Under 18 Students

Students under 18

There are certain legal obligations surrounding students who are aged under 18 when they go to university. The main issue is that under 18s cannot study in Australia without one of the following:

  • being accompanied by a parent or legal custodian
  • living with a suitable relative
  • a written statement (Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare letter) explaining that their accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements are in place.

Download our information booklet about students aged under 18

If you're under 18 and travelling alone, you will need to make prior arrangements for your accommodation and Deakin University are required to approve your accommodation and welfare arrangements prior to your arrival.  You will need to stay in an under-18 homestay arranged by an approved provider.

Read the Department of Home Affairs requirements for under-age students

Your obligations

If you are an international student who is under 18 years old with Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare letter (CAAW application), you need to comply to strict guidelines while studying at Deakin.

Always let your host know of your whereabouts and tell them if you're going to be home late. Remember that students under 18 can't stay elsewhere overnight – they must be at their homestay.  For full details please see the Department of Home Affairs webpage on Welfare arrangements for students under 18.

International Student Advisers will conduct monthly meeting at Drop-in centre with you to ensure your welfare is well looked after.

Your accommodation and welfare arrangements must be continued until you turn 18 years of age. Please contact your campus International Student Adviser if you have any questions or concerns.

Living in your Homestay

Staying at your Homestay

You must sleep at the homestay every night, and you must be home by nightfall. You need to obtain approval from an International Student Adviser and notify your homestay if you have to stay the night outside of the homestay. This usually requires your parent’s written consent, so you need to request approval ahead of time.


Australia is a very safe place to live. However, you must always be security conscious. Discuss security rules with your homestay host when you arrive. Note that homes do not normally have locks on bathroom or bedroom doors. Keep your host informed about where you go. If you do not tell your host where you are, and are absent from your homestay for over 24 hours, we are obliged to contact the police.

Personal property insurance

If you are bringing expensive items with you to Australia, such as a laptop computer, digital camera or jewellery, we recommend that you apply for personal property insurance. This will insure such items against loss or theft. Your homestay host’s insurance does not cover students staying in the homeowner’s house or their visitors.

Your bedroom

Your bedroom will have a desk, a light, a chair and a comfortable bed. If required, a heater can be provided, but you may be asked to pay an additional cost for its use.


You are expected to buy your own toothpaste and shampoo, but the host provides items such as toilet paper, towels and bed linen.


Your host will provide you with three meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are usually self-service and the host prepares dinner. If you prefer to buy your own lunch just let your host know. It is also polite to notify your host in advance if you will be late for meals or eating elsewhere.


Homestays are equipped with laundry facilities and you should be prepared to do your own washing and ironing, though sometimes your host may offer to do it. Do not use the washing machine for a small load, as this is not economical. Clothes are normally dried outside on a clothesline or on a clotheshorse.


You are responsible for cleaning your bedroom and should clean up the kitchen and bathroom after use. In an Australian home, everybody is expected to participate in household duties as both parents often work and there are no servants or maids. As part of the household, you should help with small jobs such as washing dishes, putting out the rubbish or helping to prepare meals. It will help you to feel a part of the family and will also help you and your homestay family to get to know each other better.

Telephone and Internet

The homestay fee does not cover telephone charges and you will need to ask your homestay family for permission before you use their telephone. You are responsible for paying all of your phone calls. Local calls cost about 50 cents each. International calls vary in cost and therefore, it is recommended that you keep in touch with your family by using an international calling card which can be used from a public or home telephone. This is a cheaper method for you to call home and you will not be surprised by a large bill from the homestay telephone. You can also use reverse charges to keep in touch with your family (please note that reverse charge calls can be expensive). Please make sure that you follow the rules about telephone use set by the host and ensure that you pay all your bills before leaving the homestay. Internet fees for unlimited broadband access are maximum A$10 per week in homestay (where it is available).


You are normally allowed to bring visitors to your homestay but please discuss with your host first.

Your local carer / guardian

Your local carer (guardian) will meet with you on regular basis. You should discuss any concerns with your carer, or contact the carer when you need assistance (e.g. opening a bank account, going to a doctor, etc.).

You should contact your campus International Student Adviser if you have any concern or issue about your carer.

Changing your Homestay or Local Carer

If you're under 18 and would like to change your accommodation, you must get written permission from your parents and approval from an International Student Adviser before you move - otherwise your enrolment with Deakin University might be terminated.  Once approval is granted Deakin will then notify Department of Home Affairs about any changes and whether or not it approves.

For full details of the requirements please read the Welfare arrangements for students under 18

Please contact an International Student Adviser if you have any questions.

Your safety and security at Deakin

Deakin's Security Services are making our campuses safe and welcoming environments for students, staff and visitors 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. If anyone is in immediate or imminent danger on campus, contact Deakin Security on 1800 062 579  or Victoria Police on 000.

Safer Community is a Deakin wide service which aims to keep all campuses safe. We respond to all reports of behaviour which are concerning, inappropriate or threatening and offer support to all parties involved. If you are worried about someone or something just doesn’t feel quite right, please contact us for support, advice or information.

SafeZone is a free app for all Deakin University students and staff, that connects you directly to the Security team when you need help on campus.

The laws in Australia for under 18 years of age

People who are under 18 in Australia are NOT allowed to:

  • drink alcohol or smoke
  • entry in to a licensed premises (for example: bars, nightclubs or casinos)
  • gamble
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