Being a homestay host can be a great way to learn about other cultures and to introduce a young person to everything you love about your city and living in Australia. Here are some tips to help them fit in when they arrive.
Write out a schedule of your household
If you eat meals at certain times or have busy times where everyone is trying to use the bathroom and leave the house for work, it´s a good idea to let your homestay guest know ahead of time. That way they won´t be holding up the bathroom getting their makeup right or perfecting their hair while everyone waits. It may also be nice to let them know meal times, even if you are not used to eating as a household, as they may like a fixed chance to catch up with you and chat about their day.
Get them a prepaid phone SIM
It can be very confusing moving to a new city, and it´s all too easy to get lost and not know how to get home. It´s a good idea to give them an Australian SIM so that you can contact them and so they can use free WiFi for maps and directions when they explore your city, as well as translation apps if they are still getting up to speed with English. That way if they do get lost or confused, they can call you, and you can help to get them back to somewhere they know before they get distressed.
Ask them for details of their home life
It can be a lot of adjustment to be a long way from home and, in many cases, speaking a new language all day long. If you can do some small things to make their stay more comfortable, like having their favourite food available or having access to their favourite television program, this can often help quite a bit to make their stay more comfortable.
You can also suggest to them that they bring some small items from home — while an international homestay probably doesn't use a teddy bear anymore, they may find it comforting to bring their pillow case from home that has a familiar scent and feel.
If you plan ahead and prepare the home for your student, the adjustment is likely to be much easier and less stressful for you and for them. Good luck!