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Host Family

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Why do we need a guardian for our son or daughter?

Most independent schools in the UK require their international students to have a UK based guardian who will (when necessary) respond to any emergency arrangement concerning the student. They will also expect them to provide a homestay/transport arrangement for times when the school is closed (exeat and half terms) and be in constant contact with the school.

What is a host family/homestay arrangement?

A ‘Host family’ – is a UK based family that will host your son or daughter in their home during school closure (exeat or half term). An ‘Academic’ host family will be thoroughly checked and vetted and will have been visited by a member of staff to check their home before a student stays there.
A ‘homestay’ – is the home of the host family where your son or daughter will be staying.

Can a family member act as a guardian?

Yes! A family member can act as guardian as long as they are over 25 years old and not living in halls of residence. What is important to consider is if they are always available for exeats and half terms or the odd day at the end of term or in emergency situations. This can be a burden to family members or friends and therefore we would advise you to seek the services of an AEGIS accredited guardianship company (preferably Academic Guardians)

Which guardianship package should I choose?

It would be the Premium or Standard package dependent on the age of your son or daughter. What you may also need to consider is: if it’s their first time in the UK, would you like us to attend Parents evening on your behalf. Please refer to our Guardianship Packages page on the website where we have listed all the services and what package they are included in.

Can I change guardianship package?

You can ‘upgrade’ your package at any time. If you want to ‘downgrade’ your package we ask that you do this at the end
of the academic year.

What is considered an emergency?

An emergency is a situation that poses an immediate risk to health and or life. Or where you need immediate action to be taken to prevent the worsening of a situation.

When is the office open?

08:00am – 20:00pm (Monday to Friday)
08:00am – 12:00pm (Saturday)
Closed (Sunday)
Anytime outside those hours are for emergencies only.
Any emails received outside these times will be answered
as soon as the office is next open.

What other costs aren’t included in the guardianship service fee?

•Homestay fees from £30 per night
•Transport Academic Staff, Host family 0.45 pence per mile
•Airport Transfers (quotes will be given)
•Additional visit to School £50
•Academic Staff Accompaniment day £75 + Mileage
•Extra arrangements (not included in your current
package) £50
•Unscheduled homestay/transport arrangements outside
School term dates £25

What if my son or daughter doesn’t like their host family?

If your son or daughter has tried staying with their family
and doesn’t like it for any reason we are happy to change
to an alternate family before they have their next arrangement.
If they need an immediate change – this can also be
arranged and we will find a family as close as possible to the current family.

Who is my son or daughters guardian?

Dawn and Andrew Kettle will be your appointed guardians in the UK. A common mistake is that your host families are your appointed guardians (this isn’t the case). The host families are only the point of contact when your son or daughter is staying
at their house. All other contact should be made directly with
a member of the team in the office.

What is a Local Co-ordinator?

They are the regional representatives of Academic Guardians UK. Their role is to provide year-round support to host families and students in their region or local area.


Can I or my parents select our host family?

Yes, you can. We will give you 3 profiles of families that are the closest match to your requirements, from there you can choose which family you feel is the best match for you.

Do I stay with the same host family throughout the terms?

Yes. Where possible we try and keep you with the same family (unless you prefer to change) this way continuity is maintained and you won’t have to ‘get to know’ a different family from scratch for every exeat and half term.

What happens if I don’t get along with my host family?

If you don’t get on with your family we will move you to another family for your next holiday. If you want to move part way through the homestay, we are happy to arrange this, however it might mean that you stay with a temporary family who may not live in your preferred location.

Do I get some freedom with my host family or do I have to follow their schedule and activities?

Dependant upon your age you will have to abide by certain guidelines that we implement for our families: such as times to return home. Further information on this is explained in the student handbook.

What are my responsibilities when I am staying at my host family?

We want you to relax as much as possible and treat your homestay as your home. We would ask you to be polite and courteous to all the family members. Let the host family know where you are at all times, exchange telephone numbers and ensure if you aren’t coming home for dinner you let the family know in good time.

Can my parents visit me during my stay with my host family?

If your parents are in the UK and wish to visit the host family,
we would be happy to arrange this. Please bear in mind that
you must give adequate us notice.*
*You must give us 3 weeks so that we can make the appropriate arrangements.

Will I have my own bedroom?

