Hosting FAQ

Hosting FAQ

When would I host?
Our students attend schools either as boarding students who go to host families during half term holidays and ex-eat weekends. Or, are day pupils who are housed during term time with host families, and may or may not prefer to remain with their host families over the half term but not normally the end of term longer holidays. Exeat (out) weekends are when students are required to leave school after lessons on Friday, and return to school late afternoon early evening on Sunday, there are usually two per term, but schools vary. There are always two in the first Winter term as this is the longest term of the year at around 14 weeks from early September to late December.
Can I host over the Christmas and Summer holidays?
The majority of our students go home for the Summer holidays, and almost all return home for the Christmas holidays. Very rarely we have a student who is staying over the holidays.
Do I have to collect the students from school?
We will most likely arrange transport with taxis or if you live within a mile or so of a boarding house we may ask you to collect and return the students when you are hosting over half term and exeat weekends. This is a journey within half an hour of the school. Students hosted during term time will generally manage their school commute daily independently.
Are bunk beds or double beds acceptable for your students?
We do prefer to offer a full size comfortable single bed for each student. We would consider other styles of bed. One student per double bed is acceptable, but they must not share with any other students.
Is it alright for students to share a room?
A shared bedroom shared with one other student aged under 18 years of the same gender is allowed if the room is large enough for both students to have sufficient study space.
Will I be able to be a host family if I am retired and do not have children?
Yes of course, some students prefer to be in a house without host siblings. A quiet home can be a good place to study and calm and welcoming after all the activities of the school day.
I work full time, can I still be a host family?
Yes, if you can meet the needs of being a host parent. As a host parent your employment would need to work around the needs of your students, shift work for example would not make hosting possible. If you host a student attending a day school you will need regular hours 9.00-17.30 and not to be working too far away.
How much time will I need to spend with my students?
This varies between students. Younger students may enjoy more of your time. You should offer a welcoming home and communicate with your student regularly about their day. Some students love the rough and tumble of family life and will join you and your family with your daily activities, others prefer quiet, peace and their own space. A younger student will expect to spend daily quality time chatting, interacting and being around you and your family. We will discuss with you the kind of student that would work best for you and match appropriately.
Will I have to cater for specific diets?
If you are happy to accommodate a specific requirement e.g. vegetarian, kosher, gluten free, dairy free etc. then please inform us on the application form. We only place students with families who can cater for the students specific cultural and dietary requirements.
What nationalities will my students be?
Our students are global and come from each and every continent. Over 50 different nationalities are taken by our schools.
How old will the students be?
We only take children from 11 years old, most are older teenagers age 14 yrs plus. However our students could be between 11-18 years old. Students attending day schools will only be age 16 years and older, and they will be studying I.B. and A levels.
Will I definitely have students coming to stay with us?
We organize our host families well in advance, however occasionally a students plans change. We try to give you as much notice as we can if this happens and attempt to find a suitable replacement.
I became a host family a while ago and have not had students to stay for a time?
If we have received your paperwork, references and DBS clearance and we have suitable students in your area who require host families, we will give you a call. Please bear with us as students arrive at specific times during the year. Our busy time is the start of September and from Easter onwards we start to enrol new students for the year ahead, If you have any concerns do get in touch!
How much do I get paid?
We pay generously, recognise effort and performance regularly and reimburse expenses quickly. Each host family supporting our students is central to our business and is rewarded accordingly. We will inform you when we visit your home our current rates of pay.
When will I be paid?
We usually pay by online transfer after the student arrives at your home. We pay weekly as most of our families prefer this. Please keep all paperwork from Cambridge Guardian Angels concerning students and payments from them. Under the rent a room scheme you are able to earn £4,250.00 per year in addition to your personal allowance.
Can I stop work and use my income from hosting to pay my mortgage?
