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Sitting within three boroughs (Lewisham, Bromley and Southwark), Sydenham is a diverse neighbourhood in South East London that just under 25,000 residents call home. Today, it’s one of the most requested areas for international students to stay in while they visit London; and so here at HFS London, we’re actively scouting for host families in the area.

Offering a more realistic experience of living in the UK than just staying in a dorm with other students, HFS London places overseas students with host families for homestays – living in a real house with a genuine local family. This builds character and life experience and is becoming increasingly popular with junior students aged 11-16; as their parents are keen to immerse them in situations where they’ll learn the English language quicker and more colloquially, as well as to feel safer and more secure as part of a functioning family unit.

HFS London receives lots of requests for homestay accommodation in Sydenham and so if you’re living in the area and have a spare bedroom you could potentially rent out, read on!

Why Sydenham?

Historically, Sydenham has been considered an affluent area, but more importantly – a safe one. The perception of the UK (and, in particular, London) isn’t always positive when it comes to crime rates and personal safety, and as we can all appreciate, when arranging travel for their children, parents prioritise safety first. Sydenham is thought of as a very family-friendly area and a nice and well-presented suburb of the city.

What is there to do in Sydenham?

When families host junior students, it’s encouraged that they involve them in their daily family life; to best experience and shape their time in the UK as typically British, but also to help negate any homesickness by allowing them to feel included and valued as part of the family. In Sydenham, our existing host families recommend all of the following activities to keep your junior student guest/s entertained throughout their stay.

Enjoy dessert at Cherry and Ice

Is there any better treat for a child than a good ice cream? Cherry and Ice is a dessert parlour on Sydenham Road, just around the corner from the station. Their vast menu allows mix and match sweet treat ingredients on waffles and in sundaes, and there’s plenty of caffeine on the menu for adults, too. You can head out at the weekend or in the evening after dinner… but make sure you’ve got plenty of room, as portions aren’t stingy.

Take a step back in time at the Crystal Palace Museum

You’ll need to take the tube to Crystal Palace for this one, but it’s Sydenham related – honest! Situated in the only original remaining part of the building it was, it documents the building’s journey between Hyde Park and Sydenham, where it stayed until it was destroyed by fire in the late 1800s. Tours and materials are available in lots of languages, so your student guest needn’t be fluent in English.

Breath in the fresh air at Sydenham Wells Park

A great outdoor space, the local council are keen that Sydenham Wells Park remains an area for the promotion of health and wellbeing; so it’s full of events and activities year-round that are free for residents and can easily be joined in to without having to pre-book.

Become a Host Family in Sydenham

If your spare room in Sydenham is sitting unused and you could do with some extra income, get in touch with the HFS London team today. Hosting a junior student is extra rewarding and you’ll really shape a child’s character with their experience. To learn more about the application process, call or email.

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