To All our Homestay Hosts and their families.
Welcome to Study Vision Homestay.
If you have already made up your mind to host or continue to host international students at your Home, we thank you for your decision and courage during these extraordinary times. Study Vision will do its best to continue supporting you in your Hosting journey with us, despite the challenges we may face under a COVID-19 Pandemic.
Just remember that the COVID Pandemic shall continue with us for sometime, yet. The health and safety of yourself, your family, and your guests (students) are very important. Please make sure that you follow common sense and be vigilant in following hygienic and safety practices necessary to keep the potential of infections under control in your home and among your household, during your hosting journey.
This document by Study Vision is to remind you of your COVID-specific responsibilities while hosting our international students during the COVID Pandemic.
The Australian Government strictly requires that any International student who enters Australia must be fully vaccinated with one of a list of vaccines recognised by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
Rest assured that the international student who has just arrived from overseas to live in your Homestay has their vaccination status checked and approved by Australian Customs.
On the other hand, Study Vision strictly requires that as a prerequisite to host any international student (whether the student is Under 18 or over 18):
1- All Host family members, and other guests in their care, who are eligible to be vaccinated, must be vaccinated, and have their vaccinations (and booster, if any is required) up-to-date. Vaccination status must be communicated to Study Vision by email, as soon as they need updating.
Â 2- Host families need to exercise care that any other person(s) visiting their home, like guests or tradies, are not symptomatic with COVID-like symptoms before they enter the home. They must wear masks at all times they are inside the premises. Please exercise care by monitoring that your international student guests are socially distanced away from the visiting guests or trades persons inside your home.
You must consider all the following:
1-Â Follow all regulations and recommendations of various authorities, including all Australian federal, state and local public health authorities. Lockdowns, Vaccinations, Border openings/closure, etc will change all the time as the Pandemic unfolds.
2- Some universities and Colleges in Australia have (or will soon have) specific COVID policies and procedures for their students to follow. Your student will need to show these to you, when they first check in, if she/he has got it.
If Study Vision has these college-specific Policies or procedures for their students, we will email them (or their web link) to you before the student checks in at your homestay. Please get acquainted with them as they may have support phone lines to call in an emergency, or procedure to raise any issue. If in doubt, contact Study Vision.
3- Always use common sense and good safety and hygiene procedures to minimise the chance of any person living in your home from getting seriously ill. Example:Â
3.1- make sure your guest (student) has bought an adequate supply of face masks and hand sanitizers and that she/he uses them properly. Provide these supplies on their first 1-3 days of their arrival until you help them stock their own supplies. Make sure they always have these supplies in their rooms and that they are wisely used at all times as necessary.
3.2- remind them to communicate daily as to their wellbeing to you. Report to Study Vision any health issue raised that you believe is serious enough to raise an alarm.
3.3- In the event a RAT (Rapid Test at home) or PCR test is required or necessary for the student, please help your guest do the test asap, and make sure to follow the correct procedure before and after the test, as recommended by the health authorities with respect to isolations.
3.4- In the event any household member falls sick, isolate the sick individual, to minimise the chance of infection for other members of the household.Â Remember to keep Study Vision informed by email if such a situation arises. It is also important to keep the college/university informed of such issues as and when they occur.Â
4- If the student has to be removed to a hospital, and her/his belongings are kept in his bedroom at your home, rent will continue being paid to you under a âHoliday Rateâ, being 50% of the full Homestay fee.
5- To assist with safely welcoming your student, please consider the following before they arrive:
- Initial supply for a few days of face masks and hand Sanitizers / cleaning supplies in the room (e.g. disinfecting wipes, disinfecting spray, hand sanitizer, etc.) – Guide the student to use them whenever necessary. Note: the student will be responsible to buy their own stock of Face masks and hand sanitizers for their own use while outside the home. However, we kindly ask you to keep an adequate supply of sanitizers and sanitary wipes for use inside the home and to provide them to the student while inside the home.
- Towels & sheets for student’s use – Guide the student to wash and sanitise these regularly
- Garbage can with clean liner – Guide the student to empty their garbage daily, and replace the liner
- Sanitization / cleaning supplies/ sanitary wipes, etc in bathroom – Guide the student to use them whenever necessary
- Toiletries that are normally shared with the family, such as hand soap. If the bathroom is shared, consider providing a box or basket so students can take their own toiletries to and from their bedroom
- Guide the student to clean the bathroom after they use it, to keep the bathroom hygienic for everyone
- In case a person living in the home is diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID, please be extra alert to the cleanliness and ventilation of the bathroom after each use by that person (wear a mask while cleaning it). Or, if you have more than one bathroom, allocate one bathroom for the sick person’ use exclusively.
Laundry Room Set-up
- Sanitization / cleaning supplies in the Laundry area/room – Guide the student to use them whenever necessary. Ensure the student is adequately instructed and trained to wash and sanitise his clothes and bed sheets and towels.
When your student first arrives at your home:
- Always remember that they have left their parents, family and friends overseas and are here all by themselves. You are the only person they feel safe with. Please foster and maintain that trust throughout their stay.
- Please check your state’s Quarantine Information for Travellers. Most states require that your student have a RAT or PCR test within 24 hours of arriving in Australia, and also another test a few days later (usually 6 days after arrival). Please help your student to get these tests, as they will not be aware of how to book them or where to go to buy RAT test kits or get a PCR test nearby.
- Ensure the student is aware of any State and Local restrictions and house rules about COVID, such as mask wearing, washing hands regularly (specially as soon as they return from outside the home), using hand sanitiser, checking of tradies and other guests before entering the home, immediately reporting if feeling unwell, etc.
- Give the student a tour of the home, pointing out where hand sanitizers and sanitisation wipes are available for use inside the home.
- You may check her/his vaccination and booster status. Discuss (but do not recommend or instruct) if they are due for booster shots. They will need to contact their school/university for advice and direction. Follow up when taken.
- Offer the student regular times to wash their laundry (at least twice a week), separate from any family laundry.
If you or your students start to show any symptoms of COVID-19, please inform other members of the household and get tested immediately, according to the directions stated by the Health Authorities in your State. Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits are your first option to get everyone tested for COVID.
Symptoms may include some of these:
- fever (37.5 degrees Celsius or higher)
- sore throat
- shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
- Pain in joints and feeling tired constantly
- runny nose
- loss of taste and/or smell
Remember to follow the Health authorities guidelines with respect to conducting RAT or PCR testing and any followup tests as required.
If you or the student receive a positive test result either via a RAT test or a PCR test, please notify Study Vision immediately, as well as the student’s school/university. You, your family and the student will need to follow the Health Authorities’ guidelines for these situations. If your student is infected with COVID, you cannot force your student to move out. You will need to commit to help them in their recovery process unless otherwise advised by Health Authorities or a doctor.
For more information for hosts in NSW, please see the NSW Government’s Advice for Confirmed COVID-19 Cases webpage (This page is available in multiple languages). Other hosts in other states in Australia will find similar guidelines to follow.