If the school has reserved homestay accommodation for you, and has sent you the address, it is helpful if you write a short letter to the host stating when you expect to arrive and how you will be travelling. This letter is typical if you have not booked an airport transfer. For example:


Dear Mrs/Mr/Ms .....


International House has arranged for me to stay with you during my course from (date)…………. to …………(date). I am flying to Newcastle airport on flight number .... arriving at .... (time) on .... (date). I will continue my journey by metro/taxi and expect to arrive at your house about .... (time).


I look forward to meeting you then.


Yours sincerely,


(Your name).......



This is our code of practice for all our homestay hosts.....



Homestay Code of Practice 

·      to encourage the student to speak English as much as possible in your home

·      to encourage the student to feel at home and to treat him/her as a member of the family rather than a paying guest

·      not to host another student of the same native language at the same time unless by special arrangement with the students and the school

·      to provide a clean and comfortable student room meeting the requirements laid down by the British Council. (The British Council Accreditation Scheme Handbook states that students should be provided with: “a sufficiently spacious bedroom, adequately equipped and with natural light; adequate heating and lighting; a table for private study; adequate hanging and drawer space for clothes and a change of towels and bed linen each week and a good supply of blankets)

·      to provide a home environment in which it is possible for the student to carry on his/her English studies properly

·      to provide the student with a balanced and appropriate diet

·      to show due concern for the welfare, safety and security of the student during his/her stay

·      to give the student reasonable and regular access to bathroom and laundry facilities.

to maintain a close liaison with the student’s school/centre and so be in a position to help resolve any problems that the student may encounter during his/her stay.

·      to respect the student’s different cultural background and be sensitive to the needs of the student

International House and EAQUALS regulations, and the British Council's Accreditation Scheme require that host families are visited on a regular basis. It is important for records to be kept up to date to allow for changing family circumstances.


These are some quick guidelines to staying with a homestay host.....


  1. If you can, please try to make contact with your host to introduce yourself and inform them of your arrival details. We will send you the address of your host.
  2. When you apply for accommodation, make sure you note any special requests you may have on the application form, such as a special diet or an allergy.
  3. If you change your travel plans please let International House know immediately so that your host can be informed.  The emergency number will be on your enrolment documentation.
  4. If you are going to be out overnight, please let the host family know so that they do not worry about you.
  5. If you are not planning to eat a meal at home, or you are going to be late for the meal, please tell your host in plenty of time.
  6. Only use the kitchen or help yourself to food or drink (apart from breakfast time - or if you are self-catering) if you have agreed this with your host family.
  7. If you break or damage anything, tell your host as soon as possible.
  8. If you are cold at night, ask for extra blankets or a hot water bottle. Houses in the UK can sometimes be colder at night, so your host will understand if you make a request.
  9. Keep your room tidy - this will be your responsibility. The host will provide clean bed linen and towels every week.
  10. The host will provide you with a key to the house while you are living there. Please take good care of it and do not keep it with the address of the house. Don't forget to return the key when you leave.
  11. If you are unhappy with something please discuss it with your host familyor Derek at International House.
  12. Please ask your host about arrangements for locking up and setting any house alarms.
  13. Most host families in the UK eat dinner between the hours of 5pm and 7pm. All of our families understand that this is different to many other countries, so they will try to be flexible with their dinner times. Please try your best to adapt to the time change to help your host.
Last modified: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 01:33 PM