Choice Homestay

Choice Homestay Information

Frequently Asked Questions

If the student has a family member that comes along on the tour with them or surprises them with a visit, they can NOT go home with them. The family member can only visit the student at the host families house and MUST notify the Choice Homestay office for approval first. If a teacher wants to spend time with your student outside of school hours, let us know immediately as they may not have permission to do so.

Most guests are students between 12 and 17 years of age.

Please care for guests the same way as you care for your family. If they need to visit a doctor then please take them there and ask your guests to pay and collect a receipt for insurance purposes. If the student needs to visit a hospital then please contact us as quickly as possible.

 

Most guests visit from Japan, China, Hong Kong and Korea at this time.
There are some special considerations that come with hosting younger students. For example, students around 8 – 10 years old may need extra care and assistance with simple tasks such as taking care of their own personal hygiene. In addition, many young students may feel that the house is too dark and scary at night so they hold out on going to the toilet until the morning. This may lead to accidental bed wetting. We recommend that you cover your mattress with a protector just in case any of accidents and consider leaving the bathroom light on to assist your student in feeling comfortable in going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

 

As at October 2015, the amount received by a taxpayer with regard to a student who is boarding with them under a homestay arrangement is generally not assessable under section 6-5 of the ITAA 1997, shown here
Most guests can communicate effectively in English, but translation websites and apps can help. Many families recommend the free iTranslate app by google, with text and audio translation options.

 

Please ask your insurance provider if you are covered for damages or theft by paying guests in your home. “Homestay Insurance Plus” provide $10 million liability cover for about $110 per year and may be purchased with the support of our agent ID (QLD13).

Choice Homestay provides host families with:

  • Hosting options
  • Secured payments
  • 24 hour emergency support line
  • Pickup and Drop-off supervision
  • Weekend social gatherings for host families and guests

Before guests arrive, you should:

  • Ensure that their room is ready for their arrival
  • View all documents provided by Choice Homestay, especially the itinerary
  • Contact Choice Homestay if you have issues with any of the requirements
  • Make arrangements for a ‘welcome dinner’ on their arrival day, with all of your family

Most guests visit in January, February, July and August each year.

When we have guests wanting homestay accommodation, we contact our families by email and/or phone and share the guest’s visiting dates, requirements and other information.

Families are then free to ask more questions and to accept or decline the hosting opportunity.

You may choose where to share time with your guests. You are welcome to take them on paid excursions if you pay for your guests, or you may ask your guests if they want pay for an excursion as long as they’re not pressured and are able to refuse.

Homestay families provide a home environment and care for their guests as family. Many families go above and beyond for their guests, taking them shopping and sightseeing and making them feel welcome during their special visit to Australia.

All families provide:

  • Daily conversation
  • Three meals and snacks each day
  • A clean bedroom with comfortable beds and linen
  • Pick-up and drop-off on school and excursion days
  • Weekend shared together doing something interesting

Bedroom requirements:

  • Two guests from the same group may share a bedroom, with separate beds
  • Each guest must have their own proper bed (no bunk, fold-out or trundle beds)
  • Each bedroom must have a door for privacy, good lighting, a window and storage

We will tell you if your guests require phone and/or internet access before they visit.

If they don’t request this before their visit, then you may provide it at your discretion.

Please do not ask guests to pay you for phone and/or internet access or for anything else.

Contact us if you have concerns or questions about the provision of homestay accommodation.

You can email emailus@choicehomestay.com or call 0448552345 to talk with someone here at this office.

The payment can vary, depending on the guests requirements and length of stay.

Most groups visit for less than 14 nights with payments to families being:

  • $50/night ($350/week, prorate) for hosting 1 guest
  • $80/night ($540/week, prorate) for hosting 2 guests
  • $110/night ($770/week, prorate) for hosting 3 guests
  • $140/night ($980/week, prorate) for hosting 4 guests

Payments are on Monday and Thursday, for the nights hosted thus far.

Most guests visit for between 5 nights and 1 month.

Answering yes often means that the student has heard you and is acknowledging you; it does not always mean that they have understood and are going to do what you say. It helps to ask open ended questions rather than closed questions that require a yes or no answer to ensure your student has understood what you are saying.

