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What to expect
This is what you can expect your homestay to provide:
- Your own private bedroom.
- A friendly welcome, with explanations of how to use things in the house and the best way to get to school.
- Advice or help if you have a problem.
- Facilities to do your washing and ironing (or your hosts may do it for you). Your weekly accommodation charge includes one clothes wash per week.
- A chair and desk or table with a light for studying.
- A wardrobe or cupboard for your clothes.
- Wireless internet access in 90% of our homestays.
- Breakfast every day (most families in the UK do not have a cooked breakfast in the week).
- Evening meals every dayor three times a week, if your homestay booking includes these.
- Sheets and towels (laundered once a week).
- A warm and comfortable home (but remember that in homes in the UK we do not normally leave the heating on all night).
- A front door key, so you can come in and go out when you like.
- Facilities for a bath or shower every day.
- The opportunity to receive telephone calls (within reasonable hours).
Your hosts may also allow you the following, but this is not guaranteed:
- The opportunity to make telephone calls (you may have to pay for these).
- Use of the kitchen to make drinks and possibly snacks, and the use of the refrigerator.
- The opportunity to have a guest to stay for short periods.
These things are a matter for your host to decide - it is not something that you should take for granted. So if you would like to invite someone, please consult with your host before you finalise any arrangements such as buying a flight ticket. If you do have someone to stay, it is normal for you to pay extra.
What your hosts will expect from you:
- To be considerate and to remember that you are staying in someone's home, not in a hotel.
- Not to smoke in the house if you are staying in non-smoking accommodation. If you do, your host may ask you to leave.
- Not to make a noise if you come home after 10.30pm, when other people in the house may already be asleep.
- To close the front door properly when you return, and lock any doors or windows they have asked you to.
- To turn off lights and heating where possible. British families do not normally leave the central heating on all night.
- To be considerate if you are sharing the bathroom with your hosts or other guests, so they are not held up.
- To keep the bathroom as tidy as possible, and clean up after you use it.
- To keep your own room reasonably tidy, so that it can be cleaned.
- To pay for any evening meals you have with your hosts 'by arrangement'.
- To make sure your family and friends do not telephone early in the morning or late at night and keep your calls as short as possible. Remember the time difference!
- To let your hosts know if your plans change during the day - for example, you decide that you do not want an evening meal with your hosts.
- To let your hosts know if you intend to stay out all night or until the early hours of the morning. If you do not they may worry about you, or need to lock doors and windows.
- To allow your hosts some privacy so that they can lead their own lives. Do not expect them to be there all the time just for you.