Questions about your English teacher
Can you tell me a little more about my teacher?
When we receive an enquiry from you, we will ask you to complete a form so that we can get an accurate idea of your homestay criteria and what you hope to achieve from your homestay English language course. Having received the completed form ,we will then find you the most compatible/available teacher. We will send you a profile of your prospective teacher which will present all qualifications and teaching experience as well as photos of the teacher and the accommodation. Sometimes we will send you two or three profiles for you to choose from. Conversely, you may select a tutor from our tutor’s page.Our teachers are all professionally trained with many years experience in both a classroom and one-to-one environment. They all have university degrees as well as qualifications that make them English language specialists. Some also have qualifications in other fields, such as law , catering, nursing etc : All teachers are CRB checked . ( CRB = Criminal Records Bureau ).
Can I choose my own teacher?
A successful, happy, productive student-teacher relationship lies at the very heart of what we do and we take a lot of care to get your placement right. We know all our teachers well and use this personal knowledge, as well as our experience with past students, to choose the best English teacher for you. This judgement is based on careful analysis of the information you have provided, the dates you wish to study and your food and accommodation needs. Some of our teachers have a preference for the type of student they welcome into their home and teach, based on their own interests and experience. If you are unhappy with our selection, we will look for a suitable replacement providing the complaint is legitimate.
What happens if I’m unhappy with my teacher?
From the time of booking and for the duration of your course, the Homestay English team are here to support you and help in any way that we are able to make learning English in England, a successful venture. You can speak to us in confidence about any problems that might arise.You can call the Director of studies directly on 07521921090 if you are unhappy with any aspect of the homestay. If you provide all the information requested when you make a booking with us, this is a situation that can be avoided. We endeavour to match teacher and student as accurately as possible.However, in the unlikely event that you are unhappy with your teacher, if there is a valid and reasonable reason, we will discreetly move you to an alternative teacher’s home, subject to availability. Please ensure that you take out adequate insurance so that if you are unable to continue with your course for whatever reason ,your insurance will compensate you. Once a teacher has been booked for your allocated period of time, we cannot renege on full payment unless there has been a valid complaint.
How much notice should I give before booking?
It is best to book as early as possible as the best teachers get booked up very early. If you would like a Homestay between June and September we recommend booking at the beginning of the year.. After September,demand is less frequent so we are able to do bookings at short notice .Although we do take last minute bookings ,there is no guarantee that your criteria will be met. We will do our best to match you with a compatible teacher and if we are unable to help you we will tell you, honestly.
What if I need to change my dates or my program?
If you wish to change your dates or program once the invoice has been issued there will be a £50 admin fee.
Questions about your English course
On which day does the course start?
Ideally students arrive on a Sunday and begin lessons on the Monday morning. However, we try to help students to benefit from the most competitive flights and so we are flexible on arrival days.
How do you plan my course?
Prior to arrival you will be sent a placement test to complete.On your first day, your teacher will assess your level and your oral fluency. This will highlight your strengths and weaknesses. The teacher will then work with you to design a personalised study program. Your level, study needs and learning objectives will be taken into consideration when lessons are planned, ensuring effective use of your lesson time. At the end of your course you will be given a written assessment from your teacher which will include future recommendations.
What will my average day entail ?
Depending on how many hours of lessons you book, you can expect to eat breakfast with your teacher, and begin your lesson at 9am. You will work through the morning, with a short coffee break, eating lunch with your teacher around 1pm. If you book twenty or more hours per week, you will have more lessons in the afternoon. There will also be time scheduled for excursions , activities and private study, as well as time to relax and socialise with your teacher and family. A more specific timetable can be arranged when you book your course. Above all,we want you to enjoy your time in England.
For parents who are concerned about their children getting bored and homesick and being in an unfamiliar environment ,we offer an ACTIVE program . This entails an activity or an outing every day after lessons. Constant 24 hour supervision by your teacher is assured. Transport fees and fees to LOCAL venues are included. LOCAL means within a five mile radius of the homestay.
