Making Money and Meeting Students – Being a Homestay Host

Just the other day, I said goodbye to two young people who’d being staying in my house for the last 4 weeks.

They were foreign students and I was their “host” – only it didn’t feel as official as that sounds – more like having a friend’s kids to stay for a while. So, how did they come to be in my home?


Well, a few years ago I was thinking of ways to make a little extra money as well as my job and I heard about Homestays – having people (in this case students) staying in your home whilst they are in the UK. So, I checked it out, and ended up signing up with Twin – a local family run business proving education and training for International students as well as UK people – and 3 years later I’m still doing it!


Two reasons, really: firstly, it’s fun having young people sharing our home for a while. But’s it’s also good to get a bit of a boost to the household income – we do it partly for fun, but we don’t do it for free! From around £95 per week up to £460, depending on the number of students and whether or not you take them to the Twin school and back in the week.

And of course, you do have to look after them a little – feed them along with yourself and perhaps family, make sure the house is clean and liveable, but I do that myself anyway, so, no big deal.

If you are a parent (or you were a parent and miss having the children around), it’s no more than you’d do for your own children. If you’re not a parent – I know some “homestay hosts” who are and some who aren’t think of it as having a friendly overseas guest for a few days – or even a few months.

You might be wondering what kinds of students Homestay hosts tend to get. Well, it’s quite a wide variety, from around the world, from 8 years old to full adults, but you do get to choose which age-groups you’d want to host – I tend to go with 15-18 year olds.

Their length of stay can vary a lot also – anything from a few days to several months, although if you take on a longer-term student you’re not tied in to their full length of stay.

One of the nice things about doing this is you’re not left on your own.

The younger kids tend to come over with a Group Leader, who is usually responsible for escorting them when they are not in school. I say usually, because you may also be able to earn a little extra a week by providing a Pick-up and Drop Off service – if you don’t want to you don’t have to.

Also, Twin itself takes on responsibility with a helpline and out-of-hours emergency line and guidebooks for Homestay Hosts and for students so each knows what to expect of the other. For some students, it’s their first time abroad without parents, so Twin tells them what to expect from British family life and how to behave in a Homestay Host’s place – including observing a curfew for the older schoolchildren!

Of course, you wouldn’t expect children to be sent to just any host without checking out the host’s home, making sure they know what’s entailed, that the Homestay home meets reasonable standards – and that there are no serious criminal records!.

If any of you out there think you might like to try this, it’s pretty easy to check it out without any commitment. Twin arranges for someone to visit you, see your home and explain exactly how the scheme works. Of course, there are also websites that you can register with, but I find the Twin service more personal – it’s nice to meet with someone from the organisation you’d be working with and know that they care for their customers at least as much as you do!

If I’ve got you interested and you just want to find out a bit more at this stage, Twin makes it easy – just visit their website, and if you’re interested in finding our more complete their no commitment registration form and they will be in touch.

About TWIN Accommodation

Twin Group is a British Council Accredited international school & award winning provider of internships, established in 1995, now based in the brand new Greenwich Centre. Visited by thousands of students each year, we provide them with life enriching educational experiences and a welcoming environment in the UK. To make this possible we depend upon our Twin hosts who welcome students into their homes.

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