When accommodating guests with Choice Homestay, you are required to:

  • Speak English at home
  • Share time with your guests
  • Respect your guests’ right to privacy
  • Ensure that you don’t host other guests of the same nationality
  • Ensure that you drop-off and pick-up your guests on time each day
  • Ensure that your home is clean and tidy and that your guests are comfortable
  • Adults must hold a current ‘Blue Card’ when hosting guests under 18 years of age 
  • Provide a ‘Duty of Care’, and continual supervision for guests under 18 years of age
  • Tell your homestay coordinator if the guest is not well enough for school or an excursion
  •  Provide appropriate support and supervision for guests who are living in a new environment

Homestay Family Agreement

Sections

General requirements

  • By choosing to host guests with Choice Homestay (CHOICE), you agree to:
  • Provide children and young adult guests with a duty of care, with continual supervision of children during their homestay time, when they’re not being supervised by their group leader or other permitted individual.
  • Have or will get a valid Blue Card for child related employment for all house members aged 18 and over. 
  • Monitor your guest’s body language and be sure not to make them feel uncomfortable from physical contact or other forms of affection, ensuring you are over-considerate & don’t’ make physical contact when unsure.
  • Only drive students on the road with a valid driver’s license and registered car. No Jet-skis or motorbikes.
  • Provide guests with a safe and comfortable living space, with a clean home and an unoccupied room with a proper door, a comfortable bed each (no bunks), a fan or air-con and storage space as minimum standard. 
  • Provide guests with nutritious meals as per package requirements (i.e. breakfast, packed lunch and dinner each day for most guests). See Choice Homestay’s food guide for more details and ideas. 
  • Provide guests with clean laundry. You may collect their laundry, wash it and return it to them, or provide them with access to washing facilities (i.e. washing machine and clothes line or dryer).
  • Adhere to the guests’ itinerary (provided by CHOICE) to ensure that guests are dropped-off and picked-up on time, and inform an authorised representative of CHOICE as soon as possible if any itinerary issues arise.  
  • View your email account daily during guests visit for any updates regarding their itinerary or other matters.  
  • Not host other guests of the same nationality or opposite gender when hosting children <18yrs with CHOICE.  
  • Tell CHOICE of any other guests you plan to accommodate at the same time as hosting guests with CHOICE.
  • Share quality time with your guests each day and try to engage them to learn and practice communicating.
  • Make your best effort to develop a positive relationship with guests, with intention, patience and choice.
  • Support and assist guests to live comfortably within a foreign environment by offering guidance and encouragement with language practice, studies, planning leisure activities, and living in Australia.
  • Consider the significance of culture, customs, language and beliefs in the lives of your guests.
  • Provide an orientation within the family home (e.g. use of house facilities and security, applicable house rules explained clearly, shared sense of when dinner time is, telephone and internet access and restrictions, if there are any other guests visiting, curfews, household tasks and bathroom conduct).
  • Respect guest’s right to privacy while realising that privacy does not equate to isolation.
  • Not accommodate other guests from the same group or allow your guests to stay with another family overnight without permission from CHOICE. 
  • Ensure that all information provided by you in your host family application is truthful and correct.  
  • Tell CHOICE of any emergencies or guests health concerns, difficulties, and of any changes in your circumstances that may affect the guests.
  • CHOICE may share your profile information with guests and their intermediaries including education and travel agencies involved in the coordination of guest visits and their homestay arrangements. 

Swimming

  • You will not enable the students to go in the water at the beach, and will only enable them to swim in a pool where they are able to stand up and where they are supervised by a caring and responsible adult. This is a requirement of Education Queensland International (EQI)

Choice Homestay Limited Liability

  • You will inform CHOICE of any breakages or damage that your guests may be responsible for, before the guests depart. CHOICE will try to mediate between you and the guests to reach an acceptable outcome for all.
  • CHOICE does not accept any responsibility for damages or loss caused by guests and any compensation will only ever be requested and collected from guests or home contents insurance providers.
    • We advise that you consider homestay insurance for about $140/yr
  • CHOICE is not responsible for any mental, physical or medical harm caused as hosting guests, including any infections that may be contracted.

Placement & Payment Conditions

  • Homestay payments are processed each Thursday for the nights hosted thus far, from an Australian ANZ bank account to other Australian accounts able to accept direct deposits.

  • CHOICE reserves the right to move any guests at any time if they don’t want to stay in your home. If you have adhered to their hosting requirements then you will be paid from their arrival day to their departure day.

  • If any of their requirements are not adhered to, then you accept that this is a breach of your agreement and it may adversely affect the Homestay payment at the absolute discretion of CHOICE.

