Become a homestay family

This page has information on hosting an international student in your home, the conditions and how to apply.

As a homestay family you will welcome an international student between 15 and 18 years of age into your home while the student is studying at a Northern Territory (NT) government school.

In some cases the homestay family will act as the guardian of the student.

Role of a homestay family

Students will attend school to study, but are also encouraged by the homestay family to do all of the following:

  • take part in sporting and social activities
  • socialise with other international students as well as friends at school and your family, friends and contacts
  • attend school regularly and inform the school if they are sick or unable to attend for some other reason. It is a condition of their visa they attend school.


As a homestay family you will be expected to provide all of the following: 

  • a bedroom with air conditioning or ceiling fan
  • bed linen
  • furniture in the bedroom including a bed, mattress, wardrobe (or storage for clothes), study desk, chair, study lamp
  • meals (as agreed)
  • toiletries
  • laundry facilities
  • electricity
  • key to the house
  • orientation to the local area and facilities including the public bus system
  • a friendly and relaxed atmosphere treating the student as a member of the family.

You will also negotiate with the student regarding all of the following:

  • cleaning the student's room
  • use of kitchen and cooking facilities
  • use of vacuum cleaner and iron
  • use of telephone
  • watching television with the family.

Students are not encouraged to drive a car unless they have their parent's permission and have a valid licence. 

Students must keep you informed of their whereabouts and must notify you and the school of holiday addresses and activities.

Working with children clearance card

All family members in your household over 15 years of age must have a working with children clearance card (Ochre Card).  

Your homestay coordinator will provide you with the documentation or you can apply online.

Read how to apply or renew a working with children clearance.


Service Fee
Initial student airport pick up

Free of charge

Homestay accommodation

AU$270 per week which includes two meals per day (except at weekends and holidays where you will have three meals a day) and your own air-conditioned room. Families may charge more depending on the services they provide.

Room retention

AU$50 per week when you are absent from your homestay accommodation during stand down time. Homestay families can ask for up to 50% of the weekly board if the student is away from the homestay during school semester time (minimum one week).

Notice periods

Students must give two weeks' notice when they leave your homestay, or pay two weeks' board in lieu of notice. If this is before the agreed period, the notice must be in writing.

If you want to cancel the homestay arrangement after the minimum period, you must give the student two weeks' notice of termination in writing.

Home insurance

You must check your insurance policy to ensure it covers loss of property or injury and accidents to paying boarders.


Any issues should be referred to the homestay coordinator in international education services.

The student is responsible for any damage in your home.

Disputes between you and the student in relation to property damage, unpaid rent and other bills are dealt with by you and your student directly. 

The Department of Education has no obligation to make good any damage or pay bills.


In the case of medical and police emergencies, it is your responsibility to contact the appropriate emergency services. During business hours you must also inform the international student officer at the school.

How to apply

To apply to become a homestay family fill in the form.

Homestay family form (492.4 kb)
Homestay family form (95.1 kb)

Submit the form by mail or email.

International education services
Department of Education
GPO Box 4621
Darwin NT 0801


You can contact the homestay coordinator by either:

Last updated: 07 December 2017