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At HFS London we receive enquiries from a large amount of students, who all have different needs. Many of our overseas students are attending language schools or colleges which can be located all across Greater London and beyond. A lot of the schools we work with are based in Holborn, meaning neighbourhoods on the central line are in high demand.

Becoming a host family – Essex

Do you live on the Essex central line loop? Are you interested in housing students on a short-medium term basis to earn some extra cash? If so we want to hear from you!

Residential areas on the central line in zones 2, 3 and 4 have large family homes which are ideal for homestay accommodation. Particular areas we have identified a demand for include Woodford, South Woodford, Snaresbrook, Wanstead, Chigwell, Gants Hill, Redbridge, Newbury Park, and Barkingside.If you have at least one spare room in your home then you could be eligible to become a host family – find out what it entails below.

What does it mean to be a homestay host? 

A homestay host welcomes 10-17 year old students and/or young adults (aged 18 plus) into their home as a paying guest. We often place international students with host families, who are looking for affordable accommodation in great London locations. Homestay accommodation is also suitable for groups – for example, a school trip. As a host family, you could have a couple of students sharing a twin room for a week while they explore London, or one student may stay for a few months while they complete a language course.

Being a host family is not the same as running a B&B. When a student chooses a homestay, they are looking for more than a spare room. By hosting a young person, you will play an important part in helping them find their feet in a new city a million miles from home. It is also a fantastic opportunity to learn about new cultures and make friends across the world. Many of our hosts stay in contact with guests long after they depart, and both host families and students tell us what a rewarding experience they have had.

Part of the cultural exchange is experiencing new cuisines, and host families do need to be willing to include their guests in family meals. Students can choose a range of meal options including full board, half board or breakfast only. Some may choose a self-catering option and may wish to use your kitchen to cook their own meals. Younger students under 18 will often choose an all-inclusive meal plan as it’s what they are used to back home!

The First Step

It doesn’t matter what kind of family or living arrangement you currently have – if you have a spare room in your own home, and a willingness to welcome international guests, then you can apply to become a host. It’s not a complicated process – simply fill out the application form and we’ll arrange for one of our inspectors to come and have a look around and discuss hosting with you.  Get in contact if you’d like more information.

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