Bright World Guardianships acts as education guardian to international children at UK boarding schools across the UK. A very important part of our role is to offer host family accommodation to our students during the holiday times when boarding schools are closed. We have been developing our host family network since the company was formed in 2000 and some families have worked with us for nearly 20 years. Being a host family is a very rewarding job as you are offering a true home from home for students who are away from their parents and who need somewhere familiar to stay in their short school holidays.
There are countless benefits of hosting students for Bright World. Having had so much feedback from our host families over the years, we are aware that as well as offering a valuable extra income for the family, the experience is very fulfilling.
Students and host family members alike learn a lot about different cultures. For a student, living in a British host family can be a totally new experience. Life back in their home country is usually quite different with different customs and habits and houses just look different. Staying an a British home is a very enjoyable different experience for them.
Members of the host family also learn about different cultures. For the children of the host family it is very good for education and their personal development.
We know that students and their host families often stay in contact for life. We have heard of host families attending university graduation ceremonies, visiting the student's family in their own country and staying in touch for many years. Being a host family can really mean making life-long friends.
Host families achieve a real sense of fulfilment from having supported and helped someone else on their education journey in the UK. Providing a home to stay in with a warm welcome during the holidays really makes a huge difference to the experience of an international student.
First and foremost, the most important thing is to provide a warm and caring home for your student or students. They should feel comfortable being in your home and feel they are welcome.
The room should be comfortable with space for them to study ideally and with a bedside lamp so they can comfortably read at night. You should make sure your student feels comfortable and warm enough. The house should be kept clean for them and you should be prepared to do a reasonable amount of laundry for them.
Food is very important and our happiest students are always those who enjoy the opportunity to have fresh and home cooked food. Do take the time to ask your student what they like to eat and try and fit that into your weekly menus.
If they are old enough to go out on their own, it is nice to offer them a key to the house so they can come and go freely.
A very important part of hosting is collecting and dropping off your student at school. Having a familiar face to meet you at the school gates when other students's parents are arriving really gives students a sense of belonging and comfort.
A good host family will really welcome their student into their home and will take the time to help them to settle in, making sure they know where everything is and if there are any house rules you would like them to follow. Let them know what time you usually eat, go to bed and if they are old enough to go out then remind them of the Bright World rules. Setting boundaries early on can really make things go a lot more smoothly.
Make sure you include your student in the family activities and invite them to join you if they wish. If they prefer to remain in their room then also respect their privacy and wish to to that. They are often quite tired and have a lot of study to do so they do not always want to join in everything.
Try and get to know your student to understand them and show you really care about them and things should go very well.
Being a host family is a rewarding experience but your expenses are also covered generously for taking on the role. You will be paid a generous daily rate as well as mileage for picking up and dropping off your student or students. If you have more spare rooms and you are willing, you can host up to three students at a time so the payments can become more financially rewarding.