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Students always remember the kindness of the people, and the cleanliness and comfort of the place where they stayed. Students should be made welcome and happy wherever they are staying. There is nothing like the right first impression and a warm welcoming introduction of yourself and the family that will ensure a positive start to your new relationship.
Living with a host family offer students the most opportunities to practice the language they study and to really experience the English culture. Although not all students come to England with a good level of English we encourage host families to speak to students as much as possible.
Homestay at Host Families
We recommend homestay because it is the best way to practise English and experience the British lifestyle. St George’s School of English chooses their families with great care, making sure the houses are clean and warm and that the family is welcoming and helpful. It is vital that our families spend time with students and communicate with them. Students will be placed with a family that match their needs.
We recognise at St. George’s School of English that good English family accommodation is as important as a good course. Students spend quite a lot of time at an English home and therefore should feel comfortable, warm and welcome.
Every student evaluates the service received by the host family throughout their stay. Host families are rated based on this feedback which assesses: hospitality, cleanliness, friendliness, consideration, quality of food. This is also the criteria that St George’s takes into consideration when visiting and accepting host families following the British Council procedure.
Although we do not have an official evaluation form for our host families to complete about their students we encourage and always welcome host families’ comments and concerns regarding students.
Both host families and students have full support from St George’s team which can be contacted during our office hours and on our emergency number outside office hours.
Nationalities of students in the home
Majority of our students wish to be placed in pairs or triples (students who come as part of a group). It is important that if you accept students from other organisers you do not accept two bookings of the same native language at the same time.
Individual students should be the only student of his/her nationality or language group staying with the family; we encourage host families to take students of another nationality so they can practise their English and meet new friends.
Please note that we will always let you know the curfew of the students in advance if we have this information. Curfew is dependant on the type of placement and their age so please do not let your students out on their own unless you have an information from us that they are allowed to do so. We will always aim to inform you before their arrival, however in most cases the leaders only inform us once they are here, as they themselves have to obtain a permission from the parents in writing just before the departure.
Some students have a social programme organised by us or their leaders. Their activities and the finish time is always clearly marked on the programme we give you, however please allow a grace period of about 15 - 20 minutes after the curfew time as some students might find the orientation during evening hours more difficult or they might be slightly delayed due to the finishing time of the activity itself. Please always get your students mobile numbers from them so you can contact them directly if you are worried. It saves lots of time. Calling our emergency line in those instances only delays the answer, as we then have to contact the leaders, the leaders contact the students and us and we end up calling you back only to find out that in most cases the student has arrived safely home. It is much quicker and simpler to try to find out from the students directly.
The Student’s Bedroom
Families with more than one bedroom accommodate students only in those bedrooms that have been agreed with St. George’s School of English.
The bedroom should include…
a firm comfortable bed of at least standard size
a wardrobe / chest of drawers, or other storage for clothes (preferably hanging storage)
a chair, table and lamp suitable for study or facilities within the home for quiet study
The room should be cleaned, dusted and vacuumed at least once a week and fresh bed linen and clean bath and hand towels provided every 2nd week. Students are expected to respect your home and keep their surroundings tidy.
English homes are not generally heated to as high a temperature as homes in other countries. Students may therefore take a little time to get accustomed to the lower temperature, however should have sufficient heating in their bedroom so as not to feel cold in the early morning and to be warm enough while doing their homework and at bedtime. (Heating is much more expensive in England than in most countries). Extra blankets should be available.
Baths & Showers
Baths are more usual in England than showers. Students should be allowed to take a shower (or a bath) every day. As the bathroom is, in most cases, shared with other members of the household, students should check with the family which times are the most convenient to use the bathroom and they should leave the bathroom tidy. We appreciate that in a busy household it may be difficult to keep the bathroom/shower/toilet however this is one of the most common causes for complaints by students.
Although students coming for a mini stay usually bring enough clean clothes for the whole duration of their stay students staying one week or longer might need some washing to be done. We would appreicate it if you could include their items with your family wash.
Students should tell the family if they have any laundry.
If a student is over the age of 16 then a door key should be given to the student on their arrival and taken back on the day of their departure. If a student is under the age of 16, then it at the host family’s discretion whether or not they issue a door key. However if they do not issue a door key, they should ensure that someone is at home to let them in at arranged and reasonable times.
Please note that if you are hosting adult students you should be prepared to always offer a key.
Accommodation arrangements include breakfast, packed lunch and evening meal.
