FAQ

FAQ about Student-hosting in Herts and Essex and how wonderful it is.

  1. Contact Us.
  2. Complete our Student-Hosting Enquiry Form to receive more information,
  3. Meet with your Student Hosting Coordinator.
  4. Receive the international student of your liking.

A student-hosting programme is a programme in which students from a secondary school or college study abroad. International students live with a local student-hosting family.

The students leave early in the morning to go to lessons and then an arranged sports activity in the afternoon. Some days, they have an organised trip to places of interest in the UK

Whilst we host students from around the world, the majority come from the Canary Islands: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro.

The main family member must be at least 25-years-old, and ideally, we would like to place our international student in families with at least 2 members.

Single parent households are fine, but it's important for our international students to interact with other family members as well.

SHHE stipends are currently ranging from £580-£600/month depending on the location. Keep in mind also that when you get paid varies from company to company. Some will pay the stipend at the beginning of the stay, while SHHE pays at the end of the visit.

You are not charged any tax on income from student-hosting. You can earn £7,500 per year tax free, so the amount that you receive will be all yours. Full details are available by visiting https://www.gov.uk/

The income is guaranteed. You can do student-hosting all year round and you have flexibility; if you want it long term or if you only want to do student-hosting for a couple of weeks in the year.

Student-hosting families have an extensive, experienced support network to call upon should they experience any issues during a student’s visit.

Your main source of support will be a local student-hosting coordinator. The coordinator is expected to get to know both your family and the student in order to ensure a pleasant experience for both parties. Most of the issues experienced by students and student-hosting families are due to miscommunication and culture shock, so an independent mediator is often all that is required. If an issue persists, you will be able to contact us directly.

In the case of an emergency, both you and the student will be able to call our 24-hour emergency phone that will be answered by a staff member.

There is no typical student-hosting family: families with teens, no children, young children, children who have grown, single parents and grandparents. Hosting an international student is a rewarding experience for your entire family. You'll learn about another culture and language — without leaving home.

FAQ about Student-hosting in Herts and Essex

The hospitality offered by host families is often the most important aspect of a student’s visit and the good reputation we have amongst our students is FAQ about Student-hosting in Herts and Essexlargely due to the friendly families who offer a warm welcome to our Spanish students.

We hope that following our Student-Hosting Family Coordinator’s visit to your home and a careful reading of these notes, you will be fully aware of your role and so avoid subsequent difficulties and disappointments for either yourself or any student who stays with you.

To satisfy the undertakings we make to our clients, there inevitably have to be certain commitments made by host families. Details of these are in subsequent pages.

Summary of Requirements

Student-Hosting families should welcome the student as a member of the family, rather than just as a paying guest, and show the same concern for his/her welfare and safety as for one of their own family.

Specific requirements are to:

  • Provide a clean, comfortable bedroom
  • Provide all meals
  • Accommodate only one Spanish student unless arranged otherwise with us
  • Allow the student to have a daily shower or bath
  • Look after their laundry needs
  • Encourage them to speak English
  • Collect student from and return to local arrival/departure points
  • On first two days of programme bring student to school & collect at the end of the afternoon so that he/she learns the route to and from school

Also, to comply with the Children Act 1989 families must be able to state that neither they nor any persons living on the premises have ever:

  • Had a child removed from their care
  • Been convicted of an offence against a child
  • Had the parental rights over a child taken over by a local authority
  • Had an order made against them refusing or cancelling registration under the Nurseries & child Minders Registration Act 1948.
  • To be accepted as a host family you will be required to sign a declaration confirming that you have read and will comply with the host family requirements and are eligible under the conditions of the Children Act.

Arrival

You will be told of time and local arrival point well in advance. We apologise in advance for inconvenience caused by possible late arrivals or early morning departures. This is due to the Airline and not to our organisation. Please be on time and have suitable transport arrangements for the student and his/her luggage. If you have a transport problem consult your Student-Hosting Family Coordinator who may be able to make suggestions.

Remember to bring the details of your student with you to avoid the risk of collecting the wrong one!

First impressions are most important. A friendly welcome will do much to reassure an anxious student who has arrived here for the first time. Bear in mind also that he/she is probably tired and hungry after travelling for many hours.

Cultural immersion
FAQ about Student-hosting in Herts and Essex

The Student’s Bedroom

This must be clean and comfortable and have adequate wardrobe and drawer space for clothes.
Our junior students (up to 16 years) are usually happy to share a room with your son or daughter although it is always preferable for them to have their own bedroom, if possible with a table & chair for studying.

Packed Lunches

Students should be provided with a packed lunch on each working day of the programme and this should contain the following items:

  • Two rounds of sandwiches, rolls or French stick with either a cheese or meat filling
  • A choice of crisps, biscuits, cake
  • Yoghurt or piece of fruit
  • Paper napkin
  • A can or bottle of drink

Please place in a plastic container or tin foil and check regularly if they enjoyed the lunch or would prefer something different.

It is generally best to avoid fillings like paste, cheese spread, sandwich spread and pickles. In case of difficulties please consult the Group Leader.

