My Australian host family

What’s it like living with a homestay family in Brisbane? Bridging English Program student Yukun Zhang, from China, is studying English at ICTE-UQ for five months and tells us about her homestay experience.

If you plan to go to a country which you haven’t been to, living in a local homestay is a brilliant way to immerse yourself in the local life and culture. I was lucky enough to move into the homestay of a lovely and energetic host, Susanti Whitaker, where various funny and unexpected things happen every day.

I have been living with the Whitakers for almost two months. During that time, I gained some knowledge about Australian culture, slang etc. Additionally, I have gained a big Australian family who encourages me to try new things, take me to experience Brisbane scenic spots and cook exotic food for me. One morning we went to Mt. Coo-tha to overlook the beautiful city, take some pictures and have rainbow ice creams at the top of the mountain. My host mum, Susie, is a big fan of orchids, so one weekend we went to an orchid show near the botanic gardens. After that, I found I had fallen in love with orchids as well.  Susie and her husband are keen on gardening and as a result, they have a big yard with various flowers. They also keep chickens that occasionally sneak into the living room to lay their eggs on the couch. They are always giving us some kind of surprise. Rodney is a wildlife officer, who is skilled at catching snakes and helping small possums. For that reason, he is pretty popular in their community. 

Rodney and Susie are very busy every day. They have four adorable kids who are eight, six, four and two and half years old, respectively. In addition to that, they take care of their parents. Moreover, there are different friends who come to visit them almost every afternoon. I guess they love Susie’s home-made desserts and coffee. I have been fortunate to attend three family birthday parties, which were really awesome! We have had countless experiences and memorable fun times together. Honestly, this is the loveliest homestay and I appreciate them so much.

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Last updated:
16 June 2021