Wherever you live in Birmingham there is sure to be a community group on Facebook. For example, if you live in Bearwood, you have The Bearwood Page – these are great local resources and members of the group often post unwanted items of furniture such as desks, tables, chest of drawers etc free of charge for collection. If you keep your eye out, you can kit out your student’s room for free!
If you want to make your expectations clear about hygiene and cleanliness when your student arrives, make sure the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen are spotless, especially the bathroom. Once your guest sees how clean and tidy your home is, they'll be more inclined to keep it that way.
It’s a good idea to set your house rules early on too so as to avoid any awkward situations further down the line.
Here are some helpful suggestions for areas to cover when setting your house rules:
• Telephone use for incoming and outgoing calls.
• Internet usage.
• Times for breakfast and evening meals.
• Whether food is allowed in the student’s room.
• Times for using the bathroom/shower.
• Keeping the bathroom tidy.
• What kitchen equipment can or can’t be used.
• Whether visitors are welcome and until what time.
• What to do when a student expects to be home late.
• Where smoking is/isn’t permitted.
Please note that these are only suggestions, you do not have to cover all of them. You need to think about what is best for your family and your home.
Students want to practice their conversation skills. They want to gain the confidence they need to express themselves in English. Chatting with your student about everyday things like the weather, the news, what’s on at the cinema, their home, their school, their plans for the weekend is a great way to help them achieve this.
Give the student a guided tour of your home on arrival or the next day if it's late and they're tired and just want to go to bed with a cup of tea. The guided tour is a good opportunity to show them how to use the appliances in your home especially the shower and the washing machine. Do not assume they already know how to use them. Experience tells us that it’s better to demonstrate rather than explain!
If you're lucky enough to have a garden, show them that too.
For some it will be their first time in the UK and first time away from home on their own so a warm welcome is just what they need. Introduce them to your family members and if your student is in the house when a friend pop rounds, introduce them too– encourage a bit of small talk. Students love practicing their English with their hosts.
If your student has a mobile phone, make sure you have their phone number in case of emergencies. And make sure they have yours.
When your student arrives, and if they have booked a half board option (breakfast and evening meal deal) let them know what time you usually have your evening meal. Make sure they understand that they must call you in advance if they are going to be late or will not be coming home for dinner. Keep in touch!
Many students find the British weather cold even during the summer months. Make sure you have a spare blanket available if the student needs it. Brrrrrrrr
Last but not least, your Homestay placement agency will want you to enjoy your hosting experience. Warm Welcome Homestays will support you throughout your journey. We are available 24/7 to assist you.
If hosting is something you are thinking about, feel free to get in touch for an informal chat about hosting international students in Birmingham. Warm Welcome Homestays will be happy to help.
Sales Director of Warm Welcome Homestays - passionate about Birmingham and a long track record of working with students.