Sitting down with your student to share your family rules and expectations is always a good idea! Having those conversations first-thing will help to prevent future misunderstandings.
💡Tip: We strongly encourage you to print/write down your household rules so that your student can reference them at any time. If you'd like to write your own house rules, you are welcome to download our free template!
We've created a standard list of house rules and guidelines for you to reference or share with your student. We hope this list will help cultivate a positive environment for everyone.
Standard SRS House Rules & Guidelines (written for students):
CONTACTING YOU IN AMERICA:
• Between you and your family - please use your cell phone.
• Between you and your host/SRS: Please be sure your email address is current and update your cell phone number as soon you have set it up.
• If you are feeling unwell, tell your host and they can advise you where the nearest medical center is.
• You may have to pay to see the Doctor, however your insurance may cover some medical costs. Dental and Optical are usually not covered under health insurance.
• Under age 18’s are required to have insurance coverage.
SHOES INSIDE THE HOUSE
• Ask your host if shoes can be worn in the house.
• Please do not wear high-heel shoes on polished floor boards.
• Try to avoid wearing shoes on the carpet.
• In America, we sleep in a bed, between the sheets, with blankets on top.
• Ask your host about changing bed sheets and towels.
We ask you to please:
• Keep your room clean and tidy.
• Do not cook or keep food in your room.
• Do not leave any wet clothing or towels in your room.
• Do not stick anything to the walls. If you wish to hang anything, see your host.
• Ask your homestay family if you need extra blankets if you are cold or a fan if you are hot.
• Ask your host how this works in their home. The internet is NOT for downloading music, TV shows, movies or playing games, this may exceed the limit. The internet is there for study purposes. The hosts have the right to turn it off at night and back on the next morning at a time which suits them. You are always welcome to purchase your own data to utilize for this type of viewing.
• Never stand on the toilet seat.
• Never flush anything down the toilet, except for toilet paper.
• Don’t use too much toilet paper as it may block or cause the toilet to overflow.
• Always wash your hands with soap after using the toilet.
• After use - please wipe down any spills on the toilet.
• All sanitary items such as tampons and pads should never be flushed down the toilet.
• At home, there will be a bin in the toilet or bathroom area or you may need to ask your host mother where to dispose of sanitary items.
If you are still unsure, wrap the sanitary item in toilet paper and then put it in the garbage.
Students have different meal options with their homestay. Your host or SRS can show you which meal option you have chosen (check your invoice or placement report).
• Breakfast: let your host know what you want and you can help yourself – for example: cereal, toast, sandwich, fruit juice, tea or coffee.
• Lunch: Typically is again cold food such as sandwiches, salads, fruit, granola bars, but can be noodles or a hot meal. ‘Leftovers’ is food cooked the night before and put into containers in the fridge that you can then heat up again at your school.
• Dinner: Discuss with your host what food you don’t like so that this can be considered when they make their family meal. It is normally served early in the evening in America, find out from your host what time. It is polite to let your hosts know by 3.00pm if you will not be home for dinner or will be late (so that food is not wasted).
When you use the kitchen, please make sure that you leave the kitchen clean and tidy. Under 18’s are not allowed to cook on their own and must ask permission before using the kitchen, this is not allowed in all homestays.
WATER USAGE – WATER RESTRICTIONS
• In America water is expensive and its use is restricted.
• Please help us save water by keeping showers to a 5-15 minute limit and turning off the water when you brush your teeth.
• Please do not waste water. Ask your host family about other ways to save water.
• Remember that America can have very warm weather; students should maintain good personal hygiene by putting on deodorant each morning before dressing.
• Please only bathe in the bath or shower cubicle so water does not splash onto the bathroom floor.
• When using the bathroom, close the door. There may be a privacy lock on the door, please use it.
• There is usually a bath mat on the floor, stand on the mat when you get out of the shower so you do not slip.
• Hang your towel up to dry after you use it. Check with your host family where you should hang your wet towel.
• Have a toiletry bag with your own shampoo, soap, tissues etc.
• Leave any wet items in the bathroom or hang out to dry - please do not leave them in your room.
• If you make a mess, please clean it up.
• Please complete all shower activities by 10pm, if for some reason, you need to shower later please chat with your host.
LIGHTS, FANS AND HEATING
• Please make sure you turn off all lights when you go to sleep (ask your host for a small wall light if needed).
• Please turn off fans and heating in your bedroom when you are not home.
Ask your host family about clothes washing. Your host family may want you to:
• Do your own washing - your host will instruct you on how to put the clothes in the machine and they will add the detergent and operate the machine for you. Once the washing is done they will ask you to hang it on the put it in the dryer. Full loads only please. Only perform 2 washes per week due to water restrictions.
• Some host may ask you to put your laundry items in a basket provided and your host will wash them for you.
• Ask your host if you would like to hang your underwear to dry in a private place.
• Your host will advise you what day you need to change the sheets on your bed. Also when to change your towels.
BROKEN OR DAMAGED SOMETHING IN THE HOUSE?
• Don’t worry, accidents can happen sometimes.
• Please let your host know if something has been broken or damaged.
• Give SRS a call or email if you have any questions.
SMOKING (not permitted for students under the age of 18 years old)
Do not smoke in the house!
• If you are over 18 and your hosts allows smoking at the house, you can only smoke outside and use the container provided for the butts.
• You cannot smoke inside the host’s home. Please ask if you have any problems or questions.
• If you wish to have friends visit you at your homestay, please ask your host for permission before you invite your friends over.
• It may not be permitted to have friends visit or sleep over night without your host's approval.
• Download the local transport app on your phone and computer to work out the best and quickest route to travel.
• Ask your host and Education Provider about a transport card as this is cheaper than buying a paper ticket when using public transport. Most transportation systems now require an app to be downloaded to your phone in which you can purchase tickets. You must carry your valid student ID card to receive a concession or you may be fined a fee by the Transport department inspector.
INTENDING TO LEAVE HOMESTAY?
You are required to give SRS and your Host family two weeks’ notice in writing. Send SRS a message through the system or email your local office if you wish to give notice.
You are not permitted to enter into a private arrangement with your host.