BRISBANE, Australia – 1 April 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Australia’s international education industry hard but the Australian Homestay Network (AHN) wants students and service providers to know that the community support is strong.
Inspired by Study in Australia’s #InThisTogether campaign, the company has been connecting with universities and accommodation providers to let international students know there are many local Australian families here to support them.
“Some of our homestay hosts have been with us for nearly a decade. They know how important it is for a student to feel safe, welcome and comfortable and that’s what’s really needed at a time like this,” said AHN Founder, David Bycroft.
The unpredictability of the COVID-19 outbreak is also uniting Australian companies as they fight to survive.
AHN is offering purpose-built accommodation operators and schools with on-campus residences the option to temporarily relocate guests to homestay as a potential solution to any physical or mental health concerns students or their parents may have.
“We are working with accommodation providers to make sure students are safely accommodated until things are back to normal and they’re ready to return to their original lodgings.
“Being in a family environment can provide peace of mind and structure for an international student and we want to help facilitate that,” Mr Bycroft said.
“The safety and wellbeing of students is paramount, that hasn’t changed,” Mr Bycroft said.
“The whole industry has been impacted and we all need to work together to help international students and our fellow Australian businesses get through this.”