The safety and security of our students and our homestays is central to what we do here at Study Links so, understandably, our application process is thorough.
There are several parts to the process and it can take from 2 weeks to 2 months, though the average is usually around 2-4 weeks. We are always on hand at each stage, to guide and answer any questions you may have about the process.
We’ve outline below what a typical application journey looks like when you apply to become a homestay. Further details can be found on our FAQ page, or you can contact us directly with any queries not answered here or there.
Step 1 – The initial welcome call
After we receive your message of interest through one of our contact channels we arrange a time to give you a call to explain the application process and next steps in more detail, this is also a great time to mention any questions or concerns you may have about becoming a homestay. At the end of the call it’s up to you to decide if being a homestay is something you’d like to pursue. If so, we allocate you a dedicated team member who will be your point of contact for the rest of the application process.
Step 2 – The home visit and application process
The home visit is a semi-formal process for us to meet everyone in the household and look at the proposed rooms for the student(s), as well as the shared spaces which the students will have access to.This part involves taking pictures of your home and the space which will be added to your homestay profile and shared with prospective students and their families
During the home visit we’ll take you through the different elements of paperwork which need to be completed – the application form and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) forms, which everyone over the age of 16 in the household needs to complete. We check your required forms of ID and both the professional and personal references provided, dot the i’s and cross the t’s and send everything off to be processed.
Stage 3 – The DBS confirmation
All of the completed DBS forms are sent to AEGIS – a guardianship association, of which we are members – who process the forms. The length of the process depends on a few factors such as the backlog of the DBS service and the police forces who need to be contacted, but on average we receive a reply within 1-2 weeks. Because a DBS certificate is personal to an individual, these are sent out directly to you. When you receive them, there are a couple of small steps to follow which we explain at the start of the process.
Stage 4 – You’re ready to welcome students!
Congratulations! You’re now part of our homestay community.
Remember – we’re on hand during the entire process to answer questions and concerns and to make sure the process is progressing as it should. When you work with us you become part of our community – our extended family. To see what that’s like head to our Facebook page or, if you feel ready to start the journey to becoming a homestay, contact us today.