Every year lots and lots of young people come to the UK to learn English to a good standard. English is considered the global language, and London is renowned as a world class education centre and a great place to live and study. We’ve noticed that overseas parents are sending their children to the UK to study English at younger and younger ages, to give them a headstart in the rest of their studies or their careers.
With this in mind, we’re seeing a surge in demand from the 16 & 17 age group. For example, in 2017 it is estimated that compared to 2016 there was a . Some of these students come for the summer to study English intensively, while others may take on a longer language course. We need London hosts families therefore who are willing to accommodate younger guests because the demand is growing so much!
Here at HFS London, we only place students aged 16 and above. Our core age group for all homestay guests therefore is 16-21, with lots of students arriving aged 18 or 19. Practically there is not much difference between hosting a 16 or 17 year old and an 18 or 19 year old, however there are more legal requirements. Anybody under the age of 18 is legally considered a child, so host families have to undergo more stringent checks. However, there are many advantages if you’re willing to accommodate under-18s – read below to see why you should consider it.
Reasons to Host 16 and 17 Year Olds
HFS London will pay a weekly supplement to all hosts when they host a 16 or 17 year old student. The supplement is per guest so if you have more than one room available,or if you have a twin room, you could be earning more money. Your hosting duties broadlyremain the same yet it pays more to host younger students.
We find that host families who are willing to welcome under-18s into their home are kept busier year round – further increasing their earning potential. As well as long term language students we also help to accommodate large groups of young people on trips, so the more flexible a host is with guests, the more money they can make from homestay.
If part of your reasoning for becoming a host was to meet new people, learn about different cultures or fill an empty nest, then perhaps accommodating a 16 or 17 year old would be more fulfilling. Students aged 18 or over are likely to be more independent and enjoy going out with friends – they might not spend too much time in your home. Junior students who are a little younger may need a bit of extra support and emotional guidance, which many hosts enjoy giving. It’s fulfilling to help a young person settle into a new place, and cheer them up when they’re feeling homesick.
If you would like to be considered as a host to younger students, you’ll have to agree to further safeguarding procedures and an enhanced “home based” DBS check. However this isn’t much of an inconvenience for the potential rewards of hosting 16 and 17 year olds. Contact us to find out more.