Staying with a host family when you pursue your English studies in the UK is highly recommended. Aside from its cost-efficiency, it also helps you learn outside of school as you can immerse in their culture through the host family. Staying with a UK family can give you a deeper insight into English culture and also offer you the perfect chance to practise your new language skills.
Many students arriving in the UK are nervous about staying with a host family. Living in another family’s home for a few weeks can be daunting, particularly if this is your first time in England. You may be nervous about different customs or possible misunderstandings that could occur. Just remember though that host families are carefully chosen by schools. They will be able to offer safe and welcoming environments during your stay and lots of support to help you learn more about the English language and culture.
Schools will try and pick host families that are located close to your place of learning. This means your school should only be a short walk or bus ride away. This should make it easy for you to get to and from your lessons. English language schools do tend to be in larger towns and cities that offer easy access to reliable public transport links so that you can get around easily.
Houses in the UK vary dramatically. Your host family could live in a modern apartment in the heart of the city or period town house. When you stay with a host family you will get your own private bedroom and workspace. You may get a private bathroom or sometimes you will need to share one with others in the family. The host family will provide you with breakfast, lunch (a packed lunch on school days) and an evening meal. Laundry facilities will also be made available to you.
Much of your week will be taken up with learning. In your spare time though you may wish to explore further afield and visit places of interest around your local area. Most host families will also make an effort to include you in everyday family life and may invite you to attend celebration events or go on day trips with them. This is a great way to learn more about the customs and cultures of a new country and to practise skills you have learnt from courses like English Language.
For many cultures the heart of the home is the kitchen. The UK has a very diverse ethnic background and this means you will find many different cuisines on offer in restaurants from classic Italian dishes through to Chinese and Thai food. This means not only can you try classic British foods like Roast Beef and Yorkshire Puddings but you may also be able to find traditional dishes from your own culture as well to make you feel at home.
It is traditional in the UK for families to sit down to a home-cooked meal in the evenings. Family dinners can vary as much as those offered in restaurants from plain sausage and chips through to spicy curries. Don’t forget to tell your host family about foods you do not like or any special dietary requirements you may have.
Getting on with Your Host Family
When you are staying with others it is important to respect and observe their rules and customs. When you first arrive establish the general rules of the house. It is a good idea to double-check about things like using the internet or telephone, curfews, smoking and alcohol.
Be open-minded and if you are unsure or confused ask for advice or help. Try to be clean, polite and respectful at all times and you will be rewarded with a comfortable, welcoming stay in your host home.
About the Author
Frankie Hughes is a writer who believes that there is no better way to help your studies than by staying with a host family in another country to give you cultural experience. English Language Tuition from Minerva English Academy often provides you with this opportunity to help you with your studies.