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Becoming a Homestay Host with English in Totnes

English in Totnes Homestay host

What does ‘Homestay Host’ mean?


A homestay host can be a single person, couple or family, who welcome a student into their home to stay.  You will be acting as the student’s family away from home and should treat them as a full member of the household, eating together and sharing the common living areas.

Why host students in your home?


Hosting is an enriching experience for the family and a fantastic way to learn about other cultures and sometimes other religions too.  It is also financially beneficial if you have a spare room that is mostly empty. 


We arrange events where hosts can meet one another and training to help with any areas that can be a worry, such as what to feed students or cultural expectations. 


We encourage lift sharing for hosts living outside Totnes and are happy to pass on contact details of nearby hosts who agree. 


Many of our hosts form lasting friendships with their students and stay in contact and many hosts have students who come back to stay with them year after year and recommend them to their friends and family.  Some hosts have been working with us for many years and we hope you catch the hosting bug too!

The types of things we ask you to do

  • Provide a safe and welcoming environment

  • Give support – we’d like you to make the student feel like part of the family

  • Ensure that the student understands important information such as normal household routines, meal and curfew times, nearest bus stop and times of the buses and the fire escape plan for the home. Do not hesitate to ask the student to repeat information back and encourage the student to ask for clarification


  • Provide students with a quiet place in the home with a desk or table where the student may study

  • Teach the student about British culture and learn about the student’s culture

  • Make sure the student’s room has sufficient space, an adequate -sized bed with a proper base and storage space for clothes, as well as natural light. 

  • Ensure the student has privacy from the opposite sex.

  • Ensure that the student’s bedroom and common areas of the home are kept clean and in good repair and as tidy and clutter free as possible.

  • Provide adequate heating and lighting, access to drinking water always and ideally somewhere for students to store their own snacks in the kitchen.

  • Allow the students shared use of a bathroom, with showers or baths available daily.

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