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FAQ for homestay families

How much allowance will I get?

Homestays receive a daily allowance to cover food and accommodation expenses. The allowance varies depending on the type of student you host (e.g. boarding school/language school/part of a group). To find out what the daily allowance is for the types of students suitable for you, please contact homestay@studylinks.co.uk

To find out more about the government’s ‘Rent a Room’ scheme, click here.

What’s the difference between long and short term homestay?

Short term homestay students stay from one or two days up to a month. They are usually students who are 18 or younger, who need a homestay during short school holidays and exeat weekends. Short term students will generally be at home all day most days and will need breakfast, lunch and dinner. They generally go home for long holidays such as Christmas and summer.

Long term homestay students generally stay from 6 weeks up to one year or longer. Long term students are usually 14 and above. Long term students need homestays for different reasons. Some students come to the UK for an English course which can last 6 weeks to 12 months or more. Others are day students at schools in the UK so will be at school during the week. Those studying at college or university will vary their working week pattern between lessons and lectures, or studying at home. During the week, long term students are usually out most of the day so only require breakfast and dinner.

The allowance paid for being a homestay is relative to the level of care required. Because short term students require more care, the allowance is more generous than for a long term student.

How do I apply to be a Study Links homestay?

To apply to become one of our homestays Study Links homestay, click here.

What must I provide?

Homestays must provide a bed, a space to study and up to three meals per day, depending on the type of students you will have. Students should keep their own room clean and tidy, but there is an expectation for you to provide clean towels and bed linen, as well as keeping your house clean and tidy.

How long should I expect to host a student for?

This depends. Long term students can stay from 6 weeks up to one year or more, whereas short term students only stay from a few days up to a few weeks. For more information click here.

What should my student call me?

This is totally up to you. For example, you can allow your students to call you by your first name, or if you prefer title and surname, e.g. Mr or Mrs Smith, this is okay too.

My student is using all my hot water. Is it ok for me to ask them to restrict their shower to 5-10 minutes?

Yes. Explain that it is the culture in the UK to have shorter showers, and that this is because of the hot water system: having a long hot shower will use all of the hot water available in the tank meaning other members of the household are not able to shower. Normal house rules apply, and because rules vary from home to home they should be explained to the student upon first arrival. This way they will be aware of how best to be considerate to other members in the house.

I’m worried that my student isn’t eating

Make sure that your student knows when and where meals will be served and also what snacks they are allowed to eat and what they shouldn’t eat. They may not realise that there are meals and snacks available and may have been buying their own food. If you think there may be a more serious problem, contact Study Links immediately on 01274 679710.

My student has been smoking in their room when I told them that this is a non-smoking household

You should speak to your student and remind them that you do not allow smoking in your house. In some countries, smoking is not only socially accepted but the social norm. They may not realise that smoking is no longer socially acceptable in the UK, in which case it would be advisable to inform them.

My student is coming home intoxicated

If your student is over 18 and is quiet and considerate when they come in having drunk alcohol, this shouldn’t be a problem. If they are causing a disturbance when they come in, you should confront them or speak to Study Links who will confront them on your behalf. If your student is under 18, or you suspect they are using illegal substances please inform Study Links and we will take control of the situation.

Do I have to pay for my student if I take them out?

This is up to you. Many homestays are happy to include under 18s as part of the cost of family outings. If you would prefer your student to pay for themselves, tell your student where you are going and how much it will cost. They can then decide whether or not to go with you. If they do not have the money available at the time but they would like to go, please contact Study Links and we may be able to arrange for the cost of the activity to be added to your payment.

Can I go into my student’s room when they are not there?

The student’s privacy is important so we would suggest that you don’t go into their room without informing them first. If you plan to clean the room whilst they are not present, make sure that the student is aware of this before you do so.

My student is overusing my Wi-Fi/ broadband connection, and slowing it down significantly

When your student arrives explain any house rules regarding internet, and reiterate that the internet is shared and that they must be considerate. Explain that you want to involve them in your family too and hope that they won’t spend all of their time on the internet. Please do bear in mind that some students lead very busy lives at school, so their time at a homestay is often when they want to relax and catch up with friends and family back home.

My student is using my phone

If you are happy for your student to use your phone explain what times they can use it and how long they can use it for. Ask them to keep a record of what phone calls they make so that they can reimburse you. If they use your phone without your permission explain that this is not allowed and that they must use their own phone or Skype.

My student is making a lot of noise at night

Explain that they must be quiet and not disturb other people after between 9pm and 7am. If the behaviour continues, contact Study Links.

My student is wasting electricity

If you find that your student is leaving things plugged in and not turning lights off, explain that this is both wasteful and a safety hazard. Not all students are informed of such things in their home country. If the behaviour continues, contact Study Links.

My student is complaining that they are cold

When you show your student their room, explain that they should sleep under the duvet just in case they have a different kind of bed at home. If they are sleeping under the duvet then they may just need an extra blanket.

My student has asked if their parents can stay

It is your house and this really is up to you. If you are not comfortable with them staying or you do not have enough room, it is ok to say ‘no’ and ask them to stay in a hotel or bed and breakfast nearby. It would be a nice gesture to suggest some potential places that they may like and make arrangements to meet them or invite them to your house for a drink or dinner.

If you agree to them staying and wish to receive payment, the transaction must go through Study Links. Please inform us and we will handle the transaction.

My student has asked if they may bring a friend home to stay the night.

It is your house and this really is up to you. If you are happy for them to stay one or two nights then we would not object. If they would like their friend(s) to stay for more than 2 nights, please inform Study Links. If you expect to be paid for any stay, Study Links must be informed.

My student has been missing for several days. They did not tell me they were going to be away. What should I do?

If you are ever concerned about your student’s welfare or whereabouts, contact Study Links immediately.

What should I do if my student informs me that they are leaving before Study Links told me they would leave?

Don’t feel hurt if a student tells you this, students are young people who crave new experiences and independence. If they are a non-guardianship student over 18, students are a bit more independent and if they have decided that they don’t want to stay in homestay anymore, we just need to make sure that they are going to be safe: ask them where they are moving to and inform Study Links. We will find out what has happened and why their plans have changed. We will sort out any money owed to you. If they are under 18 and/or a guardianship student, do not let them leave. Contact Study Links immediately and we will take control of the situation.

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