The task of hosting a foreign student is not an onerous one.  If you have, or have had, teenage children then you will be well prepared.  The great bonus is that other people’s children are usually on their best behaviour!

The main requisite for being a good host is that you treat the students as you would want your own children to be treated if they were on a trip away from home.

What kind of accommodation do I need to provide?

If you have a twin bedded room then students of the same sex can share with each other and often enjoy this as it may be their first time away from home.  You can host up to four students at any one time and although this may sound a lot to some of you, bear in mind that they will tend to give each other confidence and it is less intense for you than only having one student.  Furthermore, they come from the continent by coach and tend to be quite tired when they arrive.  The following days are filled with activities as they visit various places of local cultural interest so they will not be sitting round getting bored!

What kind of food do I need to prepare?

As far as meals are concerned, simple is the general rule of thumb.  We ask that you give them a continental breakfast before delivering them to the coach park each morning.  Cereal , toast, juice  and a hot drink will be all they want.  They will also need a packed lunch to take with them, comprising 2 rounds of sandwiches (fillings such as egg, tunafish, ham, cheese), a packet of crisps (although apparently marmite and salt & vinegar flavour are not popular),a piece of fruit, chocolate biscuit and a drink.

It is suggested that you keep supper simple – teenagers can be picky eaters so don’t spend hours cooking a fancy meal that they may not like.  We have found that the majority enjoy pasta and pizza and other simple meals like burgers and shepherd’s pie.  Many don’t like vegetables and probably best to check whether they like salad or not.  Pudding could be as simple as a yoghurt – providing they haven’t had it for lunch – or bowl of ice cream.  It is good to have fruit available and we do suggest that you let them have access to a loaf of bread and something like chocolate spread to which they can help themselves.  Then if they do get peckish they feel relaxed about helping themselves and it makes them feel more at home.

Do I need to entertain my students?

Most of the students enjoy chatting and practising their English with members of the host families at supper.  However, they will have been on the go all day and are likely to be quite tired.  They will either disappear up to their rooms straight after supper to chat amongst themselves or read a book or be happy to settle down and watch a DVD.

Should I set up house rules?

As they will probably be sharing a bathroom with the rest of the family you may want to set up a bathroom rota so that they can be sure of having a shower – we suggest this is in the evening  to avoid  too much of a rush in the mornings.

If you have house rules for the rest of the family, it is perfectly reasonable to explain them to the students.

What can I earn as a host?

The rates for hosting are good, but these do vary from season to season so please contact me for further details.  Normally hosts payments are paid electronically straight into your bank account, unless you require a cheque. We will need your account details before the first group arrive, but will contact you nearer the time for these.   You are always paid before the group depart.  If you are prepared to host more than one student at a time it makes good financial sense as feeding three or four is not four times more expensive than feeding one!

What do I do now?

If this sounds like something you would like to do then please go to the ‘Contact’ page and either send me an email or give me a call and I will be able to answer any questions you may have call 07949 416801