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Student Homestay Resources

Warm Welcome Make It Easy For You

Below you will find a selection of useful resources to assist in your Warm Welcome homestay experience, including information about our homestays and Frequently Asked Questions.

There is a student handbook for you to download and read through before you arrive. It will help you to hit the ground running as there's all the information you need to ensure a smooth arrival and stay with your host/host family.

Our complaints procedure is also available for you to refer to in the unlikely event you are not satisfied with any aspect of our service. We are a friendly, client-focused company and welcome any feedback which we can use to improve the service we offer.

We urge all guests to take out travel and medical insurance to cover all aspects of your stay. Below you will find a helpful link to our International Student Insurance company, Endsleigh - the student specialists.

And finally, our student guest terms and conditions.

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Resources for Students & Guests

Student Handbook

Complaints Procedure

Host Handbook

Host T&Cs

International Student Travel Insurance

Warm Welcome Student Terms & Conditions

Laws you need to know

Child Protection Policy

Prevent Policy

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Answers To

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions from our guests that may very well give you the answer you are looking for.

What is a homestay?

Homestay for students provides the best opportunity for you to practise and improve your English. It's equally as important as your English language classes for the development of your language skills. You'll live as a guest in the home just like a regular family visitor. The host will provide a warm welcome and treat you as a member of the family.

What fees do I have to pay and when do I need to pay?

Payments for accommodation and transfers must be received at least one week prior to your arrival date. All bank transfer charges must be paid by the student. This also applies to any credit card charges.

Who are Homestay families?

Britain is a multicultural country comprised of people from all over the world. There is wide range of British families, with different occupations, interests and ethnic backgrounds. Some British families consist of a mother, father and children. Some of our other host families include single parents with young children, single persons, couples with no children, families with pets, and older, retired people who enjoy the company of international students.

Is it like staying in a hotel?

No. Your homestay is not the same as a hotel. There is no maid to clear up after you. Please remember to keep your room clean and tidy. Always clear your plate after dinner and wash up your dishes . Your host family is not expected to clean up after you every time. It is important to keep the bathroom clean too. Most bathrooms in the UK are not wet rooms so be careful what you do with water. If you do leave the floor wet, please ask for a mop and bucket to dry it ready for the next person who uses the bathroom. Please leave the bathroom as you would like to find it.

Will I be able to do my laundry in the homestay?

Yes you will. Hosts will let you know how to and when you can use the facilities. Laundry is usually done once a week. You can have two washes – one for dark coloured clothes and one for light coloured clothes. Some hosts may even do it for you but don't expect it - you should be prepared to do your own laudry.

Can I use the bathroom whenever I want?

If you are sharing a bathroom with other members of the family, please find out when is the best time to have a shower and for how long. Do not take long showers or baths because it uses a lot of hot water and stops others from using the bathroom. Try to be quick. 15-20 minutes is a good guide.

If I am staying on a Self Catering basis, when can I use the kitchen?

A selection of our hosts provide the self-catering/room only option. Self-catering doesn't reflect our philosophy - it's more like Airbnb than Warm Welcome Homestay. However, we understand that it is more suitable for some of our guests.

Each host family will use the kitchen at different times, so please discuss this with your host upon arrival. They will also show you where you can store your food.

If I am staying on a Bed and Breakfast basis, am I able to use the kitchen?

Yes, you can have light use of the kitchen but you are not able to cook big meals because it 's the family's kitchen afterall. This means use of the microwave, making toast, heating soup or another ready-made meal on the stove. A small space in the host’s fridge and some cupboard space will be made available for you to keep your food. You are expected to wash-up any plates, dishes, pots, pans, cutlery, cups, glasses that you use.

If I am staying on a Half Board basis, do I have to have dinner with the host every night?

No, if you would like to eat out that is fine. However, please make sure you tell your host before they start cooking. It is not polite behaviour and is a waste of money to miss a meal without informing your host. Missed meals will be left in the fridge to be reheated later or the next evening. There is no refund for meals you miss.

Am I allowed to use the internet at my homestay?

Yes, of course. Hosts and host families know how important it is for their student guests. Nowadays wi-fi is standard in almost every home. All of our hosts/host families have Broadband wi-fi. However, if your host has a download limit, it is advisable to check with them first in order to avoid any uncomfortable situations later on.

Am I allowed to use the telephone?

You can receive calls from family and close friends only. If you need to make and receive a large number of phone calls, you should buy a “pay-as-you-go” sim card for your mobile phone once you have arrived.

