Talkabout Homestay’s role

Talkabout Homestay’s role:

Talkabout is commited to safety and support for both homestay hosts and guests. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

Emergency Support:

  • Talkabout offers 24/7 support through an after-hours emergency line: +61 450 122 424
  • They will take reasonable steps to assist with emergencies or other issues.

Guest and Host Well-being:

  • Talkabout aims for positive outcomes for everyone involved in the homestay program.
  • They have the right to remove a guest from a homestay if they believe it’s in the best interest of the guest, host, or Talkabout itself.
  • If an emergency requires it, they’ll make efforts to find alternative accommodation for the guest.

Special Considerations for Underage Guests:

  • If a guest is under 18 and there’s an issue, Talkabout will work with the education provider involved to find a solution.

For More Information:

  • Refer to Talkabout’s Terms and Conditions.
  • Visit our website.
  • Contact us directly.


In some cultures, a “Guest” in a home is not expected to do anything; the Guest is treated like visiting royalty. However, when you come to Australia, and live in a Homestay situation, you will be expected to do many things for yourself. You may have had servants to look after you in your home country or have been doted on by family members. It is important to remember that in Australia, your host is not a servant and all household members contribute to the running and upkeep of the home.. Please help out. Don’t forget that the host family is doing YOU the favour.

When living in a private home, remember that a courteous and considerate attitude is always appreciated. Each member of the family is treated equally and with respect. It is important to smile and say “please” when you ask for something and “thank you” when you receive it.
• Please leave your mobile phone alone when you are having meals or the family is talking with you.
• Please be thoughtful when playing music or chatting with family and friends via mobile or internet. Try to do all of this before 10:30pm. Talk with your hosts if time zones don’t allow for this.
• Please always speak English when you host family is around you. This is challenging, but very good for students trying to improve English It is also more respectful to your hosts.

Although kissing is customary for greetings, departures, goodnights and good mornings in some cultures, to avoid any misinterpretations, Talkabout has adopted a no kissing policy. Please be aware that hugging and touching in any way can be misinterpreted and please use discretion.

• If you have a shared bathroom, be considerate about the length of time you are in the bathroom, others may be waiting.

• Please don’t leave the floor of the bathroom wet. This is dangerous. Ask your family how you can mop it up.

• Please provide your own toiletries. (shampoo, soap, tissues, deodorant etc.)

• Please remember to remove your clothing from the bathroom after use and hang out wet clothing. Please complete shower activities by 10pm.


• Avoid squatting or standing on the toilet seat.
• Only flush toilet paper down the toilet. (You don’t need to put it in the waste basket)
• Use a moderate amount of toilet paper to prevent blockages or overflows.
• Remember to wash your hands with soap after using the toilet.
• Clean up any spills on the toilet after use.
• Girls, please ask your host how to dispose of sanitary items. If uncertain wrap the item in toilet paper, place it in a plastic bag and take it out to the appropriate bin outside.

You should always make your bed, keep your room tidy and leave the bathroom clean and tidy every time you use it. If your host family say you need not help with the washing up, you could offer to take out the rubbish or set or clear the table… or you could ask…. “What would you like me to do?”

Communication skills are one of the most rewarding assets to assist you in your future life. Asking questions and letting your host know if you are happy or unhappy is important. Your host wants you to enjoy your homestay experience, so smile and explain politely if there is something you do not understand. Remember to laugh and don’t be embarrassed. Your host will happily repeat things to help mutual communication. They are also happy to show you how to use things as many times as you need.

Conversation at the dinner table is valued in Australia and Australians may feel awkward if there is silence. This is a good time to practice your English- speaking skills. Think of something to say. Please don’t use your mobile phone at the dinner table and speak only English.

Please do not bring your friends to your home unannounced. If you want your friends to visit, please talk with your host family prior and you and your host family can arrange this together. If you are under 18 you will need permission from your educational provider and/or guardian to have a sleepover, whether at your home or at your friend’s home. It is possible your family may not permit visits and sleepovers

If you are going out and will not be home for dinner, will be coming home late or will be away overnight, you need to let your host family know your plans.  They worry.

Eating and meals

Most hosted accommodation comes with breakfast and dinner supplied daily and does not include lunch during the week. Students who have requested all meals will have paid extra. If you are unsure, check your invoice or give us a call or text, and we can check for you 0450122424.

