Dear partners in homestay,
We are grateful for your ongoing, courteous and professional support of our homestay students.
This is just a friendly reminder of a few common-sense matters relating to interacting with students, particularly those under the age of 18.
- Please be mindful of students’ cultural sensitivities when it comes to demonstrating friendliness. No doubt you wish to make your students feel ‘at-home’ and welcomed; however you may wish to err on the side of caution about physical contact, for example hugging, touching (besides the standard hand-shake), or physical proximity.
- Consider the use of speech/language that may imply a level of intimacy with students that they may otherwise not be ready to accept. We understand certain terms of endearment (eg. ‘darling’, ‘love’) may be traditionally positive; however given that our students may be unfamiliar with our culture, please be prudent in using such terms to avoid misunderstanding.
- We understand that some homestay hosts elect to handle students’ washings. Whilst we are sure this is a generous gesture, please be mindful that some students may prefer to handle some or all of their personal items. Please don’t be dissuaded from showing your generosity, however you may wish to consider doing so on a general level (eg. ‘would you like me to do your washings?’)
We understand that the vast majority of homestay families do the right things and unpleasant experiences are extremely rare. Nevertheless I am sure you would agree that proactive steps would minimise even those very rare instances where misunderstandings may occur.
We thank you again for your consistent support for our international students. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.