More Aussie households needed to host overseas students big money on offer copy

More Aussie households needed to host overseas students: big money on offer

Households are desperately needed to host international students wanting farm stays in Australia. With the return of international travel, families and school students from all over Asia are flocking to Australia to get a taste of the idyllic Aussie rural farming life. The demand for farm stay providers is now so high that the founder and owner of Downunder Farmstays, Vicki Byrne, is calling for households in rural and semi-rural environments and farmers of all types around Australia to open their doors to these students or families.

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According to Byrne, farm stays offer an additional stream of income, with the potential to bring in thousands of dollars. Farm stay hosts have the freedom to choose when they’re available to welcome students and families. Guests generally stay between two and four nights and student numbers can vary depending on the size of the household or accommodations available.

“Downunder Farmstays is Australia’s largest farm stay provider with over 29 years in the business. Before COVID, we were capable of hosting up to 18,000 guests per year. COVID hit us hard, but with the return of international travel, Australia is once again, one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations,” Byrne said.

“We need people to host students and we need you to contact us now so we can talk with you about what farm stays involve.   A lot of people moved away from the city during COVID and now live in semi-rural settings with hobby farms.  You are ideal, so please reach out to us.  You can earn extra income hosting students.”

Australia’s international appeal

“We host students and families from all over the world including Japan, Singapore, China, USA and Europe. Students, families and travellers from high density cities around the world are wanting an escape from their hectic urban lives and they come to Australia to spend a few days in the countryside, to experience our land of milk and honey, of green pastures and golden sunshine,” Byrne said.

“Japanese schools in particular love bringing their students to Australia for a farm stay experience.   They really enjoy our countryside, people and the opportunity to holiday in an environment where they can enjoy nature, be around animals and soak up our clean air.  Oh, and they love our beef!

“Due to the surge in demand, we’re urgently inviting Aussie households in semi-rural and farm environments to join our network of farm stay hosts and receive students or families from all over the world throughout 2023 and 2024.

“International borders are fully open once again and schools all over the world are keen to bring students back to Australia for some hands-on real life Aussie country life experiences.”

Specialists in the Japanese market

“Downunder Farmstays has an extensive history of working with Japanese schools and agents, providing support for hosts and students throughout every farm stay. We have a particular connection to Japan because in the 1990s, my family moved to Japan for four years. It was there that we learned about understanding different cultures and customs,” Byrne said.

“When we moved back to Australia, we decided to start farm stays in Victoria for Japanese students and we began building a database of host families. Our first group that came over from Japan was a hundred students! They absolutely loved our amazing fresh countryside, our unique animals and landscape, our beautiful native flora and fauna and of course, our fresh, hearty Aussie beef. It’s world famous and nobody can say no to farm fresh produce.

“Since then, we’ve been building on this and expanding our network of farms. Our time in Japan made us aware of making sure that we provided them with the quality of service and experience that they expect. Before COVID hit, we had over 550 farms registered with us.”

Moving on from the COVID fallout

“During COVID, approximately half of the company’s farm hosts either retired, sold their farms or moved on to other employment; however, the demand for farm stays has now returned and surged to high volumes,” Byrne said.

“It’s very exciting to be bouncing back the way we are right now, and over the next few months, as the weather warms up, we’re expecting to receive thousands more international students wanting to experience what it’s really like to live on an Aussie farm.”

Great source of additional income for Aussie households

“Being in the farming and hospitality industry comes with very specific challenges. During worldwide crises such as September 11, SARS, Swine flu epidemic and the COVID pandemic, our industry got hit hard. We’re also susceptible to natural disasters such as flooding, bushfires and drought. This is why hosting farm stays is a great source of additional income to any farm, whether it be a hobby farm, semi-rural farm or regional operation,” Byrne said.

“We provide quality overnight accommodation for international travellers, families and students. Guests are provided with delicious home-cooked meals. All farm activities are also included, such as hand feeding animals, herding livestock and collecting fresh eggs. The kids absolutely love it and have the best experiences ever. And our farm stay hosts not only receive a handy additional income, earning thousands of dollars for hosting international students from anywhere between two and four days, but also that amazing international cultural exchange that is so enriching.”

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About Downunder Farmstays

Downunder Farmstays is the largest farm stay provider in Australia and has been in operation for 29 years. The company has an extensive history of working with Japanese schools and agents, providing support for hosts and students throughout every farm stay. The farm stays can be any day of the week and the income that comes with hosting international travellers and students is a great part time income for Australians living in rural farms. The company’s large network of farms spreads across Australia, from New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria.

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