Why Become a Host Family?

Hosting an international student can be an eye-opening experience, providing exposure to people and places many of our hosts may never have the opportunity to visit first-hand. By becoming a host family, you’ll experience a true cultural exchange, sharing knowledge of your culture whilst learning about the many different cultures represented by our students. Often families build lasting relationships with their students.

Hosting Foreign Students

Host Family responsibilities

  • Provide a warm welcome and treat the student like one of the family
  • Advise the student about the homestay neighbourhood and their route to school
  • Allow access to common areas in the house (e.g. kitchen, living room, garden) and to keep these shared areas clean and tidy
  • Furnish bedrooms with a comfortable, standard bed, wardrobe, drawers and study desk
  • Student rooms should be cleaned weekly and fresh bed linen and towels provided
  • Give access to the laundry facilities so students can launder their own clothes
  • Where provided meals should be shared with the family and be varied and nutritional
  • Keep the school informed about any problems the student may be experiencing
  • Respect students’ different cultural backgrounds and to be sensitive to their particular needs
  • Encourage the students to practice their speaking at home
  • Be present in the home during the student’s stay
  • Supply a key so the student can have easy access to the homestay
  • Provide adequate bathing facilities so students can take a daily bath or shower

School responsibilities

  • Handles invoicing and student payment for all accommodation costs
  • Remunerates host families on a fortnightly basis direct to host family bank accounts
  • Matches students to host families according to the meal plan option offered by the host family
  • Gives feedback from student’s evaluations regarding their homestay
  • Provide details of student arrival times where students have booked an airport transfer
  • School accommodation officers will liaise between the student and host family when issues arise and will find alternative accommodation for the student where issues cannot be resolved
  • Provides an emergency phone number so that students and host families are able to speak to LSI staff outside office hours and provide assistance where necessary

How we place students

For LSI, it’s essential that hosting students is a positive experience for both our students and host families. When students apply for homestay accommodation they are asked to fill out their requirements and preferences. The school accommodation officer will then find the best host family match. Whatever the request, whether it’s a special dietary need, a wish to stay in a family with young children or a home with no pets, LSI will accommodate students in the most suitable homestay for them.

Similarly our host families can also express their preferences. Some families prefer to have older students, or maybe are only able to offer B & B. The school accommodation officers use their knowledge of host families to place the students in the most appropriate accommodation. LSI has a good success rate in matching students to host families with many students spending their entire stay with the same family.

Once LSI receives a student’s registration form, the student will usually be placed with a family no later than two weeks before the student’s arrival date. Host families are provided with basic information about the student including their age and nationality and students are sent a profile of the family they will be staying with.

At busy times and with late bookings, host families may be contacted at short notice. However host families can always decline a student if the circumstances are not right for the host family.

The Screening Process

Who can become an LSI host family? Our host families include retired couples, families with children, single people and professional couples, the unifying factor is the willingness to provide a warm, homely environment where LSI students are treated as family members. Many of our families are from diverse cultural backgrounds and may speak other languages, but all host families will speak the local language as a near native speaker and be able to share knowledge of the local culture with their students.

Once LSI receives a request to become a host family, an application form will be sent out. The school accommodation officer will then arrange a visit to view the accommodation, both the common areas and the room allocated to the student. The family will be asked to supply details about themselves, including interests and hobbies, and this information would then be used to create the family profile that is sent to any student. The host family profile is used to find suitable matches between a host family and LSI students.

Where a host family’s application is successful, they are contacted by the school and maybe asked to provide additional information such as a gas safety certificate, a fire risk assessment or even, if the family will host minors, a criminal record check.

After all the final checks have been completed, the host family will be ready to receive their first student.

Remuneration

Students pay their accommodation costs directly to the LSI school where they are studying. LSI then remunerates the host families on a fortnightly basis. Payments are made by bank transfer.

  • Accommodation rates are paid on a daily rate on a breakfast only, half board or full board basis
  • Payments for accommodation upgrades available eg private bathroom, more central locations, special diets
  • High season supplements paid between June and August (US, Canadian & UK schools)

For specific accommodation rates contact the relevant LSI school.

We believe it’s key to happy and warm relationship that students feel integrated into the family rather than being seen as paying guests. By removing direct financial contact it removes possible sources of tension, conflict and alienation. For this reason LSI requires host families to inform us directly when any changes are requested by the students, and LSI will adjust the host family’s payments accordingly.

Host Family Application

Sign Up as an LSI Host Family Today! Speak to an LSI representative today to see about hosting our international students. Find out more.

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