Welcome to International House Manchester and thank you for your interest in hosting our foreign students. This Handbook will provide you with information about acting as a homestay host, but please also contact us for a chat if you have any other questions. We believe in working closely with our hosts, so that you and our students have the best possible experience.
The International House World Organisation has long been established as a quality global brand in the field of language teaching. International House Manchester was founded in 2005 and since then has specialised in the education, care and inspiration of both junior and adult students, aged 16 years and above, from all around the world.
Our city centre school is located opposite the Central Coach Station and just a 2-minute walk from Piccadilly Gardens. The address 5th Floor, Arthur House, 13-15 Chorlton Street, Manchester M1 3FH. This centre is open to students aged 16 and over.
We also offer online classes to people around the world via the online platform Zoom. It means that students can still follow their classes if they are unable to come into school and that they will need access to a decent internet connection should that be the case.
Our students in Manchester generally spend between one week and 11 months with us, studying on different types of courses. In terms of nationalities, we get a really good mix within the school. We have students from Europe (Spain, Italy and Czech Republic for instance) but also from Middle Eastern (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman) and Asian countries (China, Japan, Thailand) and others, such as Turkey.
We generally welcome two main types of students in the school:
Now that you have a clearer idea of what type of student you could expect to host, let’s move on to the duties and responsibilities, but also the advantages of hosting our international students.
Hosting International Students: a rewarding experience!
Homestays are about giving a foreign visitor a base within a family from which they can then have a culturally rewarding experience. From the host’s point of view, learning more about other cultures and gaining a better understanding of other nationalities makes the hosting experience something really special. The friendships forged between student and hosts often last a lifetime.
We recognise that hosts incur some costs! Most students require:
We pay standard homestay hosts £165.00 (shared bathroom) and executive hosts £215 (private bathroom) per student per week based on the arrangement described above. There is a a £25 supplement for special diets (halal, vegetarian, gluten free, vegan etc) and a £10 supplement for underage student may apply. Finally, some students can opt out of meals and pay will be £145 per week (adults only).
In the event of your student having to quarantine or self-isolate, there are two options:
The pay rate will be clarified at the time of booking. Payments are made one week in arrears directly into your bank account. We will provide you with a record of payments on a monthly basis. You should not enter into a private arrangement with your student. All payments must be agreed and made by the school. You are currently permitted to earn a certain amount tax free as a host under the Rent-a-room scheme. Please contact your local tax office or visit the HMRC website for further information:
It is however safe to say that if your motivation for hosting is purely financial, then hosting probably isn’t for you. It indeed comes with a number of responsibilities which are detailed below.
Right to Rent
Since February 2016 in England, landlords must check their tenants’ immigration status before entering into an agreement, ensuring that the tenant has a ‘right to rent’. The rules, introduced by the Immigration Act 2014, apply to all occupiers of residential tenancies including international students that you are hosting for us:
A person will have a right to rent if:
Tenants under the age of 18 do not need to be checked, but landlords will need evidence of age (unless this is obvious). If the student is staying for 12 weeks or fewer then the short-term holiday let exemption applies and checks do not need to be carried out.
We are allowed to carry out checks on behalf of homestay hosts because the school has organised the accommodation. However, to comply, you need to have received an email from us confirming that the check has been made. So, when confirming the placement of a student, who is subject to a right to rent check, IH Manchester will send a letter to you which includes confirmation that right to rent appropriate checks have been carried out by the school on that particular student.
IH Manchester requests copies of every student’s passport and UK visa from students in advance of their arrival to the UK, and checks that these documents give the student the right to rent. The originals of these documents are also checked on enrolment in school on the first day of their course. In this way the school can ensure that the nationality of all students has been checked in order to comply with the rule. Any irregularities identified at this stage would lead to the school immediately informing you that the student in question does not have the right to rent in the UK. It is essential that you receive, read and retain these emails to demonstrate that you comply should the Home Office decide to make an inspection visit to your home.
Homestay hosts are expected to treat the student as full member of the household, eating together and sharing the common living areas. It differs from having a tenant or a lodger as you will be expected to have a duty of care for your student, support them and make them feel at home. We hope that hosts and students get to build a positive relationship which is based on mutual trust, respect and communication. This also means respecting the homestay student’s need for privacy while realising that privacy does not mean isolation.
