It’s very common for prospective host families to have the misconception that they need to host students all year round – that it’s some kind of massive commitment and you need to be there all the time. Well, this simply isn’t true.
Hosting can be very flexible indeed, and it’s definitely possible to fit in hosting students with things like family holidays and so on. Generally, language schools will be able to offer you a variety of students who will be staying in the UK for anything from around 3 weeks up to a year or more, so if you prefer to host only shorter staying students, you can totally do so.
The most important thing that we’d recommend you do when considering hosting is to make sure you plan your year out effectively. Keep a calendar so you know exactly when you’re planning to have holidays, and take nights away from your home. That way, it makes it a lot easier for you when it comes to booking in students from your school.
While hosting students is surprisingly flexible then, on the flip side it does still pay for you to be as flexible as possible too. Being flexible will enable you to take advantage of students that are offered to you at short notice, and also students who for example, end up staying longer than you expect.
If you’re flexible enough that you are able to keep students for longer periods of time e.g. 3 months plus, then there are plenty of benefits to doing so. The most obvious benefit of course is that you’ll get a guaranteed regular, reliable income from your long term student, but it’s also worth considering that it can be easier to have a long term student. For example, your longer term student will have settled into a routine within your household, and you will not need to keep welcoming in new students and showing them the ropes. Not only this, but you’ll likely be able to build a bit more of a bond with a student over this length of time, really helping them to feel a part of your family.
At the end of the day the choice is yours, and that’s one of the best things about hosting. Having the flexibility there makes it really easy to fit hosting around your lifestyle, no matter how complicated, and you certainly don’t need to host students all year if that doesn’t work for you.