SRS Homestay Student Placement Policy
Note: This policy is subject to change at any time. Please check all SRS Homestay Policies on a regular basis for updates.
This document outlines the procedure for placing StudentRoomStay Homestay Guests with homestay Hosts. It will contain policies for placing the following Students:
College Students (including interns, fellows, graduate students, adult language learners, etc.)
High School Students
Short Term Group Students
The number of students placed with one Host should be limited. If there are multiple students present in one household it is less likely that they will gain full exposure to the American culture and language. SRS Homestay recommends an upper limit of two students be placed in one household. Exceptions may apply at the discretion of SRS Homestay. Under no circumstances should there be more than four students in any one home (Short Term Groups may be the exception).
It is very important that Students not be placed with other international students who speak the same language. This will limit growth of the Student’s language skills and work against one of the important aims of homestay. An exception to the rule may be when a Student specifically requests to be placed with a friend or a relative, or if an underage Student requests to be placed with someone of their own culture or language background.
A detailed placement report will be sent to the Student and the Host once a placement has been confirmed.
The following policy should be followed when placing Students with Hosts. The Student’s profile should be checked against system-matched Hosts for suitability before confirming a placement. Students must not be placed with a Host simply because it is convenient. The Student’s profile should be checked against available Hosts for issues including the following:
gender, age and personal preferences
size of the family, how many children and their ages
smoking or non-smoking
transport time to education provider
length of stay
If ‘special needs’ has been highlighted, every care and precaution should be taken and confirmation sought from the Host that they can meet the Student’s requirements. Students will have preferences which may or may not be accommodated at the time of matching. While it is desirable to meet Student’s needs, be aware that some Students may have overly high or specific expectations. Students may make requests such as ‘I want to be able to walk to my school’ or ‘I want my own bathroom’. In these cases, it must be explained to the Students that while Hosts meeting their exact criteria may not be available, other suitable households could accommodate them.
High School Students:
As per our standard placement procedures, Student and Host profiles will be reviewed to find the most suitable matches with regards to gender, personal preferences, family size, pets, hobbies, special needs, etc. For High School Students, SRS Homestay will match the Student with two potential Hosts and the Student will then confirm which family they want to be placed with.
In addition to the placement criteria detailed above, Hosts who are registered to accommodate Students under the age of 18 must be prepared to provide additional care and support for younger students.
Along with the Host Obligations outlined in the Host Family Code of Conduct, Hosts must also agree to the below conditions:
be members of the local community within 45 minutes’ travel of the school;
not host more than two international students at one time, each in their own private room;
ensure all members of the household over the age of 18 passes a criminal background check and a search of the Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Registry (this will be completed on an annual basis while hosting a minor);
fully complete their profile truthfully and to a high standard including detailed profile and photos;
complete online training;
pass a home inspection and interview to determine they are a suitable host (if it has been more than six months since the home was inspected, a pre-arrival inspection must occur) ;
provide three meals each day;
conduct orientation with the student including a discussion of the house rules, expectations of each other, offering support and guidance, and encouraging the student to come to them if they have any concerns;
assist students with setting up a bank account and purchasing a mobile phone/SIM card;
take the time to ensure students become familiar with their neighborhood and understand local customs;
complete the contact details card (including the student’s name, host family name, host address, host phone number, SRS Homestay local office number and 24/7 emergency hotline) and provide a copy to the student;
assist in monitoring the student’s behavior, welfare and school attendance and escalate any bigger concerns to SRS Homestay;
practice English with the student whenever possible (during meal times at a minimum); and
treat the student as a member of the family, take them to local family outings and monitor their whereabouts at all times.
Extra responsibilities specific to hosting Independent Students under 18 years
take an interest in the student’s academic progress and attend school meetings if needed;
drive students to and from school and extracurricular activities and support non-school related activities and social engagements (within reason) if requested and paid for; and
take the student to the doctor if needed.
Extra responsibilities specific to hosting High School Students - Guardianship or Guardianship Plus Program Students
be willing to sign and accept the responsibilities of custodial care for the international student;
pass ongoing inspections every semester (inspection to be done by the Regional Manager 7 – 30 days after the student’s arrival and one additional inspection each semester).
attend a host parent orientation program at the school to learn more about the academic program (if required);
understand and accept the billing cycle and payment terms:
Hosts will be paid two weeks at a time. The first payment will be processed on the first Monday after the student arrives and then fortnightly for the duration of the placement.
Premium Guardianship Hosts only will be paid the normal full rate if the student goes home in the Christmas/ Easter break. The student may stay for up to one week before and/or three days after the end of the school year but must pay additional fees if they wish to stay for the entire Summer holiday break.
Students who return home may request to store their belongings and return to them next year. The host will be compensated for this and students should store their belongings according to the SRS Homestay Storage Policy.
Pick the student up from the airport holding a clearly visible sign in the arrivals area (hosts must monitor the flight online for any changes and adjust pick up time as needed):
Extra fee applies for students on the Guardianship Program, Airport transfers are included for students on the Guardianship Plus Program.
Drop the student at the airport when they leave:
Drive students to and from school and extracurricular activities and support non-school related activities and social engagements (within reason):
Extra fee applies for students on the Guardianship Program. Transport is included for students on the Guardianship Plus Program.
Contact SRS Homestay for all Student travel approval. Please refer to the SRS Homestay Travel Policy.
Additional features of the High School Guardianship Programs:
SRS Homestay will facilitate the host/student guardianship process
SRS Homestay assumes the role of designated guardian for the student
SRS Homestay takes responsibility for the student in the event of a critical incident and can organize necessary medical care
Monthly phone or video calls are conducted with the student to ensure welfare needs met (Standard and Premium Guardianship Program)
SRS Homestay facilitates regular communication between the parents and host family regarding the student (Premium Guardianship Program)
Short Term Group Students:
Short Term Group Students arrive in groups, are enrolled in groups and generally stay together with the group for all activities. Some Short Term Group Students attend English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) and some have holiday activities combined with their English course. Each education provider will be different. The contract signed with each individual education provider will dictate the method used for placing Short Term Groups i.e. Host family/travel requirements, and the financial arrangement about the Homestay Fee.
In addition to the policy above, it is important to remember that Short Term Group Students can often have a lower level of English, depending where they are from. Consequently, it is important to place the Students with Hosts who have been proven to have a high duty of care and the attitude and ability to communicate easily with Students with a low level of English.
Travel should be straightforward, and it is good practice to place Students in one area (where possible) so that they may travel together on the train or bus. Should the numbers be too high to achieve this goal, pick several suburbs close together and place a few Students in each suburb.
It is advisable to arrange for a suitable time and place for Students to be introduced to their Hosts. This is a good opportunity for the education provider and the SRS Homestay representative to speak to all Hosts and Students together and allay any fears the Students might have regarding food or travel and to advise Hosts of the considerate use of the after-hours mobile telephone number.
There are often more after-hours calls when Short Term Students arrive and it is important to have mechanisms in place for after-hours duties to be shared. Keeping your mobile phone on is recommended so that only urgent calls are returned.
Changes or Cancellations:
All Students must seek assistance from SRS Homestay if they are concerned about their homestay arrangement in any way or if they would like to request to change homestay Hosts. SRS Homestay will assess the request and if a transfer is approved a new Host and transportation will be arranged. The Student may be required to pay for professional pick up service if required. In the case of students under the age of 18, the education provider must be informed of the new address. For Short Term Group Students, the tour group’s teacher/tour escort must be informed of the request to change homestay and notified of new homestay details if the Student is transferred.
Please refer to the SRS Homestay Refund Policy for details on how to change or cancel a homestay placement.