We are always pleased to welcome new Host Families to British Homestays. If you are interested in providing accommodation for young foreign students, between the ages of 12 – 21 (or their leaders) then complete the Sign Up Form and we will contact you to discuss this matter further.
No matter how large or small your home is, if you have a spare room and can accommodate 2, 3 or 4 guests then why not earn yourself an additional income providing a home from home. The students are out all day between 8.00am and 6.30pm so it is necessary to provide bed & breakfast, a packed lunch and an evening meal. Wherever possible, the evening meal should be eaten with the host family. This gives the opportunity of conversing with the students, learning about each other’s culture and making them welcome. Please read our FAQs for more information.
The majority of students are from Austria, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan or Spain. We are able to provide for short stay groups typically between 4 – 10 days.
Click here to see our FAQs page, Host Family requirements and Sign Up Form
Become a Host
Do I need a DBS?
A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Certificate is not a legal requirement for short term stays. Although being in possession of a certificate is beneficial.
When will I be paid?
Payment is made via a bank transfer on the day before the group departs. However, if the group leaves on a Sunday or Bank Holiday it will be paid the next working day.
Where are the meeting points?
There are three meeting points – West Wickham and Shirley Baptist Church – Eden Park Railway Station, Beckenham – Addington Village Road.
Will I need a car?
Yes, as students and their luggage need transporting to and from the Meeting Point.
Do I pay tax on my earnings?
Does anyone visit my home?
A member of our team will make an appointment to visit your premises. The purpose of this visit is to inspect the student’s bedroom(s) and the communal areas of the home. It is also the time to complete the necessary documents and get to know you. This meeting will take approximately an hour. We carry out further visits from time to time ensuring our standards are being met.
What happens if students damage my property?
To make a claim you must notify us and the group leader before the group departs, please provide evidence e.g photographs to support your claim.
How many students can I have?
Between two and four, depending on facilities available.
I am happy to host adults?
You can but bunk beds are not acceptable in this situation.
Will I have to give my students internet access
Yes, as all young people today would expect it to be available.
Are students allowed out in the evening?
No, unless over 18 and it is agreed by group leader
Special dietary requirements?
We will endeavour to inform you in advance of any dietary requirements, allergies, etc
What about pets?
Pets are fine, but you need to tell us what animals you have to avoid hosting students that may be affected by them.
Do the students speak English?
Most students speak some English with often one in the group who is more confident and can translate for the others.
What happens in an emergency?
If you are concerned about any of your guest welfare, please contact your Homestays representative who will then contact the group leader who can talk to student in their own language.
Normally no, as it is a short stay but on the odd occasion you may be asked to wash their “smalls”.
Single, double or bunk beds. A place to hang clothes/store clothes. Working blinds or curtains at window and a waste bin. A door that closes securely (but doesn’t lock). Waterproof mattress protectors on beds are essential. Please remove all personal, valuable or easily damaged items from the room
Use of other rooms in house?
Your guests should have access to any communal rooms in your home such as living room, dining room bathroom and their bedroom. In the event of using a shared bathroom guidelines should be given to the students regarding timing.
Safety in the home?
Home safety is vitally important for your own benefit but even more important when you are hosting.
Boilers and gas appliances should be regularly inspected and serviced.
Working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are required.
Emergency escape routes should be known, and this information passed on to students.
Be aware of food hygiene and safe food storage.
Always contact us if you are unsure of anything
We do not discriminate against race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, culture or nationality when taking on new host families and we ask you to treat your international guests in the same way.
Cancellation of bookings?
We will give you advance notification of a cancellation allowing you to make alternative arrangements, we would ask you to treat us in the same way. If you cancel at short notice without good reason you could risk being excluded for future bookings.
How do I receive information on bookings?
Much of our communication today is by WhatsApp which is universal and free (providing you are connected to wifi). Therefore, having a fully charged working smart phone is an asset. Booking dates and meeting point information is normally transmitted this way. We of course still talk to people and use the post office from time to time!
Provide full board accommodation, including breakfast, lunch and an evening meal.
Cereals, toast (2 slices per guest), jams, chocolate spread, marmalade, tea/coffee/chocolate and juice.
1 round of sandwiches (thick bread) or 2 rolls, containing meat or cheese and salad plus crisps a chocolate biscuit/cake, piece of fruit, bottle of squash or tap water.
Shepherds Pie, steak pie, Spaghetti Bolognaise, chicken, hamburgers, sausages, fish and chips, casserole, mild curry or pizza.
Desserts: Fruit, ice cream, yoghourt, chocolate dessert, cheesecake or crème caramel.
(Experience shows us that it is best to put the food on the table in separate dishes. Your guests are then able to serve themselves and this can help overcome any difficulty with regards to different tastes or diet requirements and also saves waste.)
The main reason for these visits is so the guests can experience our language and culture in a safe friendly home environment.
Host families are asked to eat dinner with their guests and allow them to integrate in family life.
e.g. converse over dinner, invite them into the family rooms, introduce them to family members and any animals.
Internet and communications are an important part of everyday life and guests should be able to connect into your Wi-Fi and freely charge their mobile devices as required.
Use of the shower/bathroom for guests should be flexible to their needs, whilst fitting in with normal family activities. We are not liable for soiled mattresses, therefore waterproof mattress protectors must be used at all times. Do not leave freestanding televisions/ monitors in student rooms.
Allow access to the garden but under no circumstances are the guests under 18 allowed to leave or be left at your home without adult supervision. You must escort students to and from meeting points and to arrive as per itinerary states.
If you have any questions regarding any of the above or are unsure about diet, food quantities or a guest is not well etc. please contact Elaine for clarification.
We will contact you by WhatsApp, please reply asap to any requests for information