If you’re coming to London as an international student, and you’re planning to stay in homestay accommodation organised through HFS London, you may have a few questions about what the experience is like and what to expect during your time in the city.
Here we’ll try and answer some of these questions, so you can arrive in your family accommodation in London excited to start your new chapter.
Get in touch early-on
Once your host and homestay has been confirmed, you’ll receive their contact details, so we recommend getting in touch with them before you arrive. It’s a good idea to introduce yourself and get to know them, as it can make things a little easier when you arrive. This way they can get everything ready for you, and make the moving-in process as pleasant as possible! You’ll find that your host will be looking forward to meeting you and welcome you into their home.
It’s like staying with family
Our homestay hosts are friendly and will do their best to make the homestay as easy and enjoyable as possible for you. We communicate with your host through the process too, so they know that this might be a big move for you, and will do their best to make everything go as smoothly as possible.
Having a more homely environment to go back to each evening after class is a really comforting thing, and it means you’ll have company most days (even on the days when you’re not in school). Many international students find this reassuring. It means there will be someone to talk to or exchange a smile with.
You don’t need to limit your socialising in a homestay
Living in a homestay doesn’t limit you to only spending time with your host. Quite the opposite in fact! Staying in a London homestay, which is often in a great location, gives you the chance to have a secure base, a homely environment and a helpful point of support in your host – but it doesn’t mean you can’t go out with your course friends or school friends! Our hosts will encourage you to make friends and spend time in the city exploring – most of our hosts will recommend restaurants, cafes, cinemas and malls to the students who stay with them.
Your language skills will improve
Choosing homestay often means you’ll spend more time speaking the local language. You’ll probably find that your English language skills improve quickly whilst staying in a family friendly home, because you’ll be speaking to your host in English most days.
It’s one of the biggest advantages to a homestay, as you host may even be able to teach you new things about the language and the culture.
You’ll hopefully make friends with your host
Many people become friends with their host families, and even remain in contact after leaving the country. This is one of the many great things about homestays and staying with local families! The connections and friendships can last far longer than the course itself.