London Direct

HOMESTAY GUIDELINES


Staying with a family is not only a good way to practise your English, but also an excellent opportunity to get to know British Culture.

Here are some guidelines to help make your stay more enjoyable.

Host Families
Host families are carefully chosen and regularly visited by schools’ accommodation officers. London is a multi-cultural city and host families are drawn from a diverse range of ethnic groups. They were born or have lived for many years in the UK so they are all fluent in English.

On arrival to the Host Family
Please inform your host family of your arrival time before your arrival date. If your flight is delayed, or if you have some problem with arriving at an expected time, please inform your host family as soon as possible.

Travel to and from your host family
Your host family will be located around 20 minutes to 1 hour by public transport fro the school. Public transport may include buses, trains or the underground.London is a big city. Most host families live in quiet residential areas in zone 2, 3 or 4.

Meals
Self Catering: no meals will be served, but you can use the kitchen to prepare food. Please ask your host family how to use all the kitchen facilities and when you are allowed to use them.
Bed and Breakfast: Breakfast is included. Use of the kitchen at other times is not guaranteed. Please ask your host family for the rules in their home.
Half Board: Breakfast and dinner included. Use of the kitchen at other times is not guaranteed.

The usual breakfast is toast or cereal, fruit juice and tea or coffee.
Dinner will usually include meat and some vegetables, rice, pasta or potatoes. You will be expected to be punctual at mealtimes. The family will be as flexible as possible for your schedule but you must tell your host family if you are going to be late or to miss a meal.

Keys

You will be loaned a key to the house free of charge. The family will trust you to take good care of their house key. If you lose it, the family may ask you to pay for a new one.

Your room
Your room should have a bed, a chair and a lamp as well as enough drawers for your clothes. Some rooms will also have a table or desk for studying. Please make your own bed and keep your room tidy. Your host family will clean your room once a week.

Bathrooms
Most host families have one bathroom. You will be able to have a bath or shower everyday. Please remember to leave the bathroom, shower, washbasin and toilet clean after use.

Heating and Lighting
All houses have some heating in the bedrooms. If you are cold, please ask for additional bed covers. Please note that most British homes have the heating switched off from late evening to early morning, and in the middle of the working day.

Electrical equipment
The UK voltage is 240 volts. You can buy travel adapters from electrical stores.

Laundry
Generally, one wash per week is standard. Some families will give you permission to use their washing machine by yourself.

Visitors
If you have friends coming to visit you, please always ask your host family in advance if it is convenient time to invite guests.

Telephones
Telephone calls are costly in the UK and host families may only allow you to receive incoming calls. Pre-paid telephone cards are widely available in newsagents and supermarkets.

Absence
You must inform your host family if you are going to be away overnight or coming home later than normal. If you are unexpectedly absent, your host family will contact the school.

Problems
If you have any problems or difficulties in your host family, please come to the reception of your school.

Cancellation or changing accommodation
For any changes or cancellation of your accommodation, please inform us and school before you speak to your host family. Please give a full week notice for any changes or cancellation. There will be an extra charge for any cancellation and changes made without a clear reason. Refunds for early departure are not usually possible.

Some tips to enjoy your stay with family

Please be open-minded
Be friendly and communicative with the family
Please respect the host family and express your appreciation for their help.