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The ACT Government Education Directorate's international education program includes homestay. Homestay is when local families open their homes to visiting international students and provide a safe and nurturing place to live during their stay in Canberra. In Canberra, the International Education Unit Homestay Manager places every student with an appropriate homestay family. The program is managed and implemented by the ACT Government.

Homestay is one of the most valuable components of international education in Canberra. A Homestay family provide international students with the opportunity to experience life with a local family and is the best way for students to improve their English. Homestay families gain a unique understanding of cultural diversity through the relationship that develops with the student they host. Many of the Education Directorate's homestay host families have been providing accommodation for international students for over 16 years.

As our homestay program is managed and coordinated by the ACT Government, all homestay hosts must complete a Working with Vulnerable Peoples check. Registration costs for homestay hosts are met by the ACT Government.

There is no 'typical' Australian family. While it is important to assist students in their language development by speaking English in the home, as a multicultural society, people from all cultural backgrounds are welcomed as homestay hosts.

Homestay hosts must be at least 21 years of age, and all persons over 18 years living in the house must undergo a Working with Vulnerable Peoples check and a property inspection before approval is given to host international students.

All homestay hosts that are registered with the ACT Government Education Directorate, are required to follow the Guidelines for participants in the Homestay Program for International Fee Paying Students. These guidelines are informed by the Australian Government Schools International (AGSI) Homestay Standards, which were compiled in recognition of the importance of ensuring the safety and welfare of under 18 year old international students and their requirements under the ESOS legislation. Homestay host families are required to attend an annual mandatory training session which outlines homestay host rights, responsibilities and best practice.

Contact Us

Homestay Coordinator
International Education Unit
Education Directorate
GPO Box 158 Canberra ACT 2601

Phone: (02) 6205 9194
Email: ieu@act.gov.au