Host Family or Boarding?
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All our schools are chosen to give students the possibility to live in a host family. They are in areas where we have an experienced member of staff and an established network of caring host families. These are ‘our’ areas, so we know all about them. Our schools are in or near a city rather than in the countryside as is often the case for schools which only offer boarding. Some of these schools also have boarding facilities, so why are we recommending them specifically as day schools?
The British Experience
Our schools enjoy a worldwide reputation for excellent education. They attract students from many countries, which offers the opportunity to make international friends and study in a global environment. However, we also want to make sure our students are able to perfect language skills and absorb British culture. We feel they do this best by staying in the community rather than being in the school 24 hours a day.
Leaving your family and friends to study abroad is incredibly brave. We want to offer the comfort and support of a host family. Ours schools do an excellent job of teaching values and structures and staff there work tirelessly to look after their pupils, making them welcome and keeping them safe, but we like to also provide a home life.
Many of our students are at an age at which they want to take part in sports, play in an orchestra or join leisure clubs. Schools provide all these options with excellent coaching and facilities, but competition and participation are often on a regional or national level. A football player will usually want to play for a team outside school, a ballet dancer may need more specific training, a violin player needs to be in an orchestra playing at the right level. Staying in a family makes this possible.
Holidays and weekends
Schools close for holidays and some weekends. International students go home or to temporary families. We prefer our students to have a family where they belong. They may chose to spend time in a boarding house, but they can always go home to they own room and spend time with their own family.
When applying for study abroad, candidates often say that one of their reasons for making that choice is that they want to gain maturity and independence. Staying with a host family allows them to do so at the rate which is considered appropriate for our country. They have freedom whilst still being carefully watched over by a family and coordinator outside school.
Working or volunteering
It may be surprising to hear that we allow our students to work. You might not have been aware that a Tier IV visa even permits part time employment for students over 16. We are supportive of students finding a job because we know that those first steps in the world of work can be so important. The jobs are usually simple such as working in a coffee shop on a Saturday or maybe helping at a charity shop. However, even this experience looks good on a resume and it helps young people focus on goals.
SEE students have to follow strict travel rules so that everyone is safe. That said, trips are offered and students generally have the option to go shopping in London, attend a sports event or see more of our country. The location of the schools means easy access to the coach and rail network, a factor to be considered for tourism as well as university visits and meeting family in London.
Some schools offer day students the opportunity to board on a temporary basis. This is a good opportunity because it means they have the stability of having their own host family, but they can also try out boarding. Spending a few days nights in the school can be fund and exciting, but we have found that students are generally glad to return to their host families. We would still recommend a short boarding stay, so they can see they are not missing out on anything as day pupils. The proportion of day/boarding pupils varies between schools. Of course, it could also happen that a day pupil invites a boarding pupil home for the weekend.
If you want to find out more, get in touch
We’d be happy to discuss any questions you may have or if you need any further information.