Being a host family is a rewarding, fun and educational experience for all members of the family and an opportunity to create long-lasting relationships. Your family can meet new international friends, and appreciate a great way of sharing and learning differences in languages and cultures.

You’ll become a key part of our students’ time abroad and their experiences, becoming the students’ home away from home. You’ll provide a safe and comfortable environment for our students to ensure they get the best experience abroad as possible.

Host families allow students to live as locals, with local people, giving a deeper insight into British culture and enabling them to rapidly improve their English.

We are currently seeking new host families to join this community.

If you have any questions, or would like further information, please contact us at any time: info@opportunity-education.com

Contact number: 0238 036 4130

Host Roles and Responsibilities

We ask that families can provide each student with:

  • A warm and friendly welcome
  • A clean, comfortable, well-lit room, with sufficient heating, ventilation, natural light, storage and use of a table/ desk
  • Bed linen and towels, washed on a weekly basis
  • Regular access to the bathroom
  • A nutritious breakfast and dinner every day
  • A lift in to the city centre. Families who cannot provide this, but live near a good bus route/ train station, will be considered.

Both hosts and students are given guidelines explaining what is expected of each of them.

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We want every student and every host family to be fully satisfied with their homestay arrangement. Our staff will keep in close contact with you regarding availability of students, and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.

Hosting students can be a new experience to many families and our staff are always available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Remuneration

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All host families are well compensated for their time, and are typically paid £140 per week, per student hosted.

If you have the space and time to host two or three students at once, this is very much recommended as the students will have a friend to share their local experience with.

Dates

Our students are typically in the UK in January and February, as well as throughout the months of June to August.

We will ask you to notify us of your general availability, and prospective hosts are contacted well in advance of any hosting opportunities.

We do require that all hosts are available throughout the core dates of 3rd July to 12th August.

The Application and Screening process

Ensuring that our students are welcomed into a safe and welcoming environment is crucial. Families wishing to host international students are screened and interviewed in their homes by our staff, and then regularly visited and monitored to ensure high standards.

  • Review our website, and read the Homestay Host Family Guide
  • Complete our online or paper-based application form
  • A staff member will then follow up with you to arrange a home visit
  • A DBS Disclosure is applied for
  • Successful hosts are added to our database, and sent our Host Handbook
  • Hosts are contacted well in advance of any potential opportunities to host

Opportunity Education is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. Any applicant wishing to be considered as a host family will need to demonstrate they are able to share this commitment, and will be subject to a home visit and Enhanced CRB Disclosure.

Top Tips for successful hosting

  • Please ensure that your house and their bedroom is clean and tidy prior to arrival, and the bed made up and ready. It will show them that you really do care about them and are there to make this experience as pleasant for them as it will be for you;
  • Promote and encourage English in the household;
  • Show your students your house, their bedroom, bathroom and other rooms available to the student;
  • Introduce to other family members;
  • Let your students know where they may find available appliances and make sure they understand how to use them. Do not assume they know; physically show them;
  • Tell your students your house rules (washing clothes, meal times, use of the computer and internet, phone usage, kitchen hours, house key responsibility, etc.). We will issue a general guidance document to students in Chinese regarding usual house rules;
  • Students are responsible for keeping their bathroom and bedroom clean. You may assign chores to your students to help keep all communal areas clean and tidy. Set up a method of keeping track of who does what chores. This should be communicated in a warm and friendly conversation and could be followed up in written form depending on the language level of the student;
  • Communication is key! Open communication between you and your student is crucial for a successful hosting experience;
  • Please do not discuss your finances or payments with your students. This information is confidential and can make your student feel uncomfortable.

FAQs

What are my responsibilities as a host family?

Families must provide a bed, breakfast, an evening meal (some hosts may provide a packed lunch), be able to drive students to the city centre, and most importantly provide a safe, stable, friendly environment.

Hosts must submit an application, references, and will have a home visit by one of our staff.

Students bring their own spending money for souvenirs and entertainment.

We are not a ‘traditional’ family, is it still possible to host?

Yes, we welcome a diverse range of hosts including single parent households, empty-nesters, and families with small children.  Our key requirement is that homestay providers provide a safe, clean, and comfortable environment for our students.

May I host more than one student at a time?

Yes, we encourage you to host 2 or more students if you have the space to do so. Some families like to host more than one student as it gives the students a companion. Up to 3 students may share a room, but all must have their own bed.

Age groups?

Students are usually between the ages of 12 and 16, although can be as young as 10 and as old as 18.

Remuneration?

Host families are typically paid £140 per week, per student. This is meant to support your family in the weekly costs of hosting a student.

What if there is a problem with our student?

Our friendly team will provide all of the support and advice you need. Our students must comply with all programme rules and our staff will ensure they follow these while with your family.

If a student has an accident, or is ill, our staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Meals?

Further information on suggested meals will be provided, as Chinese guest typically enjoy certain foods. However, there should be no need to alter your daily routine too much.

Breakfast might be a simple meal of cereals, eggs, bread and fruit, while dinner could be a meat and rice based dish, pizza or noodles!