Will I have time to study on my own?
All course timetables include time for private study. You will have your own study area, where you can do homework, revise and prepare. You will also be encouraged to read English newspapers, magazines and websites and to watch TV or listen to the radio, either with your teacher and family or in your own room.
Would it cost me less money if I only have conversation?
We offer a culture and conversation course, with emphasis on comprehension and speaking. There are no formal lessons on this course but an hour per day solid conversation on a topic of your choice. This involves living with a English family where you will be learning English through discussions as well as every day conversation.Four half day excursions are also included in this package ,which is more flexible and which costs a little less than formal lessons.
How many lessons can I have?
The standard package includes 10 hours of private one-to-one tuition. However, if you choose to do 15, 20 hours or more per week , then the extra lessons over and above 10 hours, will be charged at £30 per hour.
Can I go out alone?
If you are an adult (18+) you are free to do as you please as per the terms and conditions. Any student under the age of 18, must have written permission from a parent or guardian stipulating the time they must return to the host teacher’s home. The majority of teachers will let mature students have their own key.
Questions about travel
How will I get to my teacher’s home?
If you arrive at Gatwick airport you will be able to get direct trains to Hastings, Eastbourne and Brighton.The journey time is around an hour. The same applies if you arrive by Eurostar Ashford International. When you know your arrival date and port of entry ,we will give you directions on how to get to your host family’s nearest station. Unless you are arriving by taxi ,you will be met at the appropriate local station by your host teacher. In the case of juniors, arrangements will be made to meet them at the airport on arrival and departure.
Questions about staying in your Homestay
Can I bring my spouse / child / parent / friend with me?
Should you wish to study with someone else, or perhaps study on your own but travel with a family member, this can be arranged. Perhaps your child will be studying and you would like to stay with them while they take the course. If you wish to study with a friend the course costs could then be shared. Whichever scenario you prefer, we are flexible and will work with you to find a solution adaptable to your needs.
Will I be able to wash my clothes?
A washing machine, iron and ironing board will be available for you to use at your teacher’s home.
Will I be able to use my laptop?
All teacher’s have WIFI. If you do not have your own laptop ,most teachers will be willing to let you use theirs for a reasonable amount of time.
Can I use my mobile phone?
Check with your mobile phone provider to make sure you have the roaming facility and check their international calling rates. Bring a charger and an appropriate travel adaptor for the UK. It will also be possible to receive phone calls on your teacher’s landline, although outgoing calls are not permitted.
Can I smoke in my teacher’s home?
No. Most teachers have a ‘no smoking’ policy inside their homes, but you are welcome to smoke outside the house.
I am a vegetarian/ vegan – is this a problem?
If you have any special dietary requirements, please just let us know and we will make sure your teacher is aware when they cook for you.
What if I become ill during my stay?
All European Union students travelling within the Eurozone are advised to get the European Health Insurance Card, in addition to personal travel insurance cover. If necessary, we can arrange for you to visit a doctor as a temporary resident. Lessons cannot be deferred due to illness.
Questions about excursions
Do I pay for my excursions?
If you are on a general Junior or Adult program, no. When you arrive you will be given a selection of possible excursions to choose from. One and a half days excursions, accompanied by your teacher, are included in the course prices. However, any entrance fees to venues are not included . If you require your teacher to enter any venue with you ,you must be prepared to pay their entry tickets also. Accompanied London excursions are available at additional cost. However, if you are on the enhanced Junior program, all transport and LOCAL venue fees are included.( within a 5 mile radius of the homestay) On culture and conversation programs you will be offered four half day excursions with your teacher. These can be changed into full days, by mutual arrangement. LOCAL transport is included on these excursions. There are no formal lessons on this program which concentrates on interaction with the host family and native speakers during excursions, mealtimes and evenings. When not on excursions, students will be expected to go out and explore on their own. ( over 18s).