What to Expect from your Homestay Experience in London

The accommodation you choose is an important consideration when you study abroad in London. If you think a homestay might be for you, it’s time to find out more!

I know from experience that coming to study in the UK is a very big step. If, like many students, you’re feeling a little nervous you might find that the comfort and security of staying with a host family provides the best introduction to British life.

Staying in a Homestay: London Life Awaits

When it comes to choosing a homestay, London has local families who are willing to have you stay with them as a guest. Before, however, you make a decision you should understand what to expect. 

Your Hosts

It takes a special kind of family to open their house to a homestay. London hosts are chosen for their ability to provide a welcoming and friendly environment to their student guests, and Britannia’s representatives visit every one of their host families to assess the property in accordance with British Council standards.

I think that getting to know each other is a really important part of a homestay. London families are usually just as keen to learn about your culture as you are to learn about theirs, so over time it’s common for you to form a close bond. I’ve found that the more effort you put in, the more you will get out of the experience, and I’ve personally made some really good and lasting friendships.

The Accommodation

According to your budget and requirements, you can choose to stay anywhere in the London transport zones 2-5, with a range of catering options (see below). Depending on the host, you may have the option of staying in a twin room (where you will share with another student) or have a single room to yourself. With Britannia, you can also choose from standard or superior accommodation.  

What’s Included?

In terms of which meals are provided, you can choose several options:

  • Bed and breakfast: just breakfast is provided
  • Half board: breakfast and evening meal provided
  • Self-catering: no meals provided but you have full use of the kitchen

You will be expected to keep your room tidy and show respect to the rest of the house, but room cleaning and a linen change (towels and sheets) are provided once a week. You’ll have access to the laundry facilities, and while in some instances your host may offer to do your washing, you should not expect it.

Final Tips for a Happy Homestay

Staying with a family in their own home is a fantastic way to improve your English language skills in a real-life situation outside the classroom. It also provides a unique opportunity to experience the British lifestyle. I’ve got a few final tips that I think will help make it as enjoyable as possible:

  • Transport is not included so make sure you factor in those costs when deciding on an area
  • Be honest in your communication with your host family
  • Speak as much as you can to improve your English language skills
  • Be helpful and considerate of the house rules/schedules
  • Be open to building genuine relationships

And, my final word of advice is to keep an open heart and make the most of this wonderful experience as part of a British family.

If you’ve decided to study abroad, one of the most important aspects of your planning is your accommodation. Britannia Student Services has an expert team of friendly advisors who can help you make the right decision on where to stay. They’re on hand with a wealth of knowledge to ensure you experience is memorable in all the right ways.

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