; ask your host where they would like you to wash these items.


n most homes you will use the same bathroom as other members of the family. Aussies usually shower once or twice a day, before or after work, and don’t have baths very often. They use the bathroom to get clean as quickly as possible while using a minimum of resources. Shower for between two and five minutes, then dry hair, get dressed and apply any makeup back in the bedroom. This is important for busy households where up to five family members may be getting ready for school and work in the morning.

Regular rules regarding bathrooms

Australian bathrooms are not built for splashing water around. Wash inside the bath or shower. Do not stand outside the bath to splash water over yourself and wet the floor.

Household members are expected to leave the bathroom clean and reasonably dry after use.

Those with long hair may lose some in the shower. This should be picked up and put in the rubbish bin otherwise it might clog drains.

Wet towels should be hung on a rail in the bathroom to dry. Aussies use the same towel for several days. Don’t expect a fresh towel daily.

Female household members are expected to wrap sanitary products in a paper bag and place the bag in the rubbish bin. These items don’t go in the toilet as they can cause blockages, which may lead to embarrassment.

Male household members are expected to lift the toilet seat when going to the toilet. The seat should be back afterwards.


Dinner is usually served between 6pm and 8pm. Everyone is expected to sit down together to eat dinner.

Table manners and customs

It is polite to help set the table before the meal, and offer to help clear away dishes.

In Australia it is good manners to eat with the mouth closed and eat quietly.

Family members are not served in any particular order. For instance, the eldest is no more likely to be served first than the youngest. It is okay to start eating as soon as everyone has been served.

If someone needs to leave the table before others have finished, they can excuse themselves by saying for example, “excuse me,
I have to study now

It is considered rude to use mobile phones at the dinner table. A much better option is to engage with each other and practice English.