Become a host family

Learn more about hosting an exchange student

Thank you for your interest in becoming a host family to one of our lovely exchange students. We look forward to hearing more about you and to answer your questions.

Once you register your interest, our Host Family Placement Manager will be in touch with a variety of incoming student profiles, and discuss the eligibility requirements and checks to become a host family.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Many of our host families describe the experience as rewarding and say the benefits include:
  • Making a new friend for life, especially for siblings
  • A renewed appreciation for the place we call home and our lifestyle
  • A unique learning experience and insight to the World and other cultures
  • Increase in language skills
  • A feeling of giving and satisfaction

All students are between the age of 14 and 18, with the most common ages being 15 and 16.

Student Exchange programs vary from three to ten months. We try to cater for the length of stay that suits you best.

Yes, we will ask you a series of questions to get to know your family. We will then send you some student files that match your family’s interests and lifestyle. You make the decision to who fits your family best.

We have students from many countries visiting Australia on Exchange, including USA, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, France, Spain, Japan, and Italy. When selecting your student, we can discuss with you the available nationalities for your hosting period.

Yes, the student will attend school nearest to where you live or will go to the same school as your child - if you have a child in high school and if the school has availability. The student is expected to independently make their way to and home from school each day.

Southern Cross Cultural Exchange is a not-for-profit organisation and we work with volunteer host families. Although you are not reimbursed, the student does pay for everything themselves (e.g. own shampoo, toothpaste, and personal needs). They pay any school levies, uniform, and excursions etc. If you go out for dinner, it is up to the student to pay for their own meal. If you take them to a wildlife park, they are to pay their own entrance fee. We only ask the host family to supply the meals for when the student is at home, a comfortable bedroom for sleeping and somewhere to study.

If circumstances change, or the experience no longer suits your family, we will work to find a new family for your student.

Students do not need their own room. They can share with a family member of the same gender and an appropriate age. We ask host families to provide a bed and a place to study, 3 meals per day plus a nurturing environment to learn about each other's cultures and languages.

Yes, the student is covered by AIG. If they need to go to the Doctor they are to pay the bill in full at the time of the consultation and then claim their refund back from AIG.

Yes, the student also has travel insurance. For example, they are covered for the loss or damage to a mobile phone, laptop and any other type of damage that might occur.

A Local Coordinator acts as a support for you and your student while they are here. They are there to answer any concerns you have. It may just be that you feel the student is homesick, or unwell or whatever the concern your Local Coordinator is happy to help you.

We are always here to support you and your student. If you can’t reach your Local Coordinator, our National Office can be contacted on 03 9775 4711 during business hours. All students & host families are issued with an after-hours emergency contact number, and this is available for their support 24/7.

Welcome an exchange student

Hosting an exchange student is a fantastic opportunity to broaden your horizons and learn more about a different culture. You will gain a better understanding of the world and can establish lifelong bonds. You will also play a key part in helping a young person achieve his or her dream and it is a special opportunity for your family to experience a new culture and spend more time together!

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