As a homestay host, you will:
Hosts must provide:
On their arrival at their UK airport students will either be met by a driver from our approved taxi company or make their own way to your home via public transport. Our students travel to and from school independently. Please help your guest find the local bus stop/train station on or before their first day and explain local transport costs and routes.
Students will book On top of this, we provide optional social activities in some evenings and on Saturdays. There is no obligation for a host to be responsible for entertaining their foreign guest throughout their entire free time, however, friendly welcome is vital as well as a willingness to eat an evening meal together when possible.
Please bear in mind that our students have a busy schedule and will not want to be in a homestay where there are late night parties or people working unsociable hours (night shifts for instance).
You can choose how often you want to host – hosting is very flexible. Some of our homestay hosts accept students continuously throughout the year, where others only for a few weeks each time, however please note that we cannot guarantee to provide students throughout the entire year.
Many of our students, especially the younger ones, are away from home for the first time and may initially find the experience daunting and possibly overwhelming. Throughout this handbook, there are suggestions on how you can settle your student into your home and ensure their anxieties and concerns are allayed as much as possible. The initial stages of their stay with you will be the foundations on which both hosts and students build a trusting and honest relationship.
Requirements to host students under the age of 18
IJ Tours Ltd follows the document Keeping Children Safe in Education which is a statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment. The most up to date version of this document can be found on www.gov.uk*and the school can also provide you with a copy. Our safeguarding policy is based on that document – hosts must read Part 1 before you start hosting and agree to abide by it.
* direct link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1014058/KCSIE_2021_Part_One_September.pdf
All hosts working with students aged under 18 years are required to undergo a DBS (Police) check and complete some form of safeguarding/child protection training. Therefore, before you start hosting under 18 students, we will ask you to complete our free basic awareness online training course. Also, all adults in your household (over the age of 18) will have to undergo a DBS check (at our own cost). Regardless if you already have a DBS check through another provider, we will be required to run new DBS checks unless the checks were registered online on the government’s update service (https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service).
We would usually ask people hosting students aged 16 and 17 not to leave their students alone at home for more than 4 hours per day, and 2 hours for people hosting students under the age of 16. They must never be left unsupervised overnight.
We, at International House Manchester, have a duty of care to safeguard all children involved on its programmes. All children have the right to protection, and the needs of under 18s must be taken into account. Children are those under the age of 18 years as defined in the Children Act 1989. This Act of Parliament has throughout it, the concept of the child’s welfare being paramount, also referred to as the ‘Paramountcy Principle’. If you have any concerns about any of our young students’ welfare, please contact the Accommodation and Welfare Officer immediately.
Curfew for under 18 students
All students under the age of 18 have a strict 9pm curfew. It is essential that students abide by it and that you call us as soon as possible if your student isn’t home by that time on our out of hours number 07951 739675. This is essential to ensure the student’s safety.
Prevent Duty: the government’s strategy to fight extremism
Prevent is the government’s strategy to prevent and fight extremism. There has been a recent law about Prevent which affects all language schools. We, at International House Manchester, have a duty to try and reduce the likelihood of anyone, students, staff or homestays getting drawn into any form of extremism, e.g. religious extremism, homophobia, right-wing ideology. People are considered extremists when they propose using violence to achieve what they believe in.
Something all of us, staff and homestays, are expected to do is to exemplify the core British values which have been identified by the government as:
Democracy, Rule of Law, Freedom of the Individual, Respect and Tolerance of Those with Different Faiths and Beliefs.
You would probably do many of the things required in exemplifying the core British values already, perhaps without realising it. For example, you will have rules about things students can and can’t do in your house, and you yourselves will follow UK laws (rule of law). You would often give students choices about things to do in your house or during their free time (freedom of the individual). Without doubt you will be showing respect and tolerance of those with other faiths and beliefs because you accept international students into your home. If you have more than one student, you would help them understand the need for respect and tolerance of each other. The Equality Act states that we must not discriminate against people in UK because of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability and we expect all our homestays to follow that law already.
You, as a homestay host, can play a very important role in our students’ lives. You need to be alert for anyone whose behaviour might cause concern in regard to extremism and report that the school’s Prevent lead. That is Claire Bouédo who can be called on 01452 619021 or emailed on [email protected]
Finally, we the school and you as one of our homestays are required not to support or fund any extremist organisations.
