Staying in a homestay is a great option for DUELI students. You'll get to know Australian culture and the local community, all while you improve your English skills.

Life in your homestay


Being in a homestay means you'll get lots of time to speak to the family you're living with.

Even though you might not be confident in using English at the beginning, try to speak as much as you can and don't be afraid to ask questions – it will help you to understand each other better.

Remember to also be polite, using 'thank you' and 'please' so people don't mistakenly think you're being rude.

Your bedroom

Your bedroom will be furnished with a comfortable bed, a desk, a light and a chair. If needed, you can have a heater too but you might be asked to pay an additional cost for using it. In Australia, we don't keep heaters on during the night as it can be dangerous. Remember to also turn lights and heaters off before you go out.


You're expected to buy your own toothpaste and shampoo, but the following items are usually provided by your host: 

  • toilet paper
  • soap
  • washing powder/liquid
  • towels
  • bed linen.


You can have three meals a day at your homestay. Breakfast and lunch are usually meals you'll prepare yourself (using food provided) and dinner will be cooked by your host.

If you have any allergies or dislikes with food, let your host know – you could even tell them about meals you enjoy or would like to try.

If you'd prefer to buy your own lunch, just let your host know. Similarly, tell them if you're going to be late for meals or plan to eat elsewhere.


Homestays have handy laundry facilities, although you'll likely have to do your own washing and ironing. Avoid using the washing machine for a small load as it's not very economical. Clothes are usually dried outside on a clothes line or clothes horse.


In Australia, everyone pitches in around the house as most people work and we don't have servants or maids.

That means it'd be great if you helped out with small jobs like washing dishes, putting out the rubbish or helping your host with preparing a meal.

It'll help you feel like part of the family and you'll be able to get to know each other better.

Remember to also keep your bedroom clean and tidy up after yourself in the kitchen and bathroom after you've used either.


If you need to use the phone in your homestay, first check with your host that this is OK.

You're responsible for paying for your calls so depending on where you're calling and how often, the amount could quickly add up.

To try and keep costs down you could:

  • buy a phone card (to use from public or private home phones)
  • visit an internet cafe to call home, using a service like Skype
  • buy an Australian SIM card if you have an unlocked mobile phone. It'll help you make low-cost local calls and you can also connect to wi-fi services to access apps like WhatsApp and Viber to keep in touch with friends and family from home
  • use reverse charges to keep in touch with your family (although this can be expensive for the person you're calling).


You can usually have friends visit you in your homestay, but always check with your host that they don't mind, and whether they'd like visitors to leave by a certain time.


Melbourne is a very safe place to live but it's important to stay security conscious and close or lock windows and doors when you leave home. Check with your host to see what they'd prefer you to do security-wise.

You should also let your host know of your whereabouts and keep them posted if you'll be home late or staying elsewhere overnight.

This is because if you're away from your homestay for more than 24 hours and haven't been in touch with your host, they're obliged to call the police.

Leave a contact number with your host if you can, so they can reach you when they need.

Personal property insurance

If you're bringing expensive items with you to Australia, like a laptop, digital camera or jewellery, you should apply for personal property insurance. This will insure your belongings against loss or theft. Home insurance that your host has doesn't cover visitors or students staying in their house.


Check with your host about the rules on smoking. In most households smoking isn't allowed inside.

Length of stay, holidays and moving out

Length of stay

Usually you and your host will decide together about how long you'll stay for. They may let you know a maximum period but the minimum is two weeks (which is non-refundable).


If you'd like to take a holiday and return to the same homestay, you'll need to pay a fee of A$150 per week while you're away.

Moving out

If you'd like to move out, you must give your host one week's notice in writing. If you choose to leave before your one week's notice is up, you'll still have to pay the homestay fee of A$330 (Melbourne) or A$315 (Geelong) for that week.

Living in Victoria

Weather and clothing

We have four distinct seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter) in Melbourne and Geelong, with temperatures ranging from 10 degrees Celsius in winter, up to 35 (or more) in summer.

It's best to wear layers of clothes and to carry a small umbrella with you as it can sometimes rain unexpectedly. If you're going to be in Victoria during winter, bring warm pyjamas for those chilly nights.

Travelling to DUELI

Travel around Melbourne

Although we try to place students in homestays as close to DUELI as possible, you might have to travel for 20–40 minutes to and from DUELI.

Check out the Melbourne Burwood Campus map

Find out how to travel around Melbourne

Learn how to get to our Melbourne Burwood Campus

Travel around Geelong

As a smaller city with good public transport links, Geelong DUELI students will likely live under 30 minutes' travel from either of our Geelong campuses.

Check out the Geelong Waterfront Campus map

Learn how to get to our Geelong Waterfront Campus

Fees and cancellations


Homestay fees are A$330 per week in Melbourne and A$315 per week in Geelong. The fees should be paid directly to your host when you arrive, and should account for being two weeks in advance.

Remember to ask your host for a receipt that you both sign. Keep a record of all payments to avoid any misunderstandings and make sure you know when each of your payments needs to be made.

There's also a one-off non-refundable homestay placement fee of A$250, which you should pay to Deakin before you arrive.

Find out more about our fees and how to pay


If you need to cancel your homestay, you'll need to give written notice no less than 48 hours before you arrive. If you notify us late or not at all, you'll have to pay a fee of A$250. Separately, your homestay placement fee of A$250 is non-refundable.

Students under 18

Securing accommodation

If you're under 18, you'll need Deakin to approve your accommodation and welfare arrangements – and you'll need to stay in an under-18 homestay arranged by an approved provider.

Find out more from the Department of Home Affairs or contact us for further information.

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

Learn more about applying as an under-18 student

Security and switching accommodation

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.

If you're under 18 and would like to change your accommodation, you must get written permission from your parents and approval from the DUELI Student Adviser before you move - otherwise your enrolment with DUELI might be terminated.

Questions and further information

If you've got any questions, problems or need more information about homestays, please contact a DUELI Student Adviser. Appointments can be made at either of our DUELI campuses.