Host families are inspected to British Council and English UK guidelines.
For Schools and Group bookings.
1) What is expected of Students (YOU)?
You are expected to be courteous at all times, and it is customary in England to say “please” and “thank you.” Your host may provide you with written information or “House Rules” which are designed to help you to understand what is expected of you. It is in your interest to try and take part in the family activities and integrate as far as possible for the duration of your stay.
2) What will my host family be like?
Our host families are experienced in accommodating foreign visitors and will make you welcome into their home. The profiles of our families vary greatly. You may find yourself staying in a house with a family who has children at home or possibly in an apartment with a couple who have no children but who keep pets. Your hosts will treat you as a member of the family and are there to help you settle into the British way of life.
3) How will the students be placed in the family?
We usually strive to place 2-3 students per family depending on the availability of accommodation for the period of your stay, but sometimes due to last minute cancellation from the family for personal reasons or during a hectic time of the year, the placement of the students in families will be subject to availability (up to 4 in some cases). Students will be placed in twin bed but due to availability female students may be placed in a double bed. Unconditional request to put the students in two per family need to be made in writing, and this is subject to £/€ 35 surcharge per student.
4) Regarding my room, what rules am I expected to follow?
Your host will change the bed linen and clean your room on a weekly basis (if staying more than 7 nights), but you are expected to keep it tidy. If you wish to watch TV or listen to music you are expected to do so quietly and respect the others especially late at night or early in the morning when people might be asleep. Some hosts may have electrical appliances or internet connection for you to use. Please seek their approval in advance before using them.
Neither we nor your school or host family is responsible for your personal possessions. You are strongly advised to take out a student travel insurance policy to cover you in case your belongings are lost, stolen or damaged in or out of the host family’s home.
5) What time do we need to be home in the evening?
Usually, families have dinner between 6 pm and 8 pm, depending on the family, please be at home for the time the family will agree with you, in case you are late for dinner, please let the family know by calling or texting them, in that case, the family will leave your dinner to warm up. If you decide to go out with your teachers and schoolmates, please let the family know before 3 pm and do not be later than 10 pm as the family may have to work or bring children to school. Remember let the family know when you are late and what time you will be back (please no later than 10 pm)… please ensure you enter the home quietly
6) Can I bring back friends to my room late at night?
You should not bring friends back into the room to visit or sleep overnight without your host’s permission.
7) Am I allowed access to the rest of the house?
The main living areas of the house will be accessible to you, such as the dining room and lounge. Many hosts will be happy for you to join them after dinner to socialise or watch TV. This will be a perfect way to practice your English and learn more about British culture. Likewise, many hosts will be very interested in learning more about you and your home.
8) Will I be able to shower daily?
Yes. You will have access to a shared bathroom, and it is important to remember that you will not be the only one using the bathroom – unless you have booked a room with a private bathroom. For this reason, you should not spend too long in the bathroom especially in the morning which is usually the busiest time. You should also leave the bathroom as you found it, for example, do not leave dirty laundry, wet and dirty towels lying around or personal washing on the wash basin. Although, it is the responsibility of the host to clean the communal areas, please try and help by not leaving your belongings there and leaving it clean.
9) Am I expected to do my laundry?
Hosts will offer to do your laundry once a week and free of charge. Alternatively, they will allow you to use their washing machine. You should ask your host’s permission if you require more regular washing, but this may be at a small charge. Hosts too will usually provide you with a place to dry your clothes, do not expect that you will be able to dry them in your room.
10) What meals will I be given and when will they be served?
Because Britain is a multicultural country, our food is varied. Breakfast is usually cereal or toast and a hot drink. It will usually be served between 7 and 8. Lunch is often something light such as soup, a sandwich or a salad and the evening meal, usually eaten around 6 pm and 8 pm. If you have particular dietary requirements, please let us know upon application, and an extra charge will apply. Please also remember that use of the kitchen (except for self-catering guests) is permitted only with prior arrangement with the host.
11) Can I use the telephone?
The host’s telephone is for you to receive incoming calls from family back home only. This will typically involve an incoming call to confirm your arrival and an incoming call before departure. Any further calls will be at the host’s discretion. You are not permitted to use the telephone to make outgoing calls. Please only use the phone after prior arrangement with your host. Most of the families will have an internet connection, and you need to arrange with the family the policy usage of internet.
12) Will I be given a front door key and am I allowed to come in late at night?
You may be given depending on the family a front door key if you are 16+. Please take care in locking up the door, and if you lose your key, you must inform the host immediately. A replacement will be provided to you at a cost.
13) What if I do not like my host family?
This will be unlikely as our host families are experienced in welcoming foreign guests and are carefully selected. If there is a genuine problem between yourself and your host family, please contact us directly, and we will look to find an immediate solution to the problem. For short stay students (up to 14 days), we do not move you to a different family for the first 2 nights as the problem may be due to the language barrier, and the problem may be resolved, we will take care to understand the issue and come back to you with an answer. For extended stay 14+ nights we will move you if there is really a problem and not before 1-week notice has been given to the host-family.
14) How are the leaders (accompany teachers) of the group placed in the families?
The leaders are accommodated in a single room, in the event the leaders want to be in the same family this will be in a twin room.
15) Is it possible to place the leaders in the same family in 2 or more single rooms?
If you request to get 2 or more single rooms in the same family for the leaders we may try to check if it is possible, but we cannot guarantee this until the day prior to the departure, therefore, the leaders need to decide their priority, if the priority is to be in a single room then we may not be able to place the leaders in the same family but if the priority is to be in the same family you need to consider a twin room instead or we may book single rooms for you in a B&B at extra costs.
16) Will my students learn English by staying with a host family?
The aim to be with a host family is to experience the local culture or the local multi-culture, and be in affordable accommodation (not too expensive compared to a hotel). The host family will be there to help your students and they may practice a little bit of English, but if your stay is very short you may not pretend your students to become fluent in English and remember the host family is not an English teacher and their job is to provide accommodation and food, it is up to your students as well to engage with the host, as they may be tired from a long day at work and if the level of your students is very low it may be difficult to engage themselves in a conversation.
17) What is the distance between the host family and the school or meeting point?
It varies depending on the location; normally an average of 30/35 minutes travel needs to be taken into consideration. It will also depend on the hosts available to host the students for the period you have booked with us. Unfortunately, due to the type of accommodation, we may not be able to let you know in advance as some hosts may cancel last minutes, hence, we need to find a replacement. Note that in London the average time may be greater.