Yes you will, unless you prefer to stay in a twin room with a friend. All students staying on their own for exeats or half terms will have either a single or double room for their purposes
only. All homestays will have a desk and wireless internet to enable study.

What will my host family supply to me during my stay?

The host family will provide you with a welcoming environment, 3 meals a day with snacks and room of your own (unless you have asked to share). All bedrooms will have a bed, wardrobe, study desk, lamp & wireless internet. Laundry facilities & clean towels are also provided.

Why do families apply to host a student?

Families apply for a variety of reasons, some for a little extra income, some because their children have left home, some to teach (English). Whatever their reason for applying each family is carefully checked to ensure they provide a warm welcoming environment with the good facilities in a safe area.

What happens if I am scheduled to be with my host family one weekend and I have been asked to go on a trip with my school friend and their family? Is that possible?

Yes that is possible, if you require cancellation of a homestay arrangement please be aware that we have a cancellation policy which becomes payable dependent upon how far in advance of the arrangement date you cancel. Please see Terms and Conditions for further information on our cancellation policy.

What should I bring when I am going to my host family?

You will only need to bring clothes, items to wash with, a small amount of pocket money and your mobile and mobile device (laptop, tablet etc).

How will I get to my host family to and from school?

There are a number of methods to travel to your host family,
the main thing to remember is unless you tell us otherwise we will ensure we arrange safe reliable transport for you either from an Academic driver, a local taxi company (known to the school) or your chosen host family.


Do the students speak English?

Yes they do, although some students may be more conversant than others.

Can we host more than one student at a time?

You can host up to 3 students at a time for us. If you are hosting students from a different company we do ask that you make us aware of this prior to the arrangement.

What are the availability options to be a host family?

Typically we would need a homestay arrangement for our students 3 times in a school term (possibly more), 2 exeat weekends (2/3 nights) or half terms from 9 nights.

How is the student selected to be in a host family?

Given the information we gather from you, the student, their parents or agent in relation to hosting (location, room, children ages, pets etc). We match the student as closely as we can with the family that satisfies most or all of the requirements.

What happens if a host family has trouble with the student?

Students are expected to be polite and courteous at all times. We have a 24 hour helpline for emergencies or for not so urgent enquiries you can contact us during office open hours 08:00am – 20:00pm. We will aim to sort out the issue to both parties satisfaction. If this cannot be achieved it may mean that we have to find an alternate homestay.

Do host families get paid, if so when?

Yes you do. Rates are dependant upon your location and facilities (ie ensuite bathroom etc). Our local coordinator will advise you of the rate when they with visit you. We make payment at the end of the homestay arrangement on receipt of the expense form. If you do require payment up front please contact Dawn and she will arrange this.

To become a host family, what kind of accommodation is required?

We require full board accommodation in a nicely furnished spare single room as a minimum, with a desk and lamp as most students like to take the time to study.

I work full time, can I still host?

Unfortunately not for us, we require an adult member of the household at home at all times. As we are guardians to students under the age of 18.

Will I need a CRB before I apply?

No, as we undertake the CRB/DBS for each family member
over 16.

If I take my student out, will I be expected to pay for his/her expenses?

It depends, meals out will be covered in your fee per night. However, cinema trips or entrance fees to local attractions will be reimbursed in full for the student along with transport at 0.45 pence per mile.

Is the student allowed to invite friends and family to my house?

This depends on what you prefer, if its friends or families visiting for the day or for a few hours then we would expect the student to ask your permission.
Frequently students ask for their friends to stay in the same host family as them, for the duration of the exeat/half term. In this instance we would check if you have adequate room (additional bed) or room and make the necessary arrangements with you beforehand.

This is my first time hosting, what if there is something I don’t understand or am unsure of?

Hopefully a lot of your questions, will be answered either by these frequently asked questions or our ‘Host Family Handbook’ however if there is something you are unsure of, you can either email or telephone us. Or when our local co-ordinator comes to visit you, this would be a great opportunity to ask any questions you need answers to.

In case of accident or illness who do we contact?

If the accident or illness is not serious but you would like some medical advice please call 111 (24 hour medical advice line). For serious illness or injury call 999 immediately. In both instances you should also place a call to a member of the Academic Guardians team, our 24 hour line is +44 (0)7931 954106.