What is ‘Homestay’?
When we refer to Homestay we mean you will live as ‘part of the family’ with an English speaking family (your Host). You will enjoy the comfort and warmth of a home, a chance to practise your English and to experience British culture at first hand. You will also share meal times and take part in the host family’s home life.
What will the Homestay be like?
Every household is different, but PAE and Studentxpress work hard to ensure all students are placed with host families where there is a good opportunity to practise English and experience the British way of life. There may be other students living in the same home, although PAE prefers not to put students of the same nationality or language together. The host family may comprise a single person or a couple. There may be children living in the family home. In the evening you can either spend time with the family (maybe watching television, eating or talking), or you can meet friends or study in your room.
What facilities are provided in Homestay Accommodation?
Most homes in Great Britain are modest in size with an average of 3 bedrooms. You will be provided with:
- A room where you can study and be alone when you wish. Your room will be heated and furnished with a comfortable, adult sized bed (you will only share a room if that is your stated preference). The room will be cleaned weekly.
- Blankets, adequate drawer and wardrobe space, a table (desk) and chair with good lighting, and a mirror and bin.
- Access to the house bathroom, living room and kitchen.
- Access to laundry, drying and ironing facilities.
What meals will I get?
Your host will provide breakfast and dinner Monday to Friday, and all meals at weekends. Meals will be wholesome, varied and constitute a balanced diet. You will need to provide your own lunch and snacks, though hosts and students are free to agree other arrangements after notifying the PAE Welfare Manager.
If you have special dietary requirements, please indicate this on your Booking Form so PAE and Studentxpress can notify prospective hosts.
Will internet access be provided in my Homestay?
PAE does not require hosts to provide internet access. Hosts who have internet connection in their homes sometimes allow students to access the internet, but this cannot be guaranteed. PAE provides a range of free computer based facilities at its school along with free Wi-Fi internet access.
How far will my Homestay accommodation be from Preston Academy of English?
All Homestay accommodation is within 25 minutes walking or driving distance from Preston Academy of English and the city centre. Preston enjoys good transport links and most students walk to the Academy or get the bus.
What are my responsibilities to the Homestay Host?
When you stay with a host family, you will be treated as part of the family and expected to take an active part in home life. It is the norm in UK families for all household members to look after the home. It is not common to have domestic help from a maid or cleaner. Although you will not be required to do any major cleaning, there are some tasks you will be responsible for:
- Tidying your bedroom so it can be cleaned.
- Arranging your laundry ready for washing, or washing it yourself if you prefer. Drying and ironing your laundry.
- Cleaning the bathroom after you have used it.
- Tidying away any belongings you have left around the house.
- Clearing away any food or snacks that you prepare.
From time to time your host might ask you to take part in other domestic tasks, and this should be viewed as an opportunity to experience everyday life in the UK.
Do I need to be aware of any ‘House Rules’?
As a guest in the host family’s home, you should be respectful of their rules and routines. It is recommended that you ask for details on any family curfews, whether hosts prefer to be notified when your friends visit and the host’s smoking policy if applicable. If you expect to return home later than normal or if there is any change to your routine, always inform your host. Let your host know if you expect to be away for a night or weekend.
Do exchange mobile phone numbers with your host on arrival so that you can contact each other when necessary.
How much does Homestay cost?
Your booking confirmation letter will detail the full cost of the range of Homestay services provided. Unless agreed otherwise, your payment normally covers accommodation, laundry, heating, internet connection (if available and agreed), dinner (weekdays only) and daily breakfast.
Can I contact the host before arrival?
Yes, we recommend it. When you are allocated to a host family, you will be given some basic background information for them and their contact details. It is a good idea to write or email them before you arrive to introduce yourself. This is an opportunity to get to know your Homestay a little in advance – you could tell them where you are from, what hobbies or activities you like to do, and what you are looking forward to about staying in Preston.
Who do I contact if there are problems with the Homestay?
The Welfare Manager is responsible for the security, health, safety and welfare of all students. They will be your main point of contact to assist with any issues or queries you have, whether relating to the Homestay or any other aspect of adjusting to life in the United Kingdom. You can contact them by telephone or email, or meet them in person at PAE.
We also provide all students with an out-of-hours number for any emergencies. Those way students can be assured of having the support of an experienced member of the PAE team at all times, in any emergency situation.
Can I change my mind about the homestay after confirming with PAE? Yes, you can. Preston Academy of English works hard to match compatible students and hosts, but students can contact the Welfare Manager to cancel or request transfer to a different host family at any time, before or after arrival. If you have any concerns speak to the Welfare Manager as early as possible.
Please be advised cancellation fees and administration charges may apply in cases of curtailment or cancellation of Homestay accommodation. Check your booking confirmation letter for full details.