Being a host family provides additional income, but this is not guaranteed and can not be guaranteed as regular. Although rare, students may cancel from time to time or leave school mid year. We do not recommend you host for Cambridge Guardian Angels if you are going to rely on hosting for income. For questions about your tax situation please see the following link: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/rent-a-room-scheme-how-it-works-and-tax-rules.
I am new to being a host parent, what help and support will I receive?
Initially when we visit your home we will provide a full information pack about hosting. We will explain to you about the needs of boarding and day school students as well as the difference needs of older and younger students and some of the different cultural expectations of students from different nationalities. Cambridge Guardian Angels is a small Cambridge based business and we are always on the end of the phone or email. We understand and visit our schools regularly and know the staff and all students personally, we communicate with all host families regularly and keep our host families informed about their students and their school lives. We have 24/7 telephone and email access. You can contact us anytime and will receive a prompt reply. We are here to answer your questions, queries or just talk through a situation you are concerned about.
Am I the students’ education guardian?
No, Cambridge Guardian Angels is the student’s education guardian.
Will I have to pay for trips out when we take our student along, at the weekend and during the holidays?
We expect our host parents to include their students in some family events that are appropriate and do not expect you to incur high levels of expenditure without compensation. Please contact us and we will confirm with the students parents they are happy to reimburse us for their children’s expenses.
Will I have to pay pocket money?
Students are in charge of their own money. We will pay pocket money to younger students if it is needed. We encourage students to open bank accounts and assist them with this. In the event of a student loosing money, cash cards or having them stolen, please contact us straight away.
Can I use my existing DBS check to cover hosting as a host parent?
We interview, take reference checks and take out our own DBS checks for every potential host family. DBS checks are only transferable within the first three months if taken out by another accredited Guardianship Company.
Will I be asked to host at short notice?
Sometimes we have a requirement for host families at short notice. We would always call you first to check your availability. We do understand sometimes it will not be possible for you to take students at short notice.
Will I have to attend sports events, parent teacher meetings, and other school events?
You may wish to support your student, especially the older students. This is a personal decision and not a requirement from Cambridge Guardian Angels. All academic matters will be referred to us as education guardians of the student we will attend all school functions on behalf of our students.
What do I do if my student is homesick?
It is a big change moving to a new country with a different culture whatever the students age. Younger students and day students can find this first period away from home especially hard. Please contact us straight away if your student is unhappy and do not leave the situation. The happiness and welfare of our students is paramount and we will immediately make alternative arrangements for the students and help them work through their issues. We are in continual contact with the schools and the students family and will communicate with them to help the student settle.
Can we set rules about friends visiting, staying over, coming in at night and curfew times?
Yes, you should speak to your student and agree house rules. Generally minors aged 16 yrs and under should be home by 20.00 during the week and 21.00 at weekends and holidays. Students who are age 16-18 years should be home by 21.00 during the week and 22.00 at weekends. All students must be home for dinner first. We do not expect you to provide accommodation for friends. If you want to and have the room, the student may agree with you in advance if a family member visits. Please call us to discuss if you have any questions. Friends may visit with your agreement, you are not required to provide meals or overnight stays, please contact us if your student requests a friend sleeps over as we will need to notify the  students school.
If my student is unwell or needs a dentist what should I do?
All students are registered with a local doctor and dentist. EU citizens are entitled to receive free medical care. Non EU citizens pay a consultation charge of £55.00. All dental and eye care is paid by the student. If your student is unwell and a day student they should see their local doctor for an accurate diagnosis and a medical certificate, if a boarding student the student school see the school nurse and she can arrange a doctors visit, call us if you are concerned. If your student seems very unwell call the emergency services immediately on 999 by land line or 112 by mobile phone and the student will be taken to the closest hospital offering emergency care, please advise us of the situation and call us as soon as you can.
For any other questions please contact us.
Note: We will place a maximum of three students in one family. All family members age 16 years and above will need an enhanced DBS check that we will arrange and reference checks.To contact us call Julia on: 01223 233204 0r 0771 960 6770 or email: julia@cambridge-guardian-angels.com