• Please do not eat food in your room. This attracts insects and wildlife.
• Each culture has different ways of eating. If you are feeling uncomfortable about Australian table manners, please ask your family or your teacher at school for assistance.
• It is very important in Australian culture that you chew with your mouth closed and never speak when your mouth is filled with food.
• Always help with the cleaning up
• Please talk to your family about foods you like and dislike.

Usually consists of toast, cereal, fruit, juice, tea or coffee. Australians usually do not eat a cooked breakfast. The mornings are generally busy and breakfast is self-serve.

This is included on weekends only in standard/traditional homestay. Usually students buy their own lunches on weekdays, but if you have opted for 3 meals daily, and have paid the extra fee, all lunches will be included. Lunches are normally simple and quick to prepare. A typical lunch may be a sandwich, wrap or roll and fruit and snack. It also can be food left over from a previous meal. Most families prefer the students to make their own lunches with the food supplied.

Please ask your family what time they usually eat so you can make sure you are home to join them. Please always inform them as early as possible, and always before 4pm, if you are running late or will not be home. Talk with your family about what you don’t like or cannot eat so they can consider this when preparing the evening meal. Please help with the cleaning up. Families will be able to dine with you most nights, but remember they also have their own lives and may, on occasion, have events or functions on in the evening. On these nights you may need to re-heat or prepare a simple meal for yourself. All the ingredients and instructions will be there for you.

Please ask your family before using the oven or stove top or before preparing any meals or snacks. Not all families are comfortable with students cooking, while others love it. U18 students cannot cook unsupervised. Always leave the kitchen tidy.

Remember to always let your family know if you are going to late home or not home for dinner. A text is fine… If you are going to miss dinner ring or text at lunchtime… ask your family the best way to let them know your plan. Please don’t bring uninvited guests to dinner.

If your host family is going on an outing and invites you, then this is a great opportunity for you to see other places, talk with the family and relax. We suggest you ask the host what the cost of the outing would be before attending so that you can make your decision. The host family is not obliged to cover the cost of outings. Try to participate with the family as much as possible, even if it is supermarket shopping, this will help with your English and understanding of the Australian culture.

Around the home

In Australia the washing day for your clothes is usually on a weekend. Please bring enough clothes to last a week. Talk to your family about washing clothes. Your family will likely provide laundry detergent

Your private bedroom will be furnished with a bed and storage for your clothes. Linen, blankets and towels will be supplied by your host. Please sleep between the sheets. Talk with your family about changing your linen. This should be done at least every two weeks. If you feel cold, ask for more blankets and if you are hot, ask for a fan. Feel comfortable talking to your host family, they want you to have the best experience possible.
• Keep your room tidy
• Don’t eat, cook or keep food in your room. Ask your family where to store your snacks.
• Don’t leave wet towels or clothes in your room

Generally, Perth has a wonderful Mediterranean climate, and the sun is shining most days, however It can get very cold in Perth during our winter, June, July and August. Please bring warm clothes, a rain coat and an umbrella. It can also be quite chilly inside the home over winter months so bring some comfortable warm in-home clothes and some warm coverings for your head and feet.
During the summer months in Perth, December, January and February, the weather can be very hot. Be sure to pack light, breathable clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the strong Australian sun. Stay hydrated by carrying a water bottle with you at all times and seek shade whenever possible. Embrace the outdoors by visiting the beautiful beaches or enjoying a picnic in one of the many parks. Remember to take breaks to cool off and relax in air-conditioned spaces. Enjoy the vibrant summer vibes that Perth has to offer!

When you are sharing a home, it is important to respect each other’s private time and space. This means you should knock before you enter a private space, for example a bedroom or a bathroom, and always keep your bathroom and toilet door closed while using. Please arrange, together with your family, a mutually convenient time for your host to inspect your room weekly. This means your room should be tidy with the bins and other rubbish removed. This also helps the host family respect your privacy.

Every home is different, and has different sets of rules and guidelines that apply to all household members.

This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Meal times
  • Shower times
  • Locking up procedures
  • Animal welfare
  • Cleaning

Please ask your family about their specific house rules.

You will be given your own house key or code to get in the home when you arrive. If you lose the key, you may be charged for a replacement. Please remember to return the key on your departure day.

Please ask your family about using the internet. Internet will be provided in your home for study purposes only. If you wish to use it for other purposes such as movies or streaming, extra charges may apply.