Meals

We suggest that at the beginning of the visit you ask your student if there is any food he/she does not like thus avoiding waste. Most students adapt readily and with good appetite to normal home cooking and unless we inform you about specific needs of a particular student, no special menu is required. A small minority may need a little longer to adapt to the new mealtime routine and unfamiliar recipes.

To help things along, the “British way of food” is included in our introduction for students in class. This covers meal times, how to ask for things, table manners etc. Students are also asked to tell you what they like and dislike but are sometimes too shy to do this. As a general indication we find that they do not like pork pies or corned beef and prefer white bread.

FAQ about Student-hosting in Herts and Essex
FAQ about Student-hosting in Herts and Essex

Many do not like tea and prefer a glass of hot or cold milk in the mornings with cereals and toast, and in the evenings hot milk or hot chocolate before going to bed.

Sitting at table as a family for meals is an important feature of home life so the student should share meals with you and your family as this helps to build relations. The student should not be expected to eat alone.

Please encourage your student to use the words PLEASE AND THANK YOU as it is not common practice in Spain.

Laundry

Please tell your student where to put the clothes for washing, and which day you generally do the laundry. The older students will change their own bed linen and towels if you give them the clean sheets each week.

First School Days

On the first two mornings you must bring your student to school and collect him/her at the agreed point at the end of afternoon activities. Under no circumstances should the students be sent alone on their first day, even if they have been shown the school in advance.

Please remember that you should always use the form of transport that the students will have to use during the stay, bus/train/walk. For most students it will be a new experience to take public transport, or even to walk alone along streets which all look alike, so please be patient until you are sure he/she will not get lost.

On subsequent days, the student hopefully will feel confident about travelling alone, or with others on the same route if you have shown him the relevant bus stops, times and bus numbers.

Student enjoying the English summer
FAQ about Student-hosting in Herts and Essex

Children upto the age of eleven years inclusive must be accompanied for all journeys and will not be placed with families unless suitable arrangements have been made.

Choice of Student

Our Student-Hosting Family Coordinator will use the information you provide about your family to decide which student is suitable for you. After her visit, there is usually a delay before you receive details of your guest but you should receive full information by 15th June. This delay is normal because students enrol on our course upto a few days before the beginning of the stay.

Please remember to inform your Student-Hosting Coordinator immediately if there are any changes in family circumstances (telephone numbers, new pets, etc.)

Once a student has been selected for you, the Student-Hosting Family Coordinator will ring with the details to ensure you are still free for July, and will then send you the photo and written information. Where available you will be given the student’s home address so that you can send a letter or postcard of welcome. Such a gesture is always greatly appreciated.

One week before arrival you will receive all information about the visit.

IMPORTANT:
ONCE WE HAVE GIVEN YOUR FAMILY DETAILS TO A STUDENT IT IS MOST IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO NOT CANCEL YOUR AGREEMENT TO ACCOMMODATE HIM/HER UNLESS CIRCUMSTANCES ABSOLUTELY PREVENT YOU FROM DOING SO.

Understandably, the students and their parents become very upset and anxious if they find there is an expected change of family.

Pocket Money

FAQ about Student-hosting in Herts and Essex
FAQ about Student-hosting in Herts and Essex

The junior students have been told that pocket money should be divided into five envelopes, which he/she may give to you for safe keeping, and that you will give him/her an envelope each week.

Students have enough money to cover their stay so families should never lend money to them. If there appears to be a problem please contact the Group Leader.

Weekends

Unless there are officially organised weekend activities, students are expected to spend this time with you and your family. They can thus be encouraged to speak English and learn new words and expressions. It is always appreciated if you are planning a trip or visit at weekends, that you ensure that your student joins you.

If a younger student seems reluctant to join in with your arrangements, please talk to the Group Leader or Student-Hosting Family Coordinator. Under no circumstances should minors be left unattended in your home. By going to local fairs, fetes and local functions the students get an insight into our way of life and this is an important part of their visit. If you intend taking the student away at the weekend please inform the group leader and Student-Hosting Family Coordinator. Your student is never allowed to spend a night or weekend away from home without written consent from his parents.

It is normally unwise to give house keys to junior students. In the case of older students, we leave it to your discretion.

FAQ about Student-hosting in Herts and EssexIllness

If you student is unwell please contact the Group Leader and Student-Hosting Family Coordinator and if appropriate request an appointment with your doctor. As students from the European Union, the family GP should normally treat them free of charge.

If the students is going to be absent from school, please tell the Group Leader as soon as possible.

Evenings

Our Junior students (15 yrs. & under) are not allowed out alone, nor with other foreign students in the evening or at weekends. This stipulation is made to PROTECT THEM and also to ensure that they are at home with your family practising their English.

We ask for your assistance in ensuring that these rules are strictly adhered to, bearing in mind the responsibility you have undertaken and that they have been stipulated by the students’ parents. If you have any difficulty in getting the student to conform, please speak to the Group Leader or Student-Hosting Family Coordinator.

