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Updated by Linda Hurren on Jun 08, 2016
Linda Hurren Linda Hurren
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Guidelines for hosting Overseas students

Many people see hosting overseas students as an easy way to earn some extra cash, and whilst it can be a useful way of boosting your income it does involve some hard work. There are many guidelines in place when it comes to hosting students, and these will vary between companies, but below is a brief guideline to help you decide if you would be suitable for hosting students.


Making the student a part of your family

Making the student a part of your family

When foreign students come to stay in England it can be a nerve wracking experience for them, and for many it will be their first time away from home without their family. Their main reason for coming is to improve their English and also to learn about our culture, and the best way for them to do this is to be integrated into a family. Your student should be made to feel welcome and at home whilst they are staying with you, and should be included in any activities you may do, not only will this help them learn more about our culture but it may also stop them from feeling homesick during their stay.


Doing the washing

Doing the washing

Many companies will restrict the amount of luggage that the students can bring with them when coming to stay in England, meaning that they may not have enough clean clothes to last them throughout their whole stay. It is expected that you will wash your students clothes and iron them if they need you to do so during their stay. As well as this you will also be expected to change their bedding weekly, and provide clean towels for them to use throughout their stay.


Meal times

Meal times

As the students are coming to live in this country as a part of your family they are expected to eat the same meals as you at the same time as you. However if you are aware that your student has a dislike for certain foods then you should try to provide an alternative, speaking to them on their arrival about this may be helpful in making sure you make meals that you will all enjoy.
During their stay you are expected to provide your student with a packed lunch each day, and ideally this will include a sandwich, fruit, crisps, snack bar, and a drink, if not more. Even though yopu are expected to provide 3 meals a day it may be worth discussing with your student if they are taking part in any activities that mean they will not need a meal, or will need it at a different time to avoid any misunderstandings on either side.


There are certain rules that will need to be met regarding the accommodation you can offer a student before you will be allowed to become a host family. Most companies will send a representative to look around your home to ensure you can provide certain things, these will usually include a bedroom for the student or students to use which gives them their own private space. Some companies allow students to share a bedroom with children in the household however this isn't common. The students should have a desk so they can do their schoolwork, and also a place where they can put their belongings such as a wardrobe or chest of drawers.

Pick up/Drop off

When your student arrives you will be expected to collect them from a meeting point, this is usually the sameplace that you will drop them off at when their stay with you is over. It may be necessary for you to drop the student off in the morning and pick them up later if they are going out for the day, this will usually depend on their age and your homes proximity to the rop off/pick up point.


Students may ask to use your home phone to receive incoming calls from their parents and you would be expected to allow this. Students rarely ask to make outgoing calls, however if there was a last minute change at the arrival point then it would be expected that your student could use your phone to call their parents to make them aware of this change and let them know where they are staying - it causes much upset and worry when a parent cannot get hold of their child.
Ask your student if they have a mobile phone with them, if they do take their number and give them yours so you can contact each other during their stay. This is especially useful if your student is going to be later home than expected as they can let you know avoiding worry and panic.




We expect all students of 15 years + to be back at their host families home by 10:30pm. If your students are younger or you feel they are not mature enough to be out late you may set an earlier curfew for them. There may be times where your student takes part in specific activities that finish later and may arrive home slightly later, you should be informed of this in advance so you do not worry. If your student is more than 20 minutes late home you can contact our emergency number so we can contact the group leader.

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