Applying for homestay accommodation
Ready to apply for homestay accommodation? Download the application form (PDF, 241KB) to get started.
Life in your homestay
Being in a homestay means you will get lots of time to speak to the family you are 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 be polite using 'please' and ‘thank you’ so people don't mistakenly think you are being rude.
Your bedroom will be furnished with a comfortable bed, a desk and a chair and a reading light. If required you will have a heater too but you might be asked to pay an additional cost for heating. In Australia, we don't generally keep heaters turned on overnight as it can be dangerous. Remember to also turn lights and heaters off before you go out.
You will be expected to supply your own toothbrush, toothpaste and shampoo, but the following items are usually provided by your host:
- Toilet paper
- Washing powder/liquid
- Bed linen
Three meals per day are included at your homestay. Breakfast and lunch are usually meals you prepare yourself using the food and facilities provided, 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 prefer to buy your own lunch just let your host know. It will be appreciated by hosts if you tell them when you will be late for meals or plan to eat elsewhere.
Homestays have laundry facilities and you will likely do your own clothes washing and ironing. Clothes are usually dried outside on a clothesline or inside on a clotheshorse.
In Australia, everyone contributes to cleaning the house as most people work and having professional cleaners for homes is not common.
This means it will be appreciated when you help out around the house with small jobs like washing dishes, taking out rubbish or helping your host with preparing a meal. The more you help, the more you will feel like part of the family and be able to get to know your hosts better.
Remember to keep your bedroom tidy and to clean up after yourself in the kitchen and bathroom when you use them.
If you need to use the phone in your homestay, first check with your host. You will be responsible for paying for your calls which can quickly add up to large amounts depending on where, and when, you are calling.
To keep your costs down you could:
- Buy a phone card (these can be used from public or home phones).
- Visit a phone or internet cafe to call home using an internet-based service like Skype, Zoom etc.
- Buy an Australian SIM card if you have an unlocked mobile phone. This will 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.
- Use ‘reverse-charges’ calls to keep in touch with your family (although this can be expensive for the person you are calling!).
You can usually have friends visit in your homestay, but always check first with your host and ask whether they would like visitors to leave by a certain time.
Melbourne is a very safe place to live but it is important to close or lock windows and doors when you leave home. Check with your host to discuss their preferences for ensuring the house is secure.
You should also let your host know of your whereabouts and let them know if you will be returning home late or staying overnight elsewhere. If you are away from your homestay for longer than 24 hours without contacting your host, they are required to notify the police in case something has happened to you.
Leave a contact phone number with your host if you can, so they can reach you if they need to.
Personal property insurance
If you are bringing expensive items with you to Australia, like a laptop computer, digital camera or jewellery, you should apply for personal property insurance to protect your belongings against loss or theft. Your hosts home insurance policy will probably not cover visitors or students who are staying in their house.
In most Australian households, smoking is not allowed inside. Check with your host about their rules on smoking.
Length of stay, holidays and moving out
Length of stay
Usually you and your host will decide together about how long you will stay for. They may let you know a maximum period but the minimum is two weeks (which is non-refundable).
If you would like to take a holiday and return to the same homestay, you will need to pay a fee of AU$150 per week while you are away.
If you would 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 will still have to pay the homestay fee of AU$330 (Melbourne) or AU$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 is best to wear layers of clothes and to carry a small umbrella with you as it can sometimes rain unexpectedly. If you are going to be in Victoria during winter, bring warm pyjamas for chilly nights. Most Deakin students dress casually and comfortably when in class or around campus.
Travelling to Deakin University
Travel around Melbourne
Although we try to place students in homestays as close to Deakin as possible, you might have to travel for 20–40 minutes to and from the 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.
Fees and cancellations
Homestay fees are AU$330 per week in Melbourne and AU$315 per week in Geelong. The fees should be paid directly to your host when you arrive, and cover the cost of 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 is also a one-off non-refundable homestay placement fee of AU$250, which you should pay to Deakin before you arrive.
If you need to cancel your homestay, you will need to give written notice no less than 48 hours before you arrive. If you notify us late or not at all, you will have to pay a fee of AU$250. Your homestay placement fee of AU$250 is non-refundable.
Students under 18
If you are under 18, you will need Deakin to approve your accommodation and welfare arrangements – and you will 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.
Security and switching accommodation
Always let your host know of your whereabouts and tell them if you are going to be home late. Remember that students under 18 can't stay elsewhere overnight – they must be at their homestay.
If you are under 18 and would like to change your accommodation, you must get written permission from your parents and approval from the DUELI Student Support Team before you move – otherwise your enrolment with DUELI might be terminated.
Questions and further information
If you have any questions, problems or need more information about homestays, please contact the DUELI Student Support Team. Appointments can be made at either of our on-campus offices.