Please discuss the telephone arrangements with your family. Most students will have their own mobile phone. However, if using the host’s landline, purchase an international phone card from the local shop to use when ringing home – do not ring mobile phones from the host family home – it is expensive! Alternatively, inform your family back home of the landline number (if the host permits) and have them call you. Please note the time difference and advise your family. Please do not make or receive phone calls after 9pm as it is not acceptable and inconsiderate, to most families to receive late night calls

Perth is very dry, and it rains infrequently. Consequently, Perth has water restrictions and water is expensive. Please help us save water by trying to keep showers 5-8 minutes long. While cleaning your teeth please turn off the water faucet while brushing. If using a sink, put in a plug and turn off the taps

Alcohol, smoking, and vaping are not permitted for students under the age of 18 years old. Guests are never permitted to smoke or vape in the home.

SMOKING/VAPING is only permitted if you are over 18. If your host allows smoking or vaping on or around the property, you can only do this outside and use the container provided to dispose of waste.

ILLEGAL DRUGS are never permitted. Usage can lead to loss of homestay and criminal proceedings.

ALCOHOL Is illegal to consume if under 18 years old

Money matters

• Payment of Placement Fee, Airport Transfer Fee and initial Homestay fees must be paid in advance to Talkabout Homestay before the placement process can begin.
• Students requiring long-term homestay (over 12 weeks) will be charged in 10-week increments (5-weekly invoices can be issued by special arrangement) Short-term students (requiring less than 12 weeks homestay) will be charged for the length of time requested.
• Homestay can only be guaranteed for the length of time initially requested on the application.
• For credit/debit card payments there is a 2.5% surcharge.
• The Placement Fee is non-refundable once searching has begun for a host.
• Talkabout Homestay will manage homestay funds for the whole duration of a students’ stay and will continue to issue invoices to the students which must be paid in advance. It is important that these payments are made by the due date, and in full, so that the host family can be paid.
• A late Administration Fee of $100.00 will incur for the late payment of the homestay fee to Talkabout Homestay on each occasion.
• Two-weeks notice must be given to the Host Family and Talkabout Homestay when vacating (Over 18yrs).

A full refund applies if Talkabout Homestay refuses the application for homestay.

No refund of the placement fee will be made after work has begun on your request.

Refund schedule if notice of cancellation or postponement is given:
• 9 or more days before arrival: Full refund of homestay fees less the placement fee
• 4-8 days before arrival: Full refund less the placement fee and 1-week’s accommodation.
• 3 days or less before arrival: Full refund less the placement fee and 2-week’s accommodation.

Please use the Homestay Refund link here if you feel you are entitled to a refund.

Special Circumstances:
We appreciate that there are sometimes special circumstances where a guest must cancel due to events beyond their control. Guests and/or their agents are to immediately contact our office to discuss the circumstances with our staff.

• A full refund (minus $40 admin fee) is applicable if written notice is provided to Talkabout Homestay at least 28 days before the new end date of your homestay.
• Partial Refund:
o Less than 14 days’ notice: Deduction of 1 week’s homestay fee as an admin charge.
o If a guest is temporarily away for 1 week or more: Half of the normal weekly fee applies as a “Room Hold Fee.”

o Placement fee
o Administration charges

Refund Processing:
• Reimbursements are processed within 28 days of the amended homestay end date.
• The student or their nominee will receive the refund.

We recommend that you:
• Review your specific Student Homestay Contract for any additional details.
• Plan your homestay duration carefully, considering the cancellation policy.
• Provide written notice well in advance for a full refund (minus admin fee).

If a guest will be away from their Homestay for 1 week or more temporarily, he/she is entitled to a half price discount on the normal homestay rate for the time away.

  • Guests need to inform their Host family at least 2 weeks prior to leaving.
  • Guests need to complete this room-hold rent reduction form 2 weeks prior to leaving. 
  • The discount will be applied to your first invoice AFTER arrival back in Perth

All care is taken by Talkabout Homestay and your homestay family to ensure you and your valuables are safe however they do not accept any responsibility in the case of personal injury, accident or loss of personal items. It is therefore important that all students have their own personal travel insurance to protect themselves. All students on a visa have compulsory medical insurance. Please note, OSHC – a compulsory medical insurance, does NOT cover loss or damage of personal items.

Please immediately inform your host of any damage in the house or accidents. Guests will be required to pay for any damages or breakages caused. 

