If you’re looking to make an extra bit of money, have you ever thought of taking in an overseas student? This can be a great way to meet new people, learn about a different culture first-hand and make a few bob while you’re at it – sound like something you’re interested in? Read on to find out more.
What exactly is hosting?
There are numerous English language schools, colleges and universities all across the country with students looking for a place to stay and depending on where you live, you could host one of them. There are generally two types of students that could come stay with you – younger students coming to the UK to learn English as a foreign language or students (and sometimes lecturers) attending the local university.
Who you decide to host will depend on your lifestyle and how much time you’re willing to give up. Younger students will typically attend a language school in the day, and you’ll be expected to feed them and provide them with a room or bed to sleep on. The type of board you should provide will vary, but normally you’ll be asked to give them breakfast and an evening meal. Be aware that some schools will place students in groups, so you could be expected to take in more than one child at a time.
Older students will have more freedom when it comes to coming and going from your home but you will usually still have to provide them with breakfast.
How do I get involved?
If you think hosting sounds like a good idea, get in touch with your local language school. They’ll be able to let you know what the process entails and get you added to their database. Before this happens, you’ll usually receive a visit to your home and could have a CRB check carried out on you.
If you have any preferences, don’t be afraid to make these known when applying. For example, if you have a house full of teenage girls and would prefer to only take in female students, make sure that this is clear on your application form. The same goes for if you wouldn’t want the responsibility of having someone with severe allergies come and stay with you.
You can find out where the nearest language school is to you, by visiting International Association of Language Centres, English UK or Kaplan International. Closer to a university? If they don’t have any information on their site about hosting, give them a call and ask for more information.
How much will I make?
This will depend on where you live, your home and the facilities that you include as part of the cost. For example, you could charge more for providing internet or doing their laundry (if you’d be comfortable with this). But, if you’re looking to make this more of a long-term thing, you could provide these add-ons as goodwill gestures, in the hope that you’ll receive good feedback and be used again.
All in all, you could make up to £100 a week hosting an overseas student. But this could fluctuate depending on the company that you go with. What you earn shouldn’t be taxed though, as you won’t be receiving more than £4,250 from your lodger.
As long as you set ground rules, you’ll get used to sharing your home with someone else pretty quickly. And who knows, a couple of weeks stay could turn into a life-long friendship for you and your family!