Example House Rules for Host Families

Sections

Welcome to our home. We hope you will enjoy your time with our family. Please read and adhere to these house rules to help keep our home happy, safe and comfortable for everyone.

 

Meals

  • Breakfast is at 7.30am Monday to Friday.
  • When you finish breakfast rinse your plates, cups and cutlery in the kitchen sink and place plates, cups and cutlery on the metal draining board.
  • Dinner is between 6pm and 7pm.

General

  • Do not smoke in the house or the garden.
  • Switch off your mobile phone by 9pm each night.
  • Do not walk on the carpet wearing shoes.
  • Turn all lights and ceiling fans off when you leave a room if no one is in there.
  • Wake up by 7:15am on school days, and be ready for school by 8am.

Laundry

  • Please place your dirty laundry in the bag provided. The laundry is done twice a week with everyone’s laundry together.

Toilet

  • Please place all tissue paper in the toilet (not in the bin } and leave this room clean.

 

Bathroom

  • Do not waste water.
  • Please shower each day. Shower for a maximum of 10 minutes. Do not shower after 8:30pm.
  • Only turn the water tap on when you are actually using the water.
  • Please leave the bathroom clean and dry after you have used it so it is clean for the next person.
 

Bedroom

  • Do not take food or drink into your bedroom (water is ok }. Food will attract ants, spiders and cockroaches into your bedroom.
  • Place rubbish in the waste basket.

Food Guide

Sections

It’s always better to ask your guests what they can eat and what they won’t eat, as every guest is different and this insight makes it easier for all of you when you go shopping or prepare meals. Many Asians do not eat raw vegetables, some do so best to ask them.


Please provide your guests with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks each day.

 

Breakfast

Please vary the options to avoid repetition and boredom, have extra bread available for students to toast if they are hungry, and provide them with the option of drinking tea, coffee or juice.

Potential breakfast options:

  • Toast with spreads, baked beans or cheese
  • Waffles with a selection of spreads
  • Breakfast scones with Jam or Marmalade
  • Cereals, porridge or Muesli
  • Fruit salad

Dinner

Guests are visiting to experience an Australian way of life, and will usually enjoy your usual food choices, however it is good to provide Asian guests with additional rice options and spicy sauces such as Kimchi which you can easily find at Asian grocery stores.

 

Lunch

Please provide the equivalent of 2 sandwiches, fruit, another snack, and a bottle of water or juice.

There are generally no heating options, such as microwaves available, or containers, dishes or cutlery at the classroom so please supply students with utensils if required.

Potential snack options:

  • Individual serving-sized packages of yogurt.
  • Trail mix made with cereals, pretzels, dried fruit or raisins
  • Seedless grapes
  • Chips or pretzels
  • Snack bars
  • Air-popped flavored popcorn
  • Cake
  • Biscuits or cookies

Ideas of Things to do

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Most families have a list a mile long of things to do, but sometimes a few suggestions can be helpful, therefore we have put this together as an outline of ideas that might inspire you when hosting our international students in your home.

Brisbane

Brisbane City:

  • Go for a dip at Streets Beach, South Bank
  • Wander through the historical halls of Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art
  • Catch the CityHopper along the river
  • Discover or rediscover the city with a Brisbane Greeter – take a city tour with these friendly volunteers dressed in red t-shirts while they share fun and  interesting stories about the city
  • Explore the local farmers’ markets
  • Catch local artists free with City Sounds performing in the Queen Street Mall, Post Office Square, South Bank and other locations in Brisbane.
  • Have a picnic on the grass at New Farm Park
  • Enjoy sunrise at Mt Coot-tha
  • Experience Aboriginal culture live on the stage along the Queen Street Mall every Wednesday noon to 1pm.
  • Check out The Corner at the State Library of Queensland where you can participate in free, creative, hands-on fun, digital games and reading activities.
  • Go on a scenic drive and explore hidden pockets of nature and history surrounding Brisbane many scenic roads.

