Announcement of Official Student Homestay Quality Standards

Australian Homestay Network (AHN)

New benchmarks to inject supply of high-quality hosted accommodation options

Adelaide, Australia – 12 October 2023: Australia’s first industry-recognised standards for student homestay accommodation providers have been announced at the Australian International Education Conference (AEIC) in Adelaide.

The initiative aims to boost consumer confidence for the in-demand student accommodation sector.

The new “Homestay Quality Standards” – independently managed by the National English Language Teaching Accreditation Scheme (NEAS) – were developed following a nationwide industry collaboration spearheaded by the NSW Government through Study NSW.

It comes as Australia’s housing shortages have left both domestic and international students struggling to find affordable accommodation.

David Bycroft, Founder of the Australian Homestay Network (AHN), said the announcement recognises the importance of standards in what has been a highly unregulated market in the past.

“The Australian Homestay Network has been advocating for industry-wide homestay standards since we began in 2007.

“Issues of students experiencing overcrowding, exploitation and being ripped off by unscrupulous individuals were apparent back then and with today’s lack of housing, students are just as vulnerable,” Mr Bycroft said.

Mr Bycroft said having official standards and quality assurance framework not only provides credibility to the sector, but also helps students and potential hosts identify quality homestay companies to engage with.

“It’s pleasing to see much of what we’ve been doing for the past 16 years incorporated in the NEAS Homestay Quality Standards, and that their independent assessment validates our mission to provide the highest quality homestay experiences in Australia.

“AHN is proud to be the first NEAS Endorsed Homestay Service,” Mr Bycroft said.

AHN was highly regarded in a NEAS survey completed by both hosts and students, showing a high level of satisfaction with AHN services, including confirmation that AHN homestays provide students with a safe, secure and comfortable environment.

AHN-hosted student, Dalaphet Lounmivong from Laos, said she felt “incredibly lucky” to have been placed with AHN.

“They have truly been exceptional hosts, and I cannot emphasize enough how grateful I am for their kindness and hospitality.

“They have created a warm and welcoming environment, making me feel like a part of their family from day one.

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“Their support and encouragement have given me the confidence to embrace new experiences and make the most of my time here.

“I will forever cherish the memories we have created together,” Ms Lounmivong said.

Sydney host, Penny, has enjoyed the hosting experience since recently welcoming Vivian from Vietnam as her first guest.

“It’s a pleasure to be a homestay host for Vivian.

“She is a long way from home so it’s a gift to be able to make her feel at home and comfortable at this time in her life.

“Thank you to the team at AHN for all your great work connecting people from all over the world as one big family.”

It is anticipated that the Australian Government will recognise nationwide standards for hosted accommodation as the Inquiry into Australia’s Tourism and International Education Sectors continues.

There are estimated to be around 13 million spare bedrooms across Australia and homeowners could be earning tax-free income by hosting international students through properly-managed, standards-based homestay organisations.

Locals can contact the Australian Homestay Network to register as a host, while international students are encouraged to apply as early as possible prior to their arrival to secure safe, welcoming and affordable accommodation.

/Public Release.