HSN - Homestay Network conducts all training in class-room mode, using practical experiences from our team. We have trialled online training as a delivery method, and have found it wanting in key areas such as situation dynamics and Question & Answer.
The current training program focusses on hosts planning to or currently hosting under 18's for any education provider. Host training is mandatory and new hosts are required to attend a session during their students initial 4 weeks in homestay.
We have designed the training in consultaion with hosts and student experiences and is the culmination of host feedback and compliance awareness.
Hosts who have attended these sessions to date have commented how helpful this has been.
“It was great to meet you and your team of staff, thanks for the information night. It was beneficial and helpful. I’ve learnt something I never knew before, I’m grateful for what Homestay Network has done for hosts. I didn’t have this with the agency I had dealt with for the past 2 years. The student and host handbook is a great tool that helps both students and hosts understand what is required from each other” “The best thing is there was just so much to gain in one session”
Host Inspections are a critical part of ensuring we have the right families in our network. These host inspections form part of our Network onboarding process for both new and existing host family members of the network. HSN - Homestay Network has a long history of successfully matching guests with homestay families.
All HSN - Homestay Network hosts are inspected annually, this is done for a number of reasons, especially:
- to capture any changes in the host property;
- to reconnect with the host; and
- to ensure we have current photo's of the home, especially the student's room for our records
- We do ask hosts to pay a small fee to join the network, this fee covers some of the costs of onboarding you and your family to the network.
We will schedule a time with you, in business hours to perform the inspection. When our inspector calls you to arrange the interview, please ensure you are available at the time agreed. Our inspector may not be in your area again for up to 3 weeks. If you are being inspected prior to an imminient student arrival and fail to meet the inspector at the agreed time, your student offer may be withdrawn.
Q. How long does an inspection take?
A. A host inspection should take no more than 20 minutes.
Q. I am a new host, what types of questions will the host inspector ask me?
A. The host inspector will ask you questions about your home; your proximity to public transport that the student or guest may need to take for their visit. We will have asked you a number of prescreening questions during our telephone interview with you, this will have helped us determine your suitablity for our HSN - Homestay Network.
Q. I am an existing host, why does my home need a reinspection?
A. HSN - Homestay Network has made a commitment to our clients to provide the best families and amazing memories for our guests. The reinspection helps us stay connected to you and to understand your needs. It helps us to help you.
Q. Why do I have to pay a joining fee to become part of HSN - Homestay Network, especially when none of the other homestay companies do?
A. The joining fee, which is a one off fee, helps us defray some of the costs of on-boarding you to the network and maintaining you on the network.
Q. What sorts of questions will th inspector answer?
A. Our inspectors can asnwer questions about the host on-boarding process only. They will not answer questions relating to HSN - Homestay Network's business operations, Student applications, availabilty of students etc. They will always refer you to the office or an Area co-ordinator.
Host Background Checks
It is a requirement that all hosts and all people living your home over the age of 18 have completed the necessary Working With Children Check in your state. You and all people living in your home over 18 must provide us with details of your Working with Children Check/Blue Card reference details. We don’t mind if you complete the paid or the free voluntary check.
The process is different in each state in Australia.
New South Wales, Office of the Children's Guardian
In NSW this is a 2-step process, you must first complete the online application form and then you will need to go in to Services NSW to verify your identity and then the completed check will be emailed to you when ready, it can take a couple of days or up to 4 weeks for the completed check to be issued to you.
Once you have received your APP or WWC number don't forget to send it to us so that it can be verified.
This check is different in different states in Australia:Victoria (Vic)
In Victoria you will need to hold a current Working with Children Check. For more information, and to apply please click the button below.
Australian Capital Teritory (ACT)
In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) you will need to hold a current Working With Vulnerable Peoples card. For more information please click the button below.
In Queensland you will be required to hold a current Blue Card. For more information please click the button below.
In Western Australia you will be required to hold a current Working With Children Check. For more information on and apply for a Working With Children Check, click the button below.
Do's and Don'ts
Do ensure your swimming pool is compliant with local laws ...Hosts with swimming pools must ensure there pool is compliant with all State and Local Government regulations relating to backyard swimming pools. NSW has introduced new rules relating to swimming pools and compliance, click the link below to find out more.
Don't have a "green" pool ...If you have a swimming pool, please ensure you perform regular pool maintenance. It is easy for a pool to become green, especially during the winter months. We ask that you treat your pool with the appropriate chemical treatments to ensure it does not turn green. Students from many countries believe that "green" water is a haven for mosquitoes and other insects that carry viruses etc, by keeping your pool clear you minimise the risk of your student raising complaints about your pool.
Do have Smoke Detectors fitted ...All homes in the HSN - Homestay Network must have properly fitted and operational smoke detectors fitted in appropriate locations, such as hallways and corridors leading to bedrooms. Our inspectors do check for smoke detectors in your home. You however warrant that the smoke detectors fitted in your home are fitted correctly and are fully operational in accordance with State and local laws related to the Fitting and Operation of Smoke Detectors.
Do check our FAQ's for more information ...
HSN - Homestay network uses a variable fee structure for host fee. These fees vary based on a number of parameters, including:
- the city the student is to live in;
- the nature of the students stay;
- the university or college where they are studying;
- the inclusions required by our contract with a partner organisation; etc
HSN - Homestay Network staff will discuss the fee structure at the time the student is offered to you and again when the student is confirmed. How ongoing payments to host will be made will be discussed, confirmed and agreed with you for the duration of students stay.
Hosts are never permitted to charge ‘extra’s’. This means that hosts can not charge extra for a student to have a longer shower, use their bicycle, lifts to or from the train etc.
Internet fees are never paid to the host by HSN - Homestay Network, hosts are permitted to charge up to a maximum of $10 per week for students to access the host's wifi.