International Student Homestay

An International Student Homestay family provides overseas students with a warm and safe family environment in which to live while they study.

Homestay Families

St John’s Grammar School carefully selects Homestay families located nearby, to provide a safe and secure environment, all food, help with English and settling into Australian culture.

All students can expect to have their own furnished bedroom (bed, desk, chair, wardrobe) and be cared for as a member of the host family.

Homestay Guidelines and Standards Handbook

Homestays are arranged by the School for short term (up to 10 weeks) and long term students. Homestay accommodation is arranged and managed by the Homestay Coordinator at St John’s Grammar School.

Selection for Homestay families involves an application form, home visits, DCSI clearance and reference checks for all household members over the age of 18. Homestay families live near or within easy access of the School, which minimises travel time and enables the international students to integrate well into the School and local community.

Students wishing to apply for a Homestay are asked to complete the Student Homestay Application Form and return to the Homestay Coordinator.

Homestay Family Application Process

Families are selected according to their application, interview, home visit, criminal history screening and suitable student match.

Home to become a Homestay Family

Opening up your home to an international student is a mutually rewarding experience. It is a wonderful opportunity to  experience another culture and to share your own.

For more information about your role as a Homestay, reimbursement and what to expect, please refer to the Homestay Guidelines and Standards Handbook or contact the Homestay Coordinator.

To lodge your application as a Homestay, please download and complete the Homestay Application Form and return to the Homestay Coordinator.

If you have a current relevant police check clearance, please return this with your application. Teacher Registrations and Catholic School Clearances are also accepted. Otherwise, please complete and return the DCSI Screening Application Form with your application. (Please note: you are only required to complete the sections that are highlighted)

After your application has been received and processed, the Homestay Coordinator will contact you to discuss your application and to arrange a home visit.

Homestay Family Support

The Homestay Coordinator maintains regular contact with Homestay families to make sure students and families are happy, settled and to answer any questions or issues that may arise.

Activities are organised throughout the year to bring the international students and their homestay families together in a social setting.

Annual meetings take place between key staff members and homestay families for open forum discussions.

Support is available at all times, including the provision of an out of hours contact in the case of emergency.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is required?

As a St John’s Grammar Homestay Family you must:

  • Provide a clean, comfortable and private bedroom in the main house – granny flat options needs to be discussed on a case by case basis.
  • Hosts must speak English in the home.
  • Help the student to settle into a safe and comfortable home. You will be willing to make them feel at home with conversation, support, inclusion in family activities.
  • Provide healthy and fresh food – 3 meals a day, including weekends, plus fruits, snack items and recess
  • Show student/s around the community to assist them to become familiar with the local area and customs, while in a relaxed and friendly household setting.
  • Help student/s to access or organise important services e.g. setting up a bank account and mobile, and assist your guest to seek medical or dental attention as necessary.
  • Maintain valid clearances. All hosts and permanent residents over the age of 18 must have a valid DCSI clearance

What support will I receive?

In addition to the ongoing support from our Homestay Coordinator, you will also receive financial support via a weekly allowance of $300 per week, per student in your care.

How long do students stay?

All international students are attending our school for a minimum of 2 years so most placements are long term, however if a student is placed with a host family and there is a change in circumstances or any issues arise and the student needs to be relocated, there is a 2 week notice period for us to arrange placement in another home.

Many students will travel back home twice a year for holiday. This happens in July and December.


Homestay families are paid to provide at least 3 meals a day for students, including weekends, plus snack items and recess. Dinner should be a cooked meal (salads in summer are acceptable) and most Australian families use this meal time to discuss the day’s events. Students should be encouraged to participate in the evening meal by helping prepare the food, setting the table or just ‘hanging out’ while it is being prepared.

Can I give students leftovers?

It is not the culture for many students to have leftover foods, especially if the food is more than two days old. On the other hand, students are aware that it is Australian culture to batch-cook and freeze for future consumption. It is ok if these foods are frozen from fresh, but please limit this practice and preparation of freshly made food is appreciated.

What if they do not like my cooking?

Some students will eat anything and others are picky. If your student isn’t connecting with the food in your house, offer to take them to the shops with you so they can pick out things they like. You can also invite them to teach you to cook a dish they enjoy or help to find recipes. You may want to dedicate space in your kitchen to allow then to keep their favourite foods separate from the household pantry. Sometimes something as simple as adding a sauce or condiment can allow your student to turn simple western meals into something they will enjoy.

Can I request a student gender?

You are welcome to make requests and we will always do our best to comply with the requests made. However this is not always possible.  A student profile will be provided before you commit to hosting a student.

What about laundry?

Talk with students to find out what works best for you and for them. Some may not want anyone handling their private things. Some will want to wash things too often or not at all, in which case it may be easier and more hygienic for you to do the washing for them. If you decide together that they will do their own laundry, show them clearly how to do it. Be very detailed – how much soap to use, water levels, what times of day are ok for laundry and how often they are welcome to use it. Do the laundry together a couple of times if this is new to them.

What if it doesn’t work out?

We offer 24/7 support for both students and hosts and will assist you with anything required. If things aren’t working and we can’t resolve them for you, we’ll arrange for the guest to move to a different home.

Should I take landlord insurance?

Not necessary, but definitely home contents insurance to cover both yours and your student’s belongings.


29 Gloucester Avenue, Belair SA 5052

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(08) 8278 0293