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HFS London accommodates international students visiting the UK for study and work placements by hosting them with local families in order to allow them to really ‘live’ in London rather than just stay. This has long been a successful venture with locals in helping foster unity in the community with their student guests, and the biggest growing sector within homestays is junior students – that is, those aged 11-16 who are travelling alone (i.e. without their parents, although still part of a wider study group) to study.

As a result, we’re now looking for extra-special host families who can take on this challenge and host junior students in their spare rooms. There’s a little more effort required than there would be with adult students, but it’s really rewarding and comes with greater financial incentives. At present, HFS London have prioritised Deptford as a focus area for host families – so if you live in the neighbourhood, read on!

Why Deptford?

Sitting on the south bank of the River Thames, Deptford has experienced vast regeneration over the last few years and is fast becoming a destination for visitors to the capital. A largely residential area, it’s well-connected transport wise and its investment and modernisation has improved the perception of the area as a safe and family-friendly place to stay: which is, of course, a high priority for parents choosing a neighbourhood for their children to stay in.

What is there to do in Deptford?

Junior students tend to have some structured extra-curricular activities outside of study times programmed into their stay, but these are often quite tourist-y and don’t necessarily reflect real working life in the UK. HFS London always encourage host families to involve their junior student guests as much as possible as they can with family life, and part of this is attending events or activities within the local community. These are just some Deptford-based suggestions to help give such experiences.

Visit St Paul’s Church

A fantastic example of British baroque architecture, St Paul’s is a really interesting church for visitors to see. Services are free to attend should you wish to, or you can just walk around the interior and exterior exploring the grounds. In the summer, take a picnic and enjoy the good weather amongst the numerous colourful flowers.

Indulge in cockney cuisine at Manze’s

You can’t get more South London than a pie, mash and liqour… and there’s only one place for it! Manze’s is still owned by the Manze family and their pie recipes remain a closely guarded secret. Sample proper London delicacies including jellied eels with no need to book ahead.

Shop local at Deptford Market

You won’t find artisanal cheeses or craft coffee at Deptford Market, but you will find a brilliantly multi-cultural traditional British high street market that sells everything you probably don’t need. It’s not gentrified, not particularly pretty and not exotic, but it is friendly, fascinating and proper bloody British!

Become a Host Family in Deptford

Anyone with a spare bedroom living in Deptford is able to apply to become an HFS London host family for junior students. An Enhanced Homebased DBS check will be carried out for safety purposes and full training given, but once complete, your home can be added to the HFS London portfolio and the parents and carers of junior students can indicate their interest in their child staying with you. It’s a fantastic way to help introduce others to the UK and foster unity in the community alongside earning some extra cash… so what are you waiting for? Give us a call!

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