Host an international exchange student

This is how it works

Experience an exchange adventure at home by becoming a host family to one of our exchange students. Hosting an exchange student is a fantastic opportunity to expand your international network and to learn more about a different culture – from your living room!

These curious and ambitious students come here to study at a local high school and learn about our culture and language. Welcoming an exchange student into your home offers your family the chance to experience a new culture and and build a special relationship. You choose the duration of their stay in your home (3, 5 or 10 months) and you also choose your preferred gender.

Being a host family is a fun and rewarding experience. Hosting an exchange student is excellent preparation for Outbound students preparing for their exchange programs. You will gain an understanding of the relationship between host families and exchange students have another teenager to cherish when your own child is on their program overseas.

Learn more

Perfect for families who:

  • Are interested in broadening their horizons and gaining a better understanding of the world
  • Want to learn about other cultures
  • Are interested in other languages
  • Want to create lifelong international relationships

Hear from our previous hosts and students


“These boys have seriously tried nearly everything on the farm. Always happy to jump in and learn a new skill. Oscar was even considering a career in farming until he found out how much they are paid in Denmark ?”

– Kristie, host mum in Australia

Victor and Julian

Sunshine Coast for a quick holiday –
a break from Melbourne’s endless winter.

– Chris, host dad to Victor and Julian in Australia

Learn more about being a host family

Send us your details to get more information and answers to your questions about hosting. Click the button and submit the form to get in touch with one of our staff members!

Exchange students from all over the world

Our students come from all over the world and are looking forward to finding out more about everyday life here. Do you want to introduce them to yours? Take the chance and host one of these ambitious and curious students to create lifelong memories together! 

Below you will find step-by-step information of how to become a host family with Southern Cross Cultural Exchange. 

Step 1: Who can become a host family?

There is no typical Southern Cross Cultural Exchange host family – we are open to all types of families, large or small. You may live in a regional area, in an apartment, have children of your own or be single. What’s important is that you have an interest for other cultures and young people and that you like the idea of welcoming a curious student to your home and everyday life. 

There is some other criteria to fulfil to become a host family as well. These are: 
– At least 30 years of age
– An approved interview & application 
– Ability to host the student financially in terms of food and housing costs (water/electricity etc.) 
– Working with Children Check for every family member above the age of 18 
– A bed and enough room in your house for the student’s personal belongings* 
– Provide personal referees

*The student must always have their own bed but may share a room with a host sibling that is of the same gender and approximately the same age.  

Step 2: Submit your interest

If you are interested in becoming a host family and fulfil the criteria above, then please submit your interest today. We will contact you to discuss the the host family program and answer questions you may have.  

You will then need to complete a hosting profile with information about you, your family, and your interests to help us match you with exchange students that suit your profile. Please note that the interest application is a discussion, and not a commitment to host.   

Step 3: Interview and home visit

We have local staff all over Australia & New Zealand and we will arrange a Local Coordinator to visit your home, and meet your family. The Local Coordinator will also be your contact person from Southern Cross Cultural Exchange throughout the student’s exchange and will act as support for both the student and host family.   

Our Local Coordinator will discuss the program in detail and answer all your questions. The aim is for us to get to know each other and to make sure that our host family program suits you and your family.   

Our Placement Manager will be in contact with you to discuss the profiles of our students and see who would be a suitable fit for your home.  You choose the student coming to stay with you.   

Step 5: Welcome to the program!

After a successful application, reference checks, Working with Children Checks, interview and home visit, you are accepted to the program, and ready to become a host family to an excited exchange student.  

Step 6: Get to know your exchange student

Southern Cross Cultural Exchange will take care of your student’s school enrolment.  All the administration is processed through our National Office.   

We recommend contacting your student through social media or email at this stage. It is a great way to build rapport and get to know to each other before meeting in person.

Step 7: Let the exchange adventure begin!

Now it is time to meet and let the exchange adventure begin. Your semester or Academic year student will start with an Arrival Orientation for a few days before coming to your home, short programs tend to have local orientations with their Coordinator.  Whether you host the student for a couple of weeks or months, we are sure that you will gain so much from this rewarding experience.  

Step 8: During the exchange

Our Local Coordinator in your area will be your personal contact throughout the exchange and is just a phone call away. As a host family with Southern Cross Cultural Exchange, you can trust that we are always there to make sure your experiences are positive and valuable.  

The representative also usually arranges get-togethers for the exchange students in the area and often for you and other host parents. 

Step 9: After the exchange

The time will fly faster than you can imagine! Suddenly, it is time to say goodbye to your new family member. 

By the end of the exchange, the students are busy with school and preparations for returning home. All the students return home within seven days after the last school day. Your contact person will meet and have a final evaluation before the student leaves. It is time to say goodbye to the student and this special experience together.

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