In the case of older students (sixteen & above) who have their parents’ permission to go out in the evening or at weekends, please take an interest in where they are going (and with whom) and offer advice on places which you believe should best be avoided.

You should always meet the students from officially arranged evening activities either personally or in a rota with other nearby student-hosting families. Older students will also need collection on these days.

Group Leader

If you need help or advice please telephone the Group Leader who is concerned with student welfare and is available between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. each evening, or at the local college every morning.

Your Student-Hosting Family Coordinator does not normally deal with the students so it is always preferable to speak to the Spanish Group Leader who will offer you every assistance.

Remember that we want you to enjoy this experience and that your student will become a happy addition to your family, so please consult the Student-Hosting Family Coordinator about any initial problems.

Use of Telephone

Hosting a Spanish child
FAQ about Student-hosting in Herts and Essex

Parents of younger students may telephone every day to see how they are getting on. If you feel that the calls are made too late (normally after 8 p.m.) or are unsettling the student, please contact the Student-Hosting Family Coordinator.

Students are not allowed to use your telephone without permission and must pay you for any calls they make. On arrival please put through a reverse charge (collect) call so they can tell parents they have arrived safely. This is done by ringing 155 and requesting a reverse charge call to the student’s home number.

As it is very difficult to recover the cost of any calls made once your student has departed, you may wish to check with your phone company if any international calls have been made without your permission.

Change of Family

It is always possible that despite the good endeavours of a host family the relationship with the student is not as good as expected. For this reason we reserve the right to remove a student if considered in the best interest of either student-hosting family or student.

General

Students are told that in return for being accepted as a member of your family, they will be expected to adapt to your normal routine and customs.

As in all relationships, there is a “give and take” and it is essential that both your student and you try to adapt to the new situation of sharing your home. A clear understanding should be established from the beginning as to use of property, telephone, meal times, use of bathroom, etc.

The students are expected to keep the bedroom tidy, be punctual for meals, be polite and considerate and adapt to your family lifestyle. He/she will request a daily shower, but you may find that they do not flush the toilet usually due to water shortage at home.

If things are not working for any reason, please tell your Student-Hosting Family Coordinator, as it is always easier to deal with any problems at the outset.

Language immersion
FAQ about Student-hosting in Herts and Essex

Communication

At first you student may seem shy or feel homesick due to the language problem, so do not despair if communication seems difficult at first. Your student will soon respond to warmth and friendliness and be a happy part of your family.

In order for a friendly relationship to be formed, families will need patience, tact, tolerance and sensitivity and students will need a good basic knowledge of English and the confidence to try to speak it and laugh at their own mistakes.

To enable students to participate in work at school, we ask families to spend a few minutes once or twice a week answering questions. Your family will greatly influence how the student views our country, people and customs.

Most importantly, especially with younger students, your help with homework will encourage your student to overcome shyness and feel part of your family.

Programme

Shortly before the visit you will receive a copy of the Local Data Sheet which summarises all relevant information about classes, activities, meeting points and contact telephone numbers.

Our educational programme consists of three parts:

  • Academic programme: Our students have English lessons daily, which include grammar, conversation, games, songs, quizzes, dictations etc.
  • Cultural/Recreational programme: The excursions and activities programmed enable the students to see more of Britain and participate in new activities. The full day trips are from 8.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. and the afternoon activities generally finish between 4.30 and 5.30 p.m.
  • Family Homestay: This is obviously THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of the programme. The student can learn with your family about the British way of life and improve their level of English by participating in your family life. Most students show a marked improvement by the end of the visit and will feel they are part of your family.

Departure

FAQ about Student-hosting in Herts and Essex
FAQ about Student-hosting in Herts and Essex

A few days before departure, confirm with your student the date, time and place to avoid any confusion. On the day of departure, please accompany your student to the departure point. Please provide a packed lunch for the long journey home.

Damage

Any case of damage alleged to have been caused by your student must be reported immediately to the Student-Hosting Family Coordinator and Group Leader. We are unable to accept responsibility for reimbursement but will assist you in presenting a legitimate claim before the student’s departure.

Accommodation Rates

Your Local Student-Hosting Family Coordinator will confirm the current payment for accommodating a student. Rates are reviewed annually with the new rate starting on 1st June. In cases where a stay does not work out to a precise number of weeks, the host family will be paid on a pro-rata basis. Families will be paid at the end of the student’s visit.

You are not charged any tax on income from student-hosting. You can earn £7,500 per year tax free, so the amount that you receive will be all yours. Full details are available by visiting https://www.gov.uk/

Cancellation

If a student cancels after we have given you the details and we are unable to provide you with a suitable replacement, we will ask you to remain on our reserve list. We will then make a compensatory payment. (Please check rate with your Student-Hosting Family Coordinator)

If a student fails to arrive with no prior warning and this results in complete cancellation, we will try to provide a suitable alternative guest for the duration of the stay. If this is not possible and you agree to remain on the reserve list, we will pay you a compensatory payment as stipulated above. (Please check rate with your Student-Hosting Family Coordinator)