How good does my English have to be?
All students need to have a prior knowledge of English and preferably have studied it for a number of years as you will be placed into an English speaking school, with classes being taught in English. Most students will go through a thorough testing system, including grading their English level prior to embarking on a programme such as this to ensure they can cope with the level of English required as well as being able to adapt to life in the UK, away from their family and friends.
My English is not good enough
We can arrange private additional English tuition to help with this, at an additional cost, from the outset to ensure swift progress in your language skills. We also suggest that you converse with your English speaking host family whenever possible, who will help you build your confidence and encourage you in your language development.
What subjects will I study?
This depends on year of entry, but typically students entering year 10 will study around ten subjects. These will include core subjects such as English, Mathematics and Science as well as optional subjects such as humanities, arts and technology subjects. For year 12 entry, students normally study four subjects of their choice to an in depth level. There is also the option of studying General Studies and completing an Extended Project, both providing additional UCAS points on completion.
How long is my course?
GCSE’s are studied over a two year period, with examinations and assessments which form part of the final mark being completed during this time. A Levels are also studied over a two year period with examinations at the end of each year. Some subjects also have module examinations during the year which form part of the final grade.
Will I have to wear school uniform?
Up to completion on year 11, students are expected to wear full school uniform. Guidance on individual schools uniform policy can be provided on application to a school. For students in sixth form, years 12/13, dress is smart casual.
What will a boarding school be like?
At boarding school, you will most probably be sharing a bedroom and the bathrooms, and you will have a house parents who lives on the premises who will be there to look after you. You will need to adapt to community life and a lack of privacy. However, this has its advantages in that you will be surrounded by other young people, and many students make life-long friends. All students are in the same situation and understand the occasional times when you may feel homesick.
A great advantage of boarding school life is the wide range of activities and experiences, which gives you the opportunity to develop a multitude of skills and interests that can often contribute to career development.
What will my host family be like?
Host families come from a range of different backgrounds and ages. They could be single people or families with children, white British or from a different ethnic background, working or not … Yet one thing that they do have in common is that they are English-speaking, have an interest in meeting people from different cultures and a desire to make your stay enjoyable, providing a safe place for you to live and meet your daily needs.
Each of our host families goes through a vigorous application and interview procedure, followed by the taking of references and DBS checks (Police checks) to ensure suitability. Our hosts have to attend a training course prior to having a student placed in their care which provides additional information to the host such as transition to life in the UK and student safety, ensuring the best possible preparation for the host to care for the student placed in their care. After this process is complete, we endeavour to profile both the students and host families, matching as many requests and interests, likes and dislikes as possible. Once this is complete, we can introduce you to your new host family, enabling you to build relationships and get to know each other throughout the summer, prior to your arrival. Throughout your time in the UK under our guardianship, we remain in regular contact with you and your host to ensure your stay is an enjoyable one.
What happens if I don’t like my host family?
We understand that sometimes a placement just does not work out and although, if possible, we will try and facilitate any issues or concerns between student, host, parents and agent, sometimes it is necessary to move a student. When this happens we will liaise with all concerned to try and find a timely alternative, hopefully minimising any disruption to the students schooling.
I would like to request a particular type of family, is this possible?
Yes it is. Whether you would like a quiet retired family or a family with children or no children at all, we will endeavour to meet any requests you may have.
Will you meet me at the airport and how often will I see the Guardianship Team after that? We offer free transport dates when the majority of our students fly into the UK and we personally accompany all of these trips, ensuring students are met in the airport terminal, get safely through customs and can manage all their luggage before getting on a chartered coach to Suffolk. Your host family will come and collect you once we arrive at our destination.
After this, the Guardianship Team will accompany you on your first day of school (wherever possible), meeting with the school staff, ensuring everything is in place for a smooth start at your school. You will then receive regular visits both at your homestay and at school to ensure you are settling well along with interim communications. You are able to contact us via phone, email, text and social media.
Outside office hours, we can be contacted by the Emergency phone, to which all students and hosts have the number.
I would like to continue some of the hobbies I had before coming to the UK. Is this possible?
Yes and we strongly encourage this. Tuition and additional lessons can be arranged and some schools are able to offer music lessons as well as school orchestras or choirs. Schools offer extra-curricular activities such as sports, crafts and academic subjects. These hobbies and others can also be pursued in the local community. So whatever your hobby, ask, and we shall see what we can arrange.
I have a special diet. Can you accept me?
Yes. We already have a number of students with specific dietary requirements. From lactose intolerance to peanut allergies, coeliacs (gluten) to vegetarians, we endeavour to cater for all students and will find a host that is able to manage a specialised diet. If this is you, please state this on your application form, so we can make provision for you as early as possible. This may incur an additional cost.
How to Apply
Please complete the enquiry form here and we will send you an application form for you to fill in, and a list of supporting documentation that is required.