What will my Homestay be like?
LanguageUK has a number of accommodation options. Every household is different, but LanguageUK work hard to ensure all students are placed with host families where there is some opportunity to practise English and experience the British way of life.
Hosts in the UK are not always living as a family (mum, dad and children). Many of our hosts are single, retired or couples without children. Your host might be living with their partner and children but not be married. Modern British society is very diverse and is very different from 40 years ago.
In the evening you can either spend time with the family (maybe watching television, eating or talking), or you can meet friends or study in your room. There may be other students living in the same home although LanguageUK prefers not to put students of the same nationality or language together.
What do the hosts provide?
All hosts will provide:
- a private, comfortable bedroom (shared on request, for families or students in a group)
- two meals per day, (breakfast and dinner)
- space for your clothes
- a place to study
- appropriate washing facilities and bathroom access
- free WiFi internet access
Will I have to share a bathroom?
Usually students share the bathroom with the hosts. Some homes have rooms with private use of a bathroom (called Premier Homestay).
Is my bedroom a single or a double bedroom?
Almost all homestay accommodation is in single or double rooms but we can provide twin rooms for people booking together.
What will the food be like?
Your host will provide breakfast and dinner for the week. Meals will be varied and constitute a balanced diet. The food will generally be British (this could mean food from many parts of the world!). You will need to buy your own lunch and snacks.
I have special dietary requirements- can I still stay with a host?
Some hosts can provide meals for students with special diets such as Halal, celiac, dairy free (lactose intolerant), vegan, nut allergy – there is an additional cost for this of £25.00 per week. This is because the host will have to buy special food or prepare a separate meal for the student. Self- catering in a homestay is also a good option for students with a serious condition and would prefer to cook their own food.
• Please note that we do NOT charge £25.00 for Vegetarians as this is not considered a special diet.
Will I sit and eat with my host?
We ask our hosts to sit and eat with our students for most days of the week. If you want to sit and eat with your host, you must agree to eat at the same time as the host. Many hosts in the UK will eat their dinner at the early time of 17.30 to 19.00.
*Please note that the host may not sit and eat with the students in multi occupancy accommodation.
Will my host host live in a big house?
Most British families live in quite small houses. The average house will have 3 bedrooms. Some hosts have larger town houses. For a small island the UK is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe and this is one of the reasons why the majority of people live in comparatively small spaces.
How will I travel to and from school each day?
You will be given directions by your host family who may bring you to the school and, in some cases, collect you on the first day if necessary. In general, you will find that the return journey is quite simple, whether it be on foot or by bus.
How far will my accommodation be from LanguageUK and will I have to take a bus?
We cannot guarantee that your host will be close to the school. Most of our hosts are within a 10 to 25 minute walk. Some of our hosts live further and you might have to get a bus to school. This is very easy and a bus ticket for the week can be bought on the bus. The cost of the weekly bus ticket is £13.00 and you can use the bus for 7 days a weeks and travel anyway within the Thanet area. There is a bus stop just outside the school.
What are my responsibilities to the Homestay provider?
When you live with a homestay provider, you will be treated as part of the family and expected to take an active part in home life. It is the norm in UK families and for all household members to look after the home. Not many hosts will have domestic help from a maid or cleaner. Although you will not be required to do any major cleaning, there are some tasks you will be responsible for:
- Tidying your bedroom so it can be cleaned.
- Arranging your laundry ready for washing, or washing it yourself if you prefer. Drying and ironing your laundry.
- Cleaning the bathroom after you have used it.
- Tidying away any belongings you have left around the house.
- Clearing away any food or snacks that you prepare.
From time to time your host might ask you to take part in other domestic tasks, and this should be viewed as an opportunity to experience everyday life in the UK.
Please do not expect the host to do all your cleaning and tidying.
Do I need to be aware of any house rules?
As a guest in the homestay home, you should be respectful of their rules and routines. It is recommended that you ask for details on any family curfews, whether hosts prefer to be notified when your friends visit and the host’s smoking policy if applicable. If you expect to return home later than normal or if there is any change to your routine, always inform your host. Let your host know if you expect to be away for a night or weekend.
Do exchange mobile phone numbers with your host on arrival so that you can contact each other when necessary.
What happens at the weekend?
Many students spend time visiting friends, going shopping or sightseeing. Of course, LanguageUK often arranges social activities such as sightseeing, beach games, boat rides and nature walks so you will always have something of interest to do and the opportunity to continue improving your English language skills.
Can I contact the homestay host before arrival?
Yes, we recommend it. When you are allocated to a host family, you will be given some basic background information for them and their contact details. It is a good idea to write or email them before you arrive to introduce yourself. This is an opportunity to get to know your host a little in advance – you could tell them where you are from, what hobbies or activities you like to do, and what you are looking forward to about staying in Broadstairs.
Is the house safe to live in?
All hosts at languageUK will are carefully selected and are revisited every year. The houses have to pass all health and safety requirements and hosts who take students under the age of 18 have criminal record checks.
Can I change my accommodation?
The Student Services team is responsible for the security, health, safety and welfare of all students. They will be your main point of contact to assist with any issues or queries you have, whether relating to the Homestay or any other aspect of adjusting to life in the United Kingdom. You can contact them by telephone in office hours or email or meet them in person at LanguageUK the first day you arrive.
We also provide all students with an out-of-hours number for emergencies only on both sites. This way students can always be assured of having the support of an experienced member of the LanguageUK team, in any emergency.
If you are unhappy with your host, we will try to find a solution for you. This might be discussing the problem with you and your host first to see if this will change the way you feel. Is usually takes a few days for a student and a host to feel comfortable with each other. This will only occur if the reason for moving is a genuine reason. Students who request a host family change for no valid reason will be subject to a £100 charge. We understand that for some students the change of environment and culture can be a challenge and we will try to support you.
Can I smoke in my room?
Not usually. Most homestay hosts prohibit smoking throughout the house. There are hosts who will permit smoking but please be aware this is often in an outdoor area such as the garden.
Will there be other students staying at the same house?
Often our hosts will have more than one student staying with them at a time. A great opportunity to make friends and practise English. Adult students will always be given a private bedroom.
Do hosts have pets?
It is worth noting that many of our hosts (although not all) have cats and/or dogs at home- it is very common to have pets here in England.
Do I have to be home at a certain time in the evening?
Students over the age of 18 can go out when they want to and will be given a house key- but it is a good idea to speak to your host about what they think is a reasonable time to come home. Most of our hosts are very relaxed about this.
Will Internet be provided for?
LanguageUK require all hosts to provide WiFi.