Living in another country is a wonderful experience for a young adult to go through but it can also be worrying finding the right family for your child. Experiencing another culture, practising or learning another language and being outside of their comfort zone is a great way to help your child to develop and build their self-esteem while learning more about the world and themselves.
The number one priority for any parent considering a homestay for their child is their safety. It can be difficult enough spending a few nights away from your child even if he or she is grown up and so a prolonged period of separation is a harder proposition.
Today, students possess a natural tendency towards overseas educational opportunities. The good news is that there are local families who offer to host young adults and they are referred to as ¨Host Families¨ or ¨Homestay Families¨.
Now, there is no need to worry as long as you take the necessary precautions and do your research. This small guide will help you know which are the steps that you need to take if you are thinking about sending your child to study abroad.
Tips on how to make sure their time is spent wisely while being safe:
1. Book Early
How soon should you secure your child´s accommodation? The ideal time to book is from three to four months before their arrival date in Brighton. However, the earlier you make inquiries and secure your reservation, the more options you will have to choose from. If you have not been able to do this within the optimum timescale, do not worry, please still contact us.
2. Familiarise yourself with policies and procedures
Once you have chosen your homestay family, it is important that you make sure you are familiar and happy with the safeguarding policy. Having this knowledge will help you identify the procedures in place, which personnel will be appointed to take care of your child´s welfare and which background checks are undertaken on the prospective hosts.
3. Choose your location well
The headquarters of English Language Homestays is Shoreham by Sea, near Brighton, and we have many families that live in and around Shoreham. This makes transport easy and practical. Another positive aspect about being in Shoreham is that it is close to Brighton which is a safe, welcoming and multicultural city in England; it has everything and London is also within easy reach. The County of Sussex contains not only wonderful beaches but also has beautiful countryside which is incredibly appealing for young travellers.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Still unsure about where to start looking or how to take the process to the next step? Don’t worry! We are here to help with any inquiries you might have. It’s our job to make sure the whole procedure goes smoothly from start to finish, so feel free to contact us with any concerns you may have – no matter how big or small. We’re waiting to hear from you!
5. Find the right host family for your child
It is of the utmost importance for you and your child to find the right host family. Why? Being in a foreign country is a wonderful but yet an overwhelming experience. So you need to find a family that you are sure are going to make your child feel welcome. Our host families also act as tour guides and provide your son or daughter with essential tips on how to interact in an entirely new environment. Traveling can be an extremely beneficial experience, and some would undoubtedly argue that it opens the eyes of the traveler, especially teenagers. It is a great way to perceive the world, and we believe that staying with a host family provides great comfort to parents concerned about their children spending time in a new country. In a homestay study abroad program, students get the chance of meeting fascinating people, sharing their stories and splendid experiences while getting to know the country. You also need to make sure that the family is going to give your child the warmth of being a part of the family. As a parent you want your child to be treated with kindness. Another factor to think about it is whether you would like your child to be with a family that has children of their own or with young professionals that do not have children yet, because you want your child´s travel abroad experience to be as rewarding as possible.
6. Set a budget for your child
Find out about the cost of living so that you can set a budget for your child´s transport costs, social outings, and occasional trips. Part of the experience of living in a foreign country and learning a new language is that your child gets to meet new people and make new friends. Additionally, your child may want to go out with new friends met abroad, to the cinema or out to dinner or maybe make a small trip to London.
7. Great communication is the best policy
Make sure that you have a clear communication with the family that will be hosting your child. It is best that you ask what would be required of your child in order for there to be harmony in the house. Once the groundrules have been determined there is no reason why the students experience should not be extremely rewarding. Standard living conditions in homestay programs range from basic room-rental arrangements to absolute host family engagement. Although in a homestay program students typically have their own rooms or a shared room with another student, they join the family for meals and lend a hand with the daily household chores so this is why it is important to be clear of the needs and wants on both sides of the fence.
I hope that this guide provides the necessary information to begin this wonderful journey with your child. If you have more questions, please contact us, we are here to help!