Although we forward all dietary requirements we receive in advance to the host families students and host families should discuss likes and dislikes so as not to waste food.
A substantial breakfast should be offered. As a minimum, it should include cereal, toast (or rolls), butter and jam, tea or coffee.
Food and cooking are different in every country – we encourage students to try different cuisines and variety in quantity to satisfy their appetites.
Students will receive a packed lunch, which should contain as a minimum of 5 items:
Two rounds of sandwiches with a reasonable filling, (rolls or French baguette) – meat, cheese with salad.
Pack of crisps or like + One piece of fruit + One biscuit/piece of cake/yoghurt + One drink
Host families ensure the packed lunch varies from day to day.
The evening meal should be hot and substantial – and most days include meat, fish or poultry and a dessert – it is the student’s main meal of the day. Weekend lunches vary from family to family, sometimes a light meal, other times a big meal.
Unlike many continental countries, in England it is not usual to drink alcohol with meals at home. Students should not use the kitchen to cook, or help themselves to food, unless the host family has given permission.
If students do not intend to be home for a meal they must inform their family in the morning or preferably the day before. If students are out for the day at the weekend, they are entitled to a packed lunch, and should be offered this. If students know they will be late for an evening meal, they may request a cold snack to be left for them or a dinner they could reheat.
International telephone calls are expensive. At St. George’s School of English we provide phone cards to ring abroad. They can be used with normal home phones and there is no charge for the family’s phone bill. Host families are not expected to allow students use the phone at their cost. Students should keep all phone calls under 15 minutes so that they do not monopolise the family phone.
Damage in the house
Should students cause damage in the house, St. George’s School of English can accept no responsibility for such damage, accidental, wear and tear or otherwise. Although majority of our students have a special insurance organised before they come families are advised to check whether their household insurance covers damage caused by guests. Students and host families should report any alleged damages to the host family organiser to assist with administering the correct procedure.
Damage happens when objects are used. Should there any damage occur, which the host family feels that it is the student’s responsibility, the host family should do the following:
Discuss the matter immediately with the student.
Report the matter to the school who will act as a mediator only and will not take any responsibility for damages.
The school will contact the student and/or the leader who will be responsible for any compensation that may be claimed.
Important: many insurance companies will only accept the claim before students leave the country. Photo evidence will also be required.
Students and their health
If students have a medical or dental problem, they should ask their host family to make an appointment with their doctor or dentist. We ask the host families to contact the leader of the student first before making any arrangements. Please avoid providing your students with any medication at all unless you checked with the leaders beforehand. If the student is not here with a leader then please contact St. George's emergency line on 07930 274158. In all cases please follow the NHS line of advice, as you would do for your own family.
Some doctors and dentists cannot accept new patients. If so, the students or his host family can look up dentists in the local area. Doctors may charge a fee to see the student; dentists always charge. Emergency dentistry is available at Worthing Hospital under the NHS daily 5.30p.m.- 10.00p.m..
Please telephone (or ask your family to telephone) the school office if your student is ill and unable to come to school.
Students are being accepted into English homes in order to experience a little of the English way of life, to have the opportunity to practise the English language and to have a comfortable and friendly place to eat and sleep.
Students are guests in the family but also members of the family. Students should not expect special treatment and both family and students should be considerate towards each other. It is important too for students and families to realise that there may be differences in customs and habits, though we encourage students to accept English ways of doing things. However, as in all relationships there should be a ‘give and take’ from both sides.
Students should be welcome to spend time in the company of the family but must also appreciate that there will be occasions when the family want to be on their own or go out alone. Younger students (under 18) must not be left in the house unattended.
Students and host families should discuss the details of their social programme daily and arrange dinner, lunch, etc according to the timetable of the social programme.
We do not normally receive information about whether the students are smokers or not. It is not permitted to smoke in the family home and students should respect this. Speak to your host family about smoking outside in the garden but respect their property and tidy the butts securely.
If there is a problem
Communication can resolve or avoid majority of problems. We always aim to give you as much information as possible about your students. We also send a little storyline to students about their host family.
We hope that the family and the student can solve any problem directly. Sometimes this is not possible, in which case the student or the family can speak with the Accommodation Officer who will assist and support both the family and the student.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT HOSTING
View / download / print the general information about hosting
Benefits of Hosting
Recommend a Friend
About St. George's
St. George's Location
Meet the Team
St. George's Policies
Booking a Student
Meeters & Greeters
Monitoring & Feedback
Change of Details
Change of Account
Special Diet Guides
Your Feedback & Suggestions