Arrival and Ongoing Care
You must ensure that you or an adult in the household is available to greet students on first arrival. Please inform us if you will be away from home overnight at any point during a student’s stay – we usually need a couple of weeks’ notice at least. Please note that students under the age of 18 must not be left alone overnight (please refer to the Under 18 sections above for more info). If you have any concerns about a student, please ring the school on 01452 619021 during the school’s opening hours (8.30 to 5.30) or if it is outside these hours, please call the out of hours number: 07951 739675.
Insurance, theft & damage
It is your responsibility to ensure that your buildings insurance is in place and current and to advise your insurers that you are hosting, so that you are covered for any damage or liability in case of accident, especially in the case of self-catering students. The insurance company may insist that certain measures be taken (and may charge more). If an accident occurs to the student in the host’s home, and it is considered to be the result of negligence on the part of the host, then a claim may be made against the host. It is therefore important that the host has the appropriate insurance cover. Please bring any issues (such as damage) to the attention of the school before the student leaves your home. The students cannot be liable for wear and tear. In case of damage, please do not attempt to get compensation directly from your student.
Neither you nor the school are responsible for the safety of students’ property while in the home and students ought to have their own insurance cover. However, we recommend you to take out a standard householder’s policy, which can cover the students’ belongings in case of fire or theft. A lockable drawer or cupboard in the student’s room is also a good idea to keep valuables safe.
Driving students is NEVER part of your duties as a homestay host but if you plan on taking the students anywhere using your car as transport, make sure that you have informed your car insurance provider that you are hosting paying students.
Finally, please note that IJ Tours Ltd cannot accept any responsibility for damage caused to your property by students.
There is a bit of flexibility around laundry arrangements, however, the minimum requirement is to provide at least one load of washing per week and that the arrangements are clearly explained to the students. For example:
In all cases, hosts are expected to provide all laundry products – students should not have to purchase detergent etc.
Bathroom and toilet
Bathrooms should be kept spotlessly clean. Anti-bacterial soap, hot water and toilet paper should always be provided (at no cost to the student). You should also provide a bin for the disposal of feminine sanitary protection. The student should not be expected to clean the bathroom but they should leave it tidy after use. If several people use the same bathroom then a rota could be established for times of use in the mornings/evenings.
Students sometimes may go away from your home during their stay. Long term students are allowed a holiday or they may have to return home for personal reasons. The school will pay a set retainer fee for that period – you will not receive the full amount. Hosts may wish to spend time away from the house but we also kindly ask you to inform us a few weeks in advance if you are going away overnight so that we can discuss it, and if necessary, make alternative arrangements. Under 18 students must not be left alone unsupervised overnight.
Mail and Luggage
A host may not hold or destroy mail addressed to a student even once the student has gone. Please either forward their mail to the school or return it to the post office marked “gone away”. If property is left behind by a student it may be held by the host or preferably by the school. The school will contact the student or their parents and ask for instructions as to the disposal of the goods or payment in advance for the cost of postage or carriage.
It is very important that your home is maintained to a high standard – when a member of our staff visits you they will have to consider this aspect of your home. Every year there are a number of incidents reported nationally which involve gas appliances. These include asphyxiation, carbon monoxide poisoning, fires and explosions. All gas appliances must be checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. The law also states that:
International House Manchester (IJ Tours ltd) requires all its hosts to have smoke alarms fitted and recommend to fit carbon monoxide detectors.
IJ Tours Ltd holds information on each registered host which includes the hosts name, address, telephone number, details of the host and other family members, description of accommodation and history of placements made with that host on its database. IJ Tours Ltd will not disclose this information to any third parties other than to the potential student, school or agent, and to any authorised inspectors. For more information on privacy, visit https://ihmanchester.com/school-policies/ to view our policies.
Most long-term students (here for 3 months or longer) will need to open a UK bank account. By hosting a long-term student, you agree for them to use your home address in order to open a bank account and get a basic debit card. If you have issues with this, we would advise you to host short-term students only, or to let us know as soon as possible as we assume that if we don’t hear otherwise, you agree with it.