Logan City:

  • Eat up at Global Food Markets, every Sunday
  • Take a hike in the Spingbrook conservation Park or a scenic drive through the beautiful rainforest
  • Walk and Cycle at Berrinba Wetlands
  • Take a step back at Beenleigh Historical Village
  • Go bird watching at Eagleby Wetlands – home to more than 200 native species
  • Pick your own berries at Chambers Flat Strawberry Farm
  • Spot exotic animals (including a bear, camels, koalas and alpacas) at Alma Park Zoo, Dakabin
  • Let your students load up on souvenirs at the Hyperdome shopping center
  • Sit back while your students shoot some hoops or climb the playground at Darlington Parklands
  • See Koalas in their natural habitat at the Daisy Hill Koala Centre
  • Find inner peace as you stroll through the Chung Tian Temple in Priestdale
  • Speed off in a go kart at Kingston Park Raceway – $30pp (2 x races)
  • Enjoy a bike ride or walk through the serine nature of Underwood Park in Priestdale
  • Go for a swim at Bayside Aqua Park in Carbrook

Redland Bay:

  • Trek the North Gorge Walk
  • Enjoy the sunset at the Cleveland Point lighthouse
  • East scones with nuns at Ormiston House, open every Sunday 12-4pm
  • Take a look at the rich Australian culture at the Salt Water Murris’ Quandamooka Indigenous Art Gallery
  • Pat farm animals in Ted’s corner, at Capalaba Produce, Pets and Plants
  • Experience Indigenous culture at North Stradbroke Island
  • Explore the unique culture at Indigiscapes where you can take a tour of their beautiful garden and taste the unique flavours of Australian Devonshire tea.

Home in the Evenings

  • Play scrabble (helps students with their language skills }
  • Teach a card game – even “Go Fish” is easy and lots of fun
  • Have the students help you cook a meal or provide the ingredients if they want to cook for you
  • Invite another homestay family over where you both supply the food for an “Aussie Barbie”

Gold Coast

Free and Cheap things to do on and around our Golden Coast

Central from Surfers Paradise

  • Walks on the beach
  • Walks along the spit
  • Night markets in Surfers Paradise – is on every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights
  • The Arts Centre for some culture is always good for an indoor look
  • Time zone – you only spend what you want
  • Putt Putt golf – $10-$15 pp for 1 course
  • Kayaking on the Broad water (SeaWorld Resort – Watersports only $10 pp /hour }
  • Hire a bike and head all the way up to the spit for some great views and exercise – $25 full day hire
  • Sky point observation deck $21
  • Infinity at $24.20 or $19.70 students – just make sure to take your time going through and have fun
  • Ripley’s believe it or not – $22.90 or $19.90 for students – is great if you like the odd and unusual
  • Dracula’s haunted castle $25 pp
  • 7D cinema approx. $15 pp 1 movie

North

  • Pelican feeding daily at 1.30pm in Labrador behind Charis in Labrador
  • Shopping in Harbourtown – You can get discount voucher card via the Tourist Centre
  • BBQ at Broadwater parkland see the rock pools and walk along the water
  • Sanctuary cove for an ice cream and a walk around the shops

South

  • Adamstown – Walk along the Heinz dam wall
  • Byron Bay – The light house and point walk – don’t forget to keep an eye out for whales
  • Burleigh Heads beach – Bongos on Sunday nights take a blanket and soak up the atmosphere
  • Currumbin – Honey world to get a taste of different honeys – also take the honey bee tour
  • Currumbin Sanctury – a gold coin donation lets to feed the lorikeets – times are 8am and 4pm
  • Currumbin – Sit on Elephant Rock and stare out to sea
  • Mount Nathan – See the River mill
  • Walk up Mount Warning

East of the Mountains

  • Carrara – Experience reptile and wildlife encounters as well as shopping at Carrara markets
  • Nerang cinemas is the cheapest on the coast at $6 pp/a or $4.50pp/student
  • Nerang – Indoor Go karting
  • Robina Ten pin bowling $8 and Laser skirmish $15 – together $20 pp I think
  • Robina shopping – how can you go wrong with shopping – let the students lead you

West of and in the Mountains

A country drive always brings new discoveries.

  • There are lookouts everywhere and most students have never seen such views we are blessed with
  • Mount Tambourine gallery walk – to buy knick knacks – or watch hand gliders taking off
  • Curtis falls – Walking track and waterfall is beautiful and an easy walk for every one
  • Canungra Camp Site Spend a peaceful hour at sunrise looking for platypus
  • Springbrook National park nature and waterfall walks and natural bridge – beauty abounds here
  • Bushwalking and Hiking tracks galore on the GC– check out different ones in your area and beyond
  • See the Aboriginals cooking caves at Binna Burra
  • O’Reilles national park for the tree top walk – gold coin donation – or the wishing tree walking track
  • Glow worm caves at cedar creek – Mt Tambourine $11 pp

Websites with more