Hosting foreign students is an incredibly rewarding experience for everyone involved. If you are thinking about becoming a host family in London, Manchester or anywhere in Britain, we’ve laid out the responsibilities and some of the benefits or guardianship in the UK.
A good-size spare room is an important start. Many of our students love Harry Potter, but a cupboard under the stairs won’t do. Your guests will need a comfortable bed, with clean bedding, some storage for their belongings, a desk for working and a chair. They’ll need access to a bathroom with some privacy and somewhere to put rubbish and sanitary products. Please also provide a basket for their dirty clothes.
Bear in mind that when hosting international students, you should expect some cultural differences here too. For example, some female students from China and Hong Kong may expect to be able to hand-wash their underwear daily. Please make little room for flexibility. Finally, students need WIFI for contacting family and academic work, so we can’t accept homes without internet access.
Health & Safety
A major responsibility of guardianship services to international students is keeping them healthy and safe. Make sure they have your emergency contact number and understand how to get in touch with the emergency services. If you are a host family in London or any other major city, you should ensure that a child understands the dangers of the area and aren’t left alone.
Feeling at Home with Food
Food is a big part of our lives and will be one of the largest responsibilities when becoming a host family for foreign students. Students will need breakfast lunch and dinner. There’s additional guidance about meals in our handbook. Home cooked food is often very appreciated and is a great way to introduce students to English culture. However, cuisine is often an issue that makes students homesick. We recommend you ask them about food, and even bring them out to the supermarket with you. Ease them into western food with a mixed diet from different cultures. Having a child feel at home and at ease creates a rewarding experience for both of you.
All academic institutions admit that considerable learning takes place outside the classroom. We don’t expect you to do any of your own teaching, but students can learn chores, rules and important life lessons at home. Many families hosting international students say watching their student grow into a more respectful and sensible human being is one of the most rewarding parts of the experience.
Hosting foreign students will bring you to experience their culture and vice versa. It’s important to introduce them to British culture, while being aware of their own. They may have different eating habits, table manners and cultural norms. You should respect their current culture and make exceptions when appropriate, it can be incredibly rewarding to learn from their way of life too.
To learn more about our UK guardianship services at Quest Guardians give our friendly team a call on 01202 882299. If you’re interested in becoming a host family in London, simply fill out our host family application form.