Frequently Asked Questions
What will my room be like?
Our rooms come with a single/double bed, wardrobe and study desk. Some homestays may not have a study desk in the room, but the host family will show you an alternative space in the house (usually in the living room or study room) where you can study. You will always be able to see pictures of the rooms before completing your booking.
How independent will I be while living with a host family?
If you are over 18, you will feel that you are very independent while staying with a host family in London. You will be able to lead your life as usual, while respecting the lifestyle and existing house rules of the host family - just like you would when living at your family home or house sharing with other individuals. Things like sending a quick text to the host when you are expecting to be late from an evening out is something that will show you care about the host and don't want them to worry about your safety!
What's included in the cost of the homestay?
Your homestay rate includes the use of your room and common areas in the home, meals if you have reserved this, change of bed linen and one load of laundry every week, as well as all utility bills and taxes. Use of services are subject to terms and conditions and fair-use.
Can I use the kitchen facilities in the host's home?
This does depend on the meal plan chosen and the descretion of the host.
Who can stay in homestay accomodation?
Most of our guests come to London to study, for internship experience, or other educational/ professional purposes. They often attend language schools and semester abroad programmes at local universities, or participate in Erasmus and other exchange programmes.
Who are the hosts?
Our hosts have been carefully selected to ensure you have a great homestay experience in a nice home. They are very likable, friendly and welcoming and have chosen to become hosts because they are interested in cultural exchange and keen to meet and help young people. They hail from different professional backgrounds and reflect the diversity of London's community.
Where are the hosts located?
We have hosts across London in zones 2-6, in your application you can state your preference or where you want to be close to and we will place you with the nearest available host
Do I need to clean my room and other parts of the house?
You should always keep the room clean and tidy and clean up after yourself, when using the kitchen or a bathroom. However, you are not required to do home chores as it is the host family's responsibility to clean the communal areas of the home. It is polite and is often appreciated if you offer a little help with washing dishes or clearing the table after dinner.
Can I smoke in the accomodation?
Homestay accommodations are completely smoke free, however, some hosts may allow you smoke outside the house or in the garden. Please check with your host.
Can I invite friends to the house?
Before you invite any friends to your accommodation you must ask and receive permission from your host. Any damages to the host's property caused by your friends will be your responsibility and must be paid for by the guest.
I do not speak English well. Is this a problem?
Not at all. Our hosts do not expect all their guests to be fluent English speakers and will do their best to communicate with you.
Should I bring a towel and bed sheets or will they be provided?
You are expected to bring your own towels but bedding will be provided and washed once a week by your host family.
How can I make a good first impression with my host family?
A small gift from your home country will always be appreciated.
Will the hosts be able to cater for specific food allergies or dietary preferences?
Yes, make sure any allergies or dietary preferences are stated in your application so that we can find a host that can meet these requirements
Are my valuable items safe at home?
All of our hosts are individually screened and checked when we select them to be Host Family Stay hosts. However, neither Host Family Stay, or your host family are responsible for your personal possessions. If you have brought valuable items with you, such as jewellery, electronic devices or cash, you are advised to ask your host where they can be stored for safekeeping.
What if I want to end my stay early or have problems with my host?
If you decide to cut your stay short or would prefer to live with another host you must inform us as soon as possible by calling our office to cancel your stay or to find alternative homestay accommodation.
Can I contact Host Family Stay during my stay?
Yes, we encourage our guests to contact us throughout their stay in London. Please call the office on +44 (0) 207 112 5129 or email [email protected]
Can I pay in installments for my homestay accommodation if I am staying long term?
Yes you can! We understand that paying for the entire period upfront can put you under pressure, therefore we try to help as much as we can. Although you will find that you will get additional savings (5-7% or more) if you choose to prepay for your stay as usual. If you are staying for more than 2 months, we can offer you an installment plan suitable for your situation. Do get in touch with us to discuss.
Do I need to pay Host Family Stay or the host directly?
All payments must be made to Host Family Stay and never to the host.
Do I have to pay to do my laundry in the house?
You as a guest are allowed to use the washing machine once per week. If you want to wash your belongings more frequently you shall be expected to pay a small fee to do so.
Is there a minimum or maximum length of stay?
Normally we do not accept bookings of less than 2 weeks in duration and bookings under 4 weeks may be subject to an additional short stay supplement depending on the season. Get in touch to check with us if you are looking for a homestay of 4 weeks or less.
How old do I need to be? Is there a maximum age?
If you are booking a room as an individual, the minimum age to stay with a host family is 16 years old. There is no maximum age.