As a host, you are entitled to refuse to host a particular background. Please do not publicise such discrimination. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion or nationality when taking people onto our books as potential hosts (providing that English is the language in use in the home). However, sometimes students ask to be lodged with a particular type of host, and we reserve the right to fulfil their requirements where possible.
Diet and food
When requested, evening meals should be substantial and hosts should provide some kind of dessert course as well. The minimum requirement for breakfast consists of: cereal, toast or bread rolls with butter, marmalade or jam, fruit juice and tea or coffee with fresh milk.
Visitors should have the same meals as your family and will expect to eat with you. We will inform you before their arrival if a student has told us about any special dietary needs.
In the event of a student booking self-catering accommodation, we would expect hosts to allow students to cook their own meals and store some food in the kitchen.
Smoking/Drinking /Illegal Substances
Excessive drinking or the use of illegal substances are not acceptable either for students or hosts. If you suspect that excessive alcohol or illegal substances are being used by your student, inform the school immediately so that procedures may be followed and appropriate authorities notified. It is not acceptable for anyone in the home stay to use illegal substances during a student’s stay. Please note that is illegal for students under the age of 18 to purchase cigarettes or alcohol. Please contact the school immediately if you suspect that your underage student is drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes.
Please provide the client with a key to you home, and swap mobile phone numbers. It is always worth reminding the students not to keep the keys with your address!
Although visitors should participate fully in host family activities, an exception to this is religious practice. Everyone’s beliefs (hosts and students’) should be respected and if your student wishes to practice their religion during their stay, please help them to do so. Feel free to contact the school for advice and guidance.
Using the internet
Hosts are required to provide a good internet connection for their students. Students are expected to abide to fair usage rules set by most providers, that normally means surfing the web, checking social media or stream TV shows for instance. It would be useful to set some ground rules on arrival if there are any limitations on your internet usage from your provider.
Weapons, Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour
It is illegal to carry certain weapons in the UK. If you suspect your visitor is carrying a weapon, notify the school immediately so that relevant procedures may be followed. If you feel in any way harassed by your student please tell the school immediately, or in emergencies contact the police. If your visitor has something stolen or is a victim of crime, please help them to report it to the Police and school immediately. If you suspect that your visitor has committed a crime, report this to the school or the police in case of emergency.
If you have pets, please let us know. Some of our students request to be accommodated in a pet-free home. Not all students feel comfortable around animals and so please consider your guests’ feelings in this respect. In many countries pets are not allowed in the house at all, and so this might seem unusual to your student. Please do not allow your pet to go into the students’ bedroom or onto food preparation surfaces.
Hosting for other organisations
Please inform us if you intend to host a foreign student from another organisation at the same time as one of our students is with you. We need to know who is living in your home when one of our students is there. Our strict policy is never to accommodate two clients of the same first language together at the same host family at the same time, and to keep under 18 students and adult students separated when possible.
If you are happy to go ahead and want to start hosting…
If you would like to apply or just want to ask a few more questions, please call the school on 01452 619021 or e-mail [email protected]. We will then send you an application form. Once you have filled out the form, please return the form, along with a copy of passport or driving licence for each main host (for instance, if you are a couple, please send a copy for yourself and your partner) by e-mail: [email protected]
Once you have sent the form with proof of ID, a member of staff will come and visit your home (the visit might be on Zoom due to Covid-19). We will require to meet all adults who would be caring for the students and we will need to see the ID provided above for each applicant to check authenticity. We will also need a gas safety certificate for properties with a gas supply, dated within the last 12 months.
On receipt of a booking, we may contact you to ask if you would like to host the student for the duration of their course. You have the right to decline a booking. Should you accept the student, we will then send you an information letter. This letter will provide the following information:
Cancellation, postponement & curtailment
Students who are staying with you are required to give a minimum of one week’s notice in order to cancel a homestay booking. Should a student leave the programme or your home earlier than planned, you will receive payment on a pro rata daily basis up to the end of the notice period. We also reserve the right to remove a student from your home following a complaint or request, without compensation.
In the event that a student simply postpones their course to a later date, you will be offered the chance to host this student at the later date if possible.
We are happy to answer any further questions you have. Please call the school on 01452 619021 or email our Accommodation and Welfare Officer, Claire Bouédo, [email protected].