Being a host family
Thankyou for wanting to find out more about becoming a host family
Being a host family can be a great way to make extra money from a spare bedroom – but aside from financial reasons, you can make a genuine difference to the life of a young person who is from abroad and studying in the UK.
A host family will care for the student during school breaks, so there is an element of flexibility.
Occasionally, we also require host families on a longer term basis, where the student is a day student, for example at a private school. Where they will travel from the home to the school each day like a regular UK student.
Our students require a high level of accommodation, with a bed, a desk – but are often willing to share a twin bedroom with friends.
They also will need food on a full board basis – an example of this is a breakfast of cereal, toast, warm lunches, such as soup or a chicken pitta bread and the same meal as the family in the evenings. However – we understand that everyone is unique, so YES Guardians will always ask students their food likes and dislikes and hand these over to the family before placing them.
When will a host family be needed?
In summary, they will be used in the following situations.
Typically Friday afternoon until Sunday evening – it is a perfect opportunity for the student to relax, re-group or to catch up with some prep work. As Guardian, we will know already if your child’s chosen school has exeat weekends, and will have planned this host family stay into the term.
Longer School Holidays
As mentioned in our guide on the British Education System. Schools in the UK have half terms, and then longer holidays at Easter and Christmas. These range between 8 and 16 nights. We will work with you to pick a suitable host family for these holidays.
As mentioned above – the unexpected may happen, and the student may need to stay with a host family in an emergency. We are fully prepared and contactable to make this arrangement if it is needed. This is part of the AEGIS accreditation we hold.
What are our YES Guardians Host Families like?
All of our host families vary in terms of accommodation. Some students like to share a twin room with other students, some like to have their own room. Some like their own bathroom, some don’t mind sharing.
We understand that all of our students have different requirements. We wouldn’t be a very good Guardian if we didn’t understand that – which is why we like to take on a variety of host families.
However, the things that are common across all families and our main rule is:
We have two daughters – would we be happy for our daughters to stay in this host family?
If the answer is YES – then this is what our families are like. A home away from home.
All of our hosts are generally family homes, with the host living in situ. We will never place a student on their own. They must all have a bedroom, either shared or not for the student and a desk space, or area in the home for them to study.
We encourage meal times to be shared with the student and the host, so they can talk, in English and to learn more about English culture and get to know each other.
Hosts should, if the student is able to inbetween study, offer to join in with family activities, even if it is just going for a walk, or popping into town.
However other hosts have taken students bowling, badminton, go karting, horse riding and even paddleboarding to name a few.
From feedback – even getting a student involved in the cooking of meals, or playing cards with the family further enhances the whole experience of studying in the UK. The school being closed and the necessity for a host family should be an enhancement – not a burden on the student.
All our families have as a requirement to have good wifi available for online learning – and most importantly to be able to catch up with their family.
All the homes are of a very high standard – have been inspected, and are clean, spacious and warm. The student should feel like they can relax. Heating is also required. The high standard also goes with food – with many hosts cooking with the students, or even trying out some local dishes. We also encourage hosts to provide some home comforts, with snacks from the home country of the student.
Events are a big thing too, and any birthdays, or Cultural holidays will be noted as a good Guardian – and this message will be passed onto the host family. So the student and family can celebrate whatever event it is all together!
Our host families will also tend to be near local amenities, so the student can (with permission) go explore – or for it to be arranged that the host can drop off and pick them up.
Finally – the UK is big on pets as we know, and this is encouraged. Many students choose to go back to host families, not because of the humans, but the animals they meet!
We do also want the students to relax, so a comfortable, warm place, ie their bedroom is essential for this.
A desk is essential – the students will have lots of work and prep for exams etc.
Is being a host family for me?
Our host families range from young professionals, to married couples, to people who are now retired. Some have children, some do not. They are from a vast background and reach of society – but one thing is the same. They all take great care in hosting students.
If you feel that you are happy to welcome a student into your home, are able to provide full board meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and have a room to be able to accommodate the student, then yes, absolutely being a host family is for you.
From making a potential friend for life, that you can see thrive in their childhood years, to learning about new cultures – being a host family is a hugely rewarding experience.
We should know – we have been hosting students in our own home for over 10 years now!
Students really do appreciate the welcome and support host families provide too. We love reading the wonderful feedback, not only for us as a Guardian, but with feedback on the host families too.
We are very proud of our YES Family – both students and host families alike 🙂
Our YES Family
We refer to all of our students, as well as our host families as our YES family.
We are lucky to have both of these from all over the UK, who continue to thrive using our Guardianship. We don’t currently serve any schools in Ireland – but maybe one day.
Without these host families – this wouldn’t happen. We value them and can’t be thankful enough.
There is a network of hosts supporting all schools for any situation.
We have received your application – what are the next steps?
We will look through our students, and start to get an idea on who can go where based on location. We do have many students who go back to the same placement again and again. We try and acknowledge all applications – but if we do not get back to you right away, don’t worry.
We will then contact you with a potential student/students depending on suitability and arrange a zoom call or a meeting with you to discuss further.
Needless to say, we do not just take on all people who ask to be a host family. We understand how important it is to know that our students will be safe, and in a suitable environment. We do this in many different ways. Firstly, with the AEGIS accreditation, it means that our methods of recruiting host families have been signed off as being exemplary – plus our golden rule of would we let our own children stay there as parents?
We have a check list we run through covering everything from the individuals in the home, to the home itself. Below is a summary, but by no means inclusive list of checks – we follow the strict rules of our Safer Recruitment Training, which is always kept up to date.
For the people in the home, we ask:
- The family members – with documentation in terms of enhanced DBS checks (criminal record checks) for anyone that is needed.
- We also ask about any hobbies or interests the family may have, so we can properly match students to appropriate people in terms of personalities.
- An application form which contains more in-depth information about the family.
- Conduct an interview.
For the house itself:
- House inspection – checking all areas the student will be using are appropriate, either in person, or via a Zoom call.
- All relevant documents have to be seen, such as gas safety.
- All alarms are tested – carbon monoxide, fire etc.
We are very proud of our host families, and every single one has to be approved by our directors, Hayley and Marc with our daughters in mind, along with out 10 years of experience of hosting ourselves. We can’t wait to welcome you on the rewarding journey that is being a host family.