Host Family FAQ
- Can we take our students out with us?
You are welcome to take your student out with you and we encourage this wherever possible. Whether for a meal, the cinema or meeting up with family friends, students often enjoy these things and many will come from families where they enjoy activities and socialising together.
If you are feeling more adventurous, students are always keen to go to London, as well as other UK cities with you.
- Do I need to set Household Rules?
Host families are strongly advised to implement household rules with the student from the outset of their stay with you. We would recommend that they are discussed during the first few days after the student has arrived in your home and may include the timings of the meals, which fruit and snacks are ‘help yourself,’ how to use and leave the bathroom after use, what time they need to be home etc. Many of these can be done through chatting together as you introduce them to your home and family.
- How are the students selected?
Each student goes through a selection process including an English interview and school tests, in order to ensure that they are well suited for the programme. Each student also submits their current school reports, teachers recommendation and application form to ensure they can cope with their academic studies and life in the UK.
- How long will the student stay for?
Each student is different, with some wishing to come for a term and ‘try’ the experience to those planning on coming until they finish university. Students may stay for as little as one term, an academic year and some will stay for several years until they have finished their secondary schooling in the UK. We also understand that hosts’ circumstances can change during this time, and the commitment to host for a long period of time can seem daunting, and if this happens we can arrange for the student to be moved.
- What age are the students?
The students on the programme are aged 11 – 19. Some will join us for year 7 (1st year at high school), while others will join in other years. The main entry points are year 10 (GCSE) and year 12 (A Levels), but students can come at any age.
- What do students do at weekends?
At weekends students will often study, along with contacting family and friends at home. They may go out and meet up with their friends, go to the cinema or go shopping.
- What if I encounter problems with the student’s behaviour?
We expect all of our students to behave to high standards however, we do recognise that teenagers are not without fault and some may display behaviour which is unacceptable. It may be a misunderstanding or a cultural difference but no problem should be too small to address. All students should adhere to household rules, as well as school rules and UK Law. If you become aware of an issue we recommend discussing it with your student, however if the behaviour does not improve, please contact the Alpha Guardians Team for advice and support.
- What is required to be a host family?
The main thing we look for is a safe and secure home where students can live, study and relax.
They also require the following:
- Bed, wardrobe and drawers, including desk and chair
- Household facilities including a daily shower, heating, lighting and internet connection
- Regular, nutritious meals, weekly laundry including bedding and towels
- What type of food will the student eat?
Students are expected to eat what you and your family are eating each day and we encourage you all to sit together for the evening meal, where you can ask after the students day, and they you. Students let us know in advance of their food preferences and any allergies.
- What type of Host Family are you looking for?
There is no ‘normal’ family! Our host families come from many different backgrounds, ages and family situations. There are as many different types of students as there are many different types of host families, including single parents, couples with or without children at home and retired people. Whatever your situation, status or background, if you are able to offer a safe and secure home for an student please apply.
- Will I be paid for hosting a student?
You will receive a weekly payment directly into your bank account when the student is living in your home.
- Will my family be able to choose the student?
Matching the right student to the right family is important. We take account of your requests when placing students with you, however, we cannot guarantee that we can fulfil all of your requirements. You may refuse any student you do not feel is appropriate for your family.
Some of the most common frequently asked questions are addressed here.
Alpha Guardians is accredited by AEGIS, the Association for the Education and the Guardianship of International students.