Advice for your homestay

Your host family

We recommend that you contact your host family by phone or email at least one week before your stay. Our host families would like to learn more about you, your food preferences, language level and what you are expecting from your course. This will help them prepare better for your stay. Families in a foreign country may not have the same way of living as you. There may be different rules, food and living conditions. You should be ready to accept cultural differences in order to get the most out of your stay.


In many countries you cannot smoke in public areas (bars, restaurants etc.). Very often, our host families do not allow smoking in the house. If there are smokers in the host family they will often smoke outside or only in a specific area in the house. When you book your programme please tell us if you prefer a non-smoking family.


We strongly recommend that all students, especially the younger ones, book activities as these allow them to practise what has been studied during the lessons and work on conversational skills while enjoying themselves. Keeping the younger students occupied contributes to making the stay successful. School holidays may not be on the same dates as in your home country so the children in the host family may be at school during your stay.


EU students travelling to an EU country are advised to get the European Health Insurance Card. All students are advised to have personal insurance to cover any cancellation, loss of property etc.

Smartphones, etc.

We advise parents to ask their children to limit the use of smart phones, laptops or tablets since frequent communication with friends and family in their mother tongue will affect their full-immersion experience.

Spending money

We recommend you bring at least £65, €85 or US$85 spending money per week.

Important to remember

  • All programmes are from Sunday to Sunday
  • Most families live outside the city centre.
  • Please choose 3 regions (where available) in order of preference when booking
  • English is available in many non English speaking countries on request
  • Sports & Leisure options may be unavailable at certain times of the year, can be subject to weather conditions and may be unsuitable for certain ages
  • July & August: We need to receive bookings at least 2 months in advance for this busy period
  • Please note only one discount can be claimed at any one time
  • You can combine different programmes, for example 1 week of lessons with activities + 1 week of lessons with cultural visits etc. The programmes should be in the same area to avoid a change of family
  • A mobile phone number is required for all students
  • The closer supervision is compulsory for students aged 13 or under

Visa information for students visiting the UK

We cannot issue visas but we can send a visa invitation letter by express courier. It is the responsibility of the client to submit the correct documents to the relevant visa authorities. HLI will supply such documents on request from the client or the agent. If a visa is refused, for example because a document is badly filled in or is missing, the student should submit an application for a second visa, if this is refused HLI will refund all fees paid less the deposit.

Please note there are often special requirements for students under 16 staying in the UK for more than 27 days and this can sometimes take the form of a letter to show that the local authority has been notified.

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