Have you ever wondered whether you would like to host a young person from another country and learn more about the world? There is no better time to start and consider taking in an international pupil who is studying at a UK boarding school. If you think you may be interested in becoming a host family – read on!
What does an international pupil require from a host family?
Firstly, a second home where he/she may feel very welcome and encouraged to treat the people within as a second family during their stay. Many of the children needing this support will be under 13 years and will miss their own families very much. It is the professional relationship which is developed which will support them whilst in the UK. There will be those who will be studying for A levels, GCSEs and other examinations. Other may want to use this time for revision and further study to prepare.
Secondly, on a practical level, they will need a room of their own (preferably). They need either an en-suite or a shared bathroom with a locked door. They will need a study area as well as being included in the family time – mealtimes, relaxing in the evening, going out for walks or shopping. Fundamentally, a home from home.
Thirdly, understanding should they be on a different diet. Whether that is a vegetarian, non dairy or any other style of diet. A space in the fridge and a shelf in a cupboard that they can keep their own treats, basic needs is always appreciated. It might be that they take medicines daily and will need your support with this.
What happens when something goes wrong?
We hope that after working hard with you and the pupil, that there will not be an issue. However, when discussing the care of children, it is important that you read the contract carefully. Nevertheless, our team will be keeping in touch with you and the pupil to make sure all is well.
Depending on the age of the child in your care, we will advise on the timing they should return to your home. You may find that a child staying with you is unwell or has an accident. In this case you will need to call a GP or pop to a local A&E.
We have a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week phone number and we will support you throughout. We will also provide details on what to do in an emergency.
You may be asked to have a child whilst they recuperate from a hospital stay. Or even if they find themselves making a wrong decision at school and needing time out. Whatever the reason, we will be there to support you.
How do I go about being a host family?
- Email Berkeley Guardians (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact us and state your interest.
- We will arrange for a handbook to be sent to give you further information about being a Berkeley Guardian host.
- If you are keen to continue then we will arrange for one of our homestay staff to meet with you and go through the inspection.
- We will ask you for two referees and expect you to allow us to undertake a DBS check on you and anyone over 16 years of age in your family – at our cost.
- Once all the preliminaries are in place then our Designated Safeguarding Lead will ensure that you have undergone the relevant safeguarding training prior to having any pupil to stay with you.
- Once everything is in place – we will find you a pupil and try and match you with a suitable young person.