Carefully selected and welcoming homestay families
Some Oxford Guardian students attend international day schools, where accommodation is organised by their school for them. However, for those students who attend boarding schools, holidays present different challenges and opportunities for schools and families alike. Most schools need students to be away from the school’s premises for the half term holiday and exeats (weekend breaks) during term times.
Oxford Guardians prides itself on the attention it pays to these exeats and half terms. We enjoy matching students with carefully chosen families and appropriate environments. We see this as a vital part of nurturing the rounded individual so that they become familiar with the wider host country culture. Choosing the right homestay family is very important for the student’s happiness and well being.
I have been staying with Debbie and Mark Coles for a year. They are a really nice and friendly family. Emily and Jess always invite me to watch movie with them after dinner. Charlie and Sophie have asked me many times to watch them ride as well. I like them because they are really caring and both Debi and her husband are a good cook.
Part of the Family
As you would expect, we follow a thorough process to carefully select the right homestay environment for our guardianship students to appreciate and experience life in the UK. We check the homestay family and the home. We ensure that all police checks, references and documentation required in connection with the home stay family are done. We carry out a rigorous check on the home to ensure it is a safe and secure place for the guardianship student to stay in.
Our homestay families treat the student as one of the family, involving the student in family activities, providing a home away from home. They enjoy family meals and joining in with the family’s activities, which may involve outdoor activities or simply the chance to relax and unwind from academic pressures. Frequently, it allows students to enjoy time spent around others from different backgrounds. Being in homestay can encourage personal growth and helps the student to develop into a rounded young adult able to gain as much as possible from their educational experience and to be fully prepared for later life.
Being a homestay host is a great opportunity for you and your family to get to know a young person and to support them whilst they are at school in the UK. My child really enjoys the time he gets to spend with our student, a real bonus for him as an only child to develop a friendship with another, older boy.
We give our guardianship students and their parents an introductory information sheet with the picture and description of the family. Where possible, we arrange for the student to meet the homestay family prior to their stay.
We also encourage ongoing feedback from the student and the homestay family during the stay to ensure well being. Our experience is that homestays are a vital part of the guardianship process and we believe that it is something that we excel at!