There are many accommodation options for international students when coming to London, from staying in a student hall of residence to renting a private flat.
But an increasingly popular choice is to stay with a host family while in London as part of an organised “homestay”. This can often be cheaper than other accommodation options, and gives students a fantastic taste of real life in London – not to mention a chance to practise your English!
To discover what international students can expect from a homestay, we spoke to Julia Lehrmann from Wiesbaden, Germany. Julia has been staying with a host family in Ealing, West London, arranged through www.londonhomestays.com.
Study London: Hi Julia, have you enjoyed your time in London?
Julia: Very much so. It’s a great city, I’ve met so many interesting people and made lots of friends.
Study London: How have you enjoyed staying with your host family?
Julia: It has been a wonderful experience. The family are so welcoming and hospitable, they helped me so much when I first moved here… I didn’t know where anything was! I want to cook them a meal on my final night to say “Vielen Dank”.
Study London: Would you say it was the right host family for you?
Julia: I don’t think it could have been better. The host family matching process really works, although some of my requirements were quite specific, luckily it was possible to satisfy them. It helped a lot that I was sent a selection of host family profile documents and was able to choose my favourite!
Study London: Which meal plan did you choose?
Julia: I chose Half Board (Breakfast & Evening meal), this meant I could eat with the family and improve my English (and enjoy a cooked meal of course!)
Study London: How was your journey to your school?
Julia: It was absolutely fine. I made it clear at the time of booking that I did not want to get the tube each day, so I was offered an option which was a short bus journey from my school, so that has worked out great.
Study London: Would you recommend staying in a homestay to your friends?
Julia: Yes of course! If you want to come to London to party it might not be the best option, but I had a great experience. My host family was lovely and my English has improved a lot.
Are you an international student interested in homestay accommodation in London? Visit www.londonhomestays.com for more information. You can also learn more about the costs of studying in London on studylondon.ac.uk.
Are you currently living with a host family in London? Share your experiences of homestay accommodation in the comments section below.