Some hosts will allow you to make outgoing calls using a phone card, which can easily be bought at many newsagents, convenience stores and supermarkets in Birmingham.

What access do I have to the rest of the house?

You can use the living room, dining room, kitchen and watch TV with your hosts but please do not enter the host’s or family members’ bedrooms. That is strictly forbidden.

Please note you cannot use any other room in the house to store your belongings, you must store them in your bedroom unless in special circumstances where the host family has said it is ok.

Can I play music or watch TV in my room?

Yes, but not too loud, especially at night. Not all homestays will have a TV in the guest bedroom. Most students/guests prefer to use their own smartphone and tablet devices for entertainment these days anyway.

Am I allowed to bring alcohol to my homestay home?

Yes, but you should ask permission from your hosts first, as a sign of respect. Please note that it is illegal to drink alcohol in the UK if you are under 18 years of age.

What if I want to stay out late?

If you are over 18 and plan to return home late, that’s fine. Just make sure you tell your host beforehand. It doesn't matter how old you are, hosts will worry about your whereabouts when you are late or not home at night so please keep them informed.

Can I invite my friends to my homestay?

Some hosts may allow you to have a guest visit, however, you must agree this with your host before you invite friends into your host’s home. Overnight stays are not allowed.

Can I smoke in the accommodation?

Homestays are usually non-smoking. If you want to smoke, ask your host if it is ok to smoke in the garden, but please don’t leave cigarette butts on the floor, use an ashtray. Keep your homestay tidy.

What happens if I lose any of my possessions?

Warm Welcome advise you to take out a student insurance policy to cover you in case your belongings are lost or stolen in or out of the home. Neither Warm Welcome nor your host family, are responsible for your personal possessions. You are not advised to keep large sums of cash in your room. You can get insurance cover from Endsleigh Student Insurance. There is a link in the Student Resources section of this website.

Can I book a homestay with a private bathroom?

If a private bathroom is specifically requested, it will be subject to availability and a price supplement of £20 per week.

When will I know my host family information?

You will receive a ‘host profile’ prior to payment. This will give you an overview of the host family and include information about who lives there, what they do, their passions and interests and photograhs of the home along with a map to show the homestay's approximate location. You can use the map to find the nearest bus route to your school.

Your booking will be secured when payment for your stay is received. Advance payment is mandatory. This ensures there are no uncomfortable situations later down the line.

Your host/host family's contact and address details will then be provided. Finally, one of Warm Welcome's representatives will be delighted to meet you at the airport and introduce you to your host/host family on arrival.

Should I arrive at the weekend or during the week?

It's best practice to arrive at the weekend or weekday evening between 6pm and 10pm. Most hosts will be at work from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday but of course, sometimes late arrivals cannot be avoided and we will do our best to accommodate you.

What if I want to stay for longer than I originally booked?

All extensions to bookings must be made through Warm Welcome. Please contact us as soon as possible on 0121 638 0210 or via email/whatsapp if you wish to stay longer. We will then send you an invoice for the extended period.

How do I get from the airport to my host family?

Warm Welcome offer a low-cost airport transfer service from Birmingham International Airport (BHX) to your homestay address in Birmingham for only £29. However, we do not offer this low-cost service at other airports in the UK. Transfers from and to other airports in the UK will be subject to a fee of £150

Are utility bills (gas, electricity, water) included in the weekly rate?

Yes, costs for electricity, gas and water are included in the weekly rate.

Do I need travel insurance?

We recommend you take out personal insurance to safeguard against any accidents or mishaps during your stay. Warm Welcome cannot be held liable for any costs incurred due to cancellation, illness, injury or loss/damage of your possessions. Please visit our Student Insurance section on the Student Resources page to get your insurance arranged prior to arrival.

What if I do not like living in the home I am placed?

We pride ourselves in keeping dissatisfaction to a minimum. We meet all our hosts in their homes and sit down with them to discuss their experience and the role they will be undertaking in becoming homestay hosts with Warm Welcome. We select our hosts very carefully indeed to ensure your satisfaction.

If after the initial settling in period of one week or so, you feel unhappy in your home and we cannot reasonably satisfy your requirements, we will try our best to provide suitable alternative accommodation subject to availability.

What can I do if I am too cold in my room?

It's warm through the summertime in the UK but winter can be chilly and cold. Homes in the UK are mostly gas centrally heated which is expensive and not to be used during the day when the family is at work and you are at school, college or university. If you are not warm enough during the night, please talk to your host who will be happy to provide you with extra blankets. And remember to close the windows. It is very wasteful to have heating on and windows open.

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