Welcome to OUTrip Languages' Host Families
Living in a homestay can be one of the most rewarding and interesting parts of your visit to England or Ireland. You will have the chance to experience the culture first hand and, of course, to speak English!
You will be living in someone’s home so it may be a good idea to ask your host if there are any special rules to remember. Here are some general tips for living in an English homestay.
1. Living with a HF
We would like to make sure that you have a great time with your “new family”. When you arrive at your Host Family, remember to introduce yourself in English. You will be treated as a family member while you are here in Hastings. Some English or Irish customs may be a little different to those in your country. Don’t worry! If you have any questions about the difference in customs your homestay or the school staff will be happy to help. In order to improve your communication skills in English, here are a few key points you can follow:
• Have breakfast and dinner with your homestay host and family every day
• Ask them about their day
• Watch television together
• Ask if they have board games to play, such as Monopoly or Scrabble
• Try to spend time with them in the evening eg. walking their dog in the evenings
Breakfast in England usually consists of toast, cereal, fruit juice, tea and coffee. A cooked English breakfast is sometimes eaten at the weekend. The lunch pack normally consists of sandwiches, fruit, chocolate and a drink. The main meal in England usually consists of meat, poultry or fish with vegetables, pasta or bread.
Remember that home cooked food is part of the cultural experience so don’t be afraid of trying something new! If you have any dietary requirements or there is a food that you don’t like or are allergic to please tell your host – they want to know! If you are going to be late or absent from a meal please inform your host.
3. Your room
Please keep your room clean and tidy by making the bed and putting clothes away. It lifts your
mood to go back home to a nice and tidy room.
4. Bath and showers
There is often only one bathroom in the home. Everybody needs to use it so please ask your host when the best time to use it is. Always leave baths, showers, washbasins and toilets clean.
As other people share the bathroom, please refrain from washing your clothes and hanging them in the bathroom. Your host family is happy to wash your clothes in the washing machine.
Many families have water meters installed which means that the family has to pay for the water they use, so they would really appreciate it if you could have quick showers and showers instead of baths (where possible) and turn the taps off when you clean your teeth etc. The family will wash your clothes once a week as well.
6. Money & valuables
Never carry large amounts of money on you and don’t leave valuables or money in your room. Your homestay cannot be held responsible for it. Always remember never to leave your bag or valuables unattended in public places or buildings.
If you are going to be late, please inform your host. Please do not make too much noise, especially
late at night.
If you have any problems with your room, the house or your family try to speak to your host about it – they will try to help you. Alternatively, the school is also happy to help with any problem, big or small, so do not hesitate to go and talk to us. Most situations can be solved with a little patience, good humour and understanding!
We hope you enjoy your time in an English homestay. Make the most of it and do not be afraid to speak, eat and live English!