Become a Host Family

Why should you host an exchange student?

Become a host family with MyEducation

Why should you host?

Making the decision to become a host family is one that will open up the lives of your family members to new cultures, experiences and relationships. For many families who choose to host an exchange student they find that the time together with a foreign student is one of intercultural exchange and friendship. These are friendships and relationships that will last a lifetime.

Our students:

  • Come from a variety of countries including Germany, Denmark, Norway, Italy, USA, Brazil and Australia.
  • Arrive for an exchange of 4, 5 or 10 months. Arrivals are in August/September (a small number of students arrive for 4 months in January).
  • Are aged 16-18 and will be enrolled in a local school (some students might be 15 on arrival).
  • Are interviewed and screened before departure to ensure they are ready for an overseas exchange.
  • Are able to speak a moderate/good level of English on arrival and will work to improve their skills.
  • Are looking forward to living with a family who will welcome them and care for them while they embark on one of the biggest challenges of their young lives.
Hosting Stories
Host family with exchange student at waterfall

Our students have been interviewed and provide character references to ensure that their expectations and understanding of the exchange experience are correct. They arrive in the UK with an eagerness to learn and to become part of your family life and the British culture.

As well as assessing their readiness for the exchange, students are also assessed on their motivation to succeed at school. While your family will provide the support at home, the students will also attend school as a member of Year 12 or S5/S6 and will be expected to commit to their studies and be a positive member of the school community. All students have a C grade average at school and have proven themselves not only to enjoy school but also to make the most of the time they have there both academically and socially.

What does a host family provide?

If you choose to become a host family you will make it possible for a student to study and experience life in the UK. We ask that you are able to provide:

  • A comfortable environment including a bed, study area and space to store their personal belongings.
  • Three meals a day (packed lunch on school days).
  • Warmth and support to assist your student through their exchange.
  • A home environment where they are welcomed as a member of the family.

MyEducation offers a monthly reimbursement to host families to cover the costs of having a student in your home. Please note that students come with all of their own spending money and expect to pay for all of their other expenses outside of the home. You are not asked to pay for their activities or support them financially in any way.

If you choose to become a host family with MyEducation we will be there to support you and your student 24 hours a day. You will have access to the following support structure to guide you and your student through the experience of the exchange:

  • Area Representative: this is a local volunteer who will be in contact with you and your student at intervals during the exchange. They are there to support you all and to help make the placement a success. You are able to contact the Area Representative as you need to and can ask questions and seek guidance on how best to manage any issues.
  • MyEducation office: staff in the office are available during usual work hours to answer any questions and to give guidance and support. We will happily talk through any concerns and give specific advice. When needed we will alert the Area Representative to any issues that need additional support and we will speak with the student when required.
  • Emergency phone: you can access the MyEducation team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if you have an issue that requires urgent management. If the safety and well being of the student or your family is in question you can call the emergency number and speak with a staff member.

Hosting is a wonderful way to bring the world into your home and into your family. However, we know that hosting a teenager can present challenges. We are here to address any issues, however big or small, and we encourage families and students to speak with us and to speak with one another as issues arise. Addressing a concern early on can really help to resolve a possible problem further down the line. Often students don’t realise there is a problem, so as a host parent we encourage you to be open and honest with your student and we ask the same of them.

How do you become a host family?

If you would like to become a host family there are a few simple steps that we ask you to complete to be approved for hosting:

  1. Contact MyEducation to register your interest in becoming a host family by completing our host family profile form.
  2. Meet with a staff member at your home to complete an in-person interview and to complete relevant documents for your application.
  3. Complete a police check:
    1. England and Wales residents: DBS checks are required. These are done online and all costs are covered by MyEducation.
    2. Scotland residents: A PVG is required. Prior to your home interview you will receive the necessary documents to apply for a new PVG or to confirm your existing PVG. We ask that these documents are completed prior to the meeting and the necessary ID documents are ready for the staff member to view. All costs of the application are covered by MyEducation.
  4. Provide us with three referees we can contact to enquire about family life.
  5. Choose a student that best matches your family and get in contact with them to build a relationship with them before their arrival.
  6. Welcome your new ‘host son’ or ‘host daughter’ into your home.

Once you register your wish to host a student we will contact your local schools to enquire about an enrolment with them. Our students arrive in the UK for 5 or 10 months in August/September and for 4.5 months in January. Some schools are not able to accept a short term student. We will speak to them and work to match a student with you and the school.

Learn more about hosting