Cancellation/date change/extensions

You will need to check with your host to see your host’s availability and complete our homestay extension form.  Families may have have other students booked to move in, guests visiting, are going on holidays or just want a break from hosting.  If we need to find you a new family, there will be another placement fee.

If you need to cancel your booking prior to arrival, and work has begun locating you a suitable Host family, the Placement Fee in non-refundable.  All other money received is refundable, less a $40 administration fee.

Once in a Homestay, students who are over 18 years old are able to cancel their homestay at any time. You must give at least 2-weeks notice to both your Host and Talkabout Homestay.  Contact us

Students are entitled to a refund of the remaining funds paid, less a $40 administration charge. Please complete this Refund Form

We understand that arrival dates and times may vary a little, and homestay requests are sometimes made before flights are booked.  Please give us as much notice as possible (at least 2 weeks) of your final arrival date and time.

If your arrival date is delayed by 7 days or more after the originally requested date, you may be subject to a room-hold fee, which is half of the normal homestay rate until you arrive. 

Sometimes Hosts need to cancel bookings, and this can be for a large variety of reasons.  If you have not yet arrived in Perth, Talkabout will have found you an alternative Host before your arrival.  If you are living in a Homestay, and the Host has requested that you move out, they are required to give you 2-weeks notice, unless it is an emergency.  In either case Talkabout Homestay will find you a new home free of charge, if the time is within your requested Homestay dates.

At Talkabout Homestay, our aim is to ensure that your stay is a great experience for both you and your Australian hosts. Most students are very content with our choice of homes. However, if you find yourself unsatisfied with your Homestay, you have the option to request a transfer. With two weeks’ notice, you can leave at any time.

We are committed to ensuring that reasonable concerns are heard and addressed promptly. In rare situations where Talkabout Homestay believes that the accommodation does not meet reasonable requirements, a transfer will be arranged and there will be no additional charge for finding you a new family. Homestay change request form.

We are confident that you will have a safe, fun and rewarding experience, make new friends and take home wonderful memories to last a lifetime!

Airport Arrival

Airport transfer bookings are made when you apply for homestay.  If you have organized your own accommodation, but would still like us to collect you at the airport, please complete this Airport Transfer Request Form

Your driver will be waiting for you at the exit the customs with a sign with your name on it.  You will have been emailed driver and collection details.

It is very important that you let us know if you are delayed or have missed your flight.

Please read our Airport collection Terms and Conditions here.

*NOTE Our drivers are unable to take you directly to your homestay if your flight arrives between 10.30pm and 5.00am as we do not want to wake up your host family late at night or early in the morning.  In this case, we suggest waiting at the airport until 7am or getting a hotel room for the first night.


If you are staying in Homestay, and you have decided to get there yourself from the airport, you must still let us know the flight details, so that your Host family knows when to expect you. 

Be aware that most hosts work during the day Monday to Friday and likely would not to be able to receive you until the evening.  Families are able to accept students between 7.30am and 11.30pm on weekends and by arrangement on weekdays (normally after 5.30pm).

There are a number of transportation options from the airport:

  • Train to Perth city
  • Uber rideshare
  • OLA rideshare
  • Taxi

Further assistance

If you need police, fire or ambulance in an emergency call Triple Zero (000). Always call Triple Zero (000) in situations where a life is in danger, a crime is taking place, or in time critical situations.

Talkabout Homestay provides professional support 24/7. Please note our emergency number of 0450 122 424 is strictly for an emergency event and/or critical incidents only. Here are some examples of emergencies:

  • You feel you are in danger
  • You have been the victim of crime
  • You feel unsafe at home
  • Medical emergency
  • You are lost
  • You have been in an accident

It is best to speak directly to your hosts if there is anything you do not understand and/or have an issue about.  This will give your hosts an opportunity to address it before it turns into a big problem.

If you find that discussing a problem with your host does not solve it after several attempts, please raise your concerns to Talkabout Homestay directly and/or your Learning Institution.

Talkabout Homestay’s Complaints Procedure for handling student complaints is based on confidentiality, impartiality, procedural fairness, protection from victimisation and prompt resolution.  All complaints are managed by senior placement staff.

Confidentiality will be respected wherever possible within the constraints of the need to fully investigate the complaint. Matters pertaining to the complaint will not be discussed beyond the parties to the complaint, their chosen representatives (where applicable) and staff involved in resolving the complaint.