International students studying in the UK who are under the age of 18 are usually required to have a guardian. They also need a homestay for one or two weekends per term and for their half term holiday if not returning home.
As a homestay guardian you offer a student a home from home, allowing them to enjoy the same freedom as a home student – that is, to be free to have a break from the school during exeat weekends and a place to stay during half term holidays. In this way, their experience in the UK is enhanced socially, culturally and linguistically by the opportunity to spend time with a UK family in a secure and friendly environment. The culturally enriching experience can benefit all!
Sutherland Education as a Guardianship Organisation undertakes all the legal liabilities involved in guardianship care. It ensures compliance with all childcare legislation for students under the age of 18 and provides on-going assistance to students and their guardian homestays. Its accreditation by AEGIS (The Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students) is an assurance of the very high standards upheld in all its practices.
Sutherland Education’s ethos has emerged from two generations of caring for international students. The input is a blend of the old and new. Andrew Sutherland’s mother’s maxim back in the 1960s was:
“I could never agree to my child travelling to the other side of the world for an education, but if others are going to send their children to the UK, then I want to be the first to look after them.” In today’s world of the most rapid changes ever known in the history of mankind and of political, social and religious fermentation, our team espouses the need to combine caring for the individual child with addressing self-awareness, encouraging high academic aspirations and teaching critical thinking and philosophy. This all adds up to addressing wellbeing and mindfulness as an essential ingredient of any successful career.
At SE we nurture the development of young global citizens with an ability to understand and relish the richness of difference between cultures of the world. Join us in this wonderful opportunity to host a student from any part of the world whose reason for coming to the UK is to seek a good education and, (we hope and wish to encourage), a better understanding of our fast developing global village in spite of the hot spots of fermentation and conflict. These are what we have to overcome and intelligent and well educated future citizens instructed in adopting internationalism and a global perspective is one of the best solutions.
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela
There are few more rewarding ways of extending a welcome to one’s home than in looking after a student from another country whose parents want to know that they are in caring hands and that there is some kind of infrastructure for safeguarding as well as welfare provision. It’s not difficult with our support available 24/7, especially if you have had children of your own!
SE helps all its member families to do this with ease. Our support is immediate and continuous. All you have to do is call if you have a query and the support and advice will be straightway available with an immediacy that will leave you breathless with astonishment and humming with satisfaction …. ☺. SE’s personnel are here to support you 24/7.
You may have children or you may be single … or perhaps you are an ‘inbetweener’ whose flock have fled the fold and now the pen is empty. The gate squeaks to beckon some return and it’s only the wind. The sides rattle and you’ve swept the pen clean umpteen times, for whom you’re not sure. Then fill the hole! Host an international student and enjoy the wonderful company, the challenge of being available and useful again!
But then, if you’re a busy mum and the children are quite demanding, what better opportunity could you have than to preoccupy them with the presence of an international student ….. Let them converse with a student from the other side of the world … or maybe France in which case you can pour and ponder over the hundred years war! Or Europe and immigration!
You are able to cover your costs very generously to make hosting financially rewarding. For example a student who stays for the 10 days of a half term (sometimes 14 days) will pay between £35 -£45 per night which amounts to £350 -£450 for the one stay. Three stays per year amount to a possible £1350. The hidden costs such as gas and electricity you are paying for the most part anyway. Food might incur a 10% increase let’s say. This still leaves you with £1,215. And you can host two students if you have the space, and you’ve paid for a luxurious holiday for the family!…. or you had your spouse.
You may also be remunerated for being a guardian which can be a very significant boost to your reward as an SE homestay. The amount will depend on the level of guardianship chosen by the student and you can be informed about this on enquiring or at the time of our visit.
Anyone who is old enough, who cares enough, who can empathise and be responsible enough and who has the time and the facility to do so can be a homestay host.
A student’s privacy, rights, religion and customs, should be respected by all members of the household.
As a Sutherland Education Homestay Guardian you will have the full support of the Head Office staff. You will also be covered by our Professional Indemnity insurance.
We cherish long-term relationships with our guardians and families who frequently find themselves involved in and enjoying the progress their student.
We encourage all our guardians to be computer literate to have a regular communication with the Head Office, parents and school we can help with this!
We give you very clear guidelines which outline what is expected dependent on the age of the student and the level of guardianship. Parents are given the opportunity to provide some guidance on their preferences as to what they allow although such guidelines have to dovetail into the homestay’s own house rules. In many cases, students are older (over 16) and fairly independent and it is a matter of keeping a parental oversight. Some students are 14 going on 21, of course! Supervision must be commensurate with the age of the student and discretional at the same time.
One half term holiday (usually 1 – 2 weeks long, depending on the school) and two weekend exeats (Friday evening to Sunday evening) per term are the norm. International student boarders usually return home for the summer holidays, apart from when they might attend a summer school. Easter holidays are sometimes seen as an opportunity to stay in the UK to revise. Almost without exception, students return home for the Christmas holidays.
Sutherland Education will make other arrangements with another homestay if for some reason you are unable to host. Naturally, we like each student to feel comfortable and to experience the continuity of having the same homestay as much as possible.