Australia

Australian families asked to host Chinese high school students amid coronavirus fears

Chinese students wear masks in Beijing. Source: Getty

A company is asking families to help Chinese high school students study in Australia during the coronavirus outbreak.

Families are being offered $390 a week to host Chinese high school students coming to Australia amid the coronavirus outbreak and assist them with self-isolation.

Global Experience, a private company which organises homestay accommodation for international students, made the request to its host network on Friday.

"We understand this request may be difficult to consider for you and your families. Your kindness and respect is appreciated for these students, as they would like to continue their studies in Australia as soon as possible," the company said in an email.

"This is not a request we are making lightly."

This is not a request we are making lightly

Global Experince

Last month, the government eased the China travel ban to allow students in years 11 and 12 to travel here, except those from Hubei province.

"These students are required to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to school and their permanent host," the email said.

It said the students are expected to self-isolate in their rooms and not spend time outside in public, such as restaurants and public transport.

"They are asked to wear a mask if they will be in the shared areas of your home. Students will not join your family during meal times, as the request is to bring meals directly to their rooms."

It said students will need a private bathroom "for their exclusive use".

"[Our] preference is for no older adults [age 70+], young children [under 5], pregnant or chronically ill hosts or family members."

According to the Federal Department of Health, there were about 400 Year 12 students and 360 Year 11 students already enrolled in Australian schools who were stuck in China as of last month.

A Chinese woman wears a protective mask in Beijing.
A Chinese woman wears a protective mask in Beijing.
Getty

The email said the "Department of Education is asking for your help" in this cause.

A spokesperson for Global Experience said they had nothing to add about the email and pointed SBS News to the NSW Department of Education.

The department did not provide comment.

The Global Experience website said over the years, it has recruited more than 6,000 families in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin and placed over 200,000 students with them.

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