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Being an Excel College Home Stay Host

2nd Floor, Cedar House, 2 Fairfield Street, Manchester, M1 3GF admin@excel-college.com 0161 236 5551


Welcome to Excel College! This brochure outlines a home stay host’s responsibilities, how we work with hosts to ensure they feel happy and confident about hosting students and also a bit about ourselves as a college. Excel College is a friendly language school in the heart of Manchester, less than five minutes walk from Piccadilly train station and about ten minutes from Piccadilly gardens. Our students are from over 40 ]different countries - from Spain to Iran, from Japan to UAE - and all of them are over 18 years old. We operate continuous enrolment so students can start a course with us at any time. Some come to study for a couple of weeks, others for a year or more. All students who have requested home stay accommodation are studying a course of at least 15 hours a week unless specifically mentioned at the time of booking.

Students have the option to book accommodation with a home stay family or in a selfcatered student flat. Those who choose home stay accommodation are looking to experience British life and have lots of opportunities to practice their English. Students study courses in the morning, afternoon, evening or sometimes a mixture.  Morning courses: 9:15 – 12:30  Afternoon courses: 13:30 – 16:45  Evening courses (Mon and Wed only): 18:00 – 21:00

Our home stay hosts live all around Manchester, although always within 50 minutes’ travel of the College. Some are families with young children, some are single parents, some are young professionals and some are retired couples. All of our families speak English as their native language, enjoy meeting people from different cultures and welcome students into their homes as an additional, albeit temporary, member of the family.


Being an Excel College Host Hosting students for Excel College is an enriching, and sometimes demanding, experience. Communicating with a student who speaks very little English and comes from a very different cultural background can pose challenges. It can also reap great rewards. You and your family have the opportunity to learn about different cultures whilst introducing a student to life in the UK. Just through everyday conversations, you will play a major role in helping your students to improve their English and will witness the progress they make throughout their stay. Many of our hosts have built lasting relationships with their students, keeping in touch after the course, offering them a place to stay if they return to Manchester and taking up invites to visit students back in their home countries. We aim to match families and students as best we can to ensure that requirements on both parts are met. It’s important to us that our students feel part of the family they're staying with and that our hosts feel they can contact us should any problems or concerns arise.

Host Requirements Excel College is always looking for enthusiastic and welcoming home stay hosts who can provide the following:

Food:

Hosts need to provide breakfast (toast or cereal) and a substantial evening meal for the student every day of the week.

Bedroom:

The student's room needs to be big enough to fit a bed, a wardrobe (or other clothes hanging space) and a desk and chair. The room should have adequate lighting and heating. For students from warmer climates who aren’t used to the Manchester weather, you may need to provide extra blankets too.

Bathroom: The student should have daily access to a bath or shower. Students should be told how to use the bathroom facilities when they arrive.


Host Requirements Continued Laundry:

You need to ensure that the student has clean bedding every week. The student should also have access to laundry facilities once a week unless you would rather do their laundry for them.

Sensitivity:

Hosts are expected to respect the student’s cultural background and religion and be sensitive to the particular needs of the student. The College will always be on hand to help with any concerns you may have.

Health & Safety:

All hosts need to have and regularly test fire alarms. All hosts need to provide the College with an annual gas safety certificate which the College will keep on file.

British Council Requirements Excel College is accredited by the British Council, who not only do they make sure that we provide high quality English lessons but that we provide high quality accommodation options. By closely following their list of homestay host requirements and the following expectations, we can continue to uphold the reputation of both the college and the hosts we work with. All hosts are expected: 

To encourage the student to speak English as much as possible in the home.

Not to host another student of the same native language at the same time, unless by special arrangement with both students and the College.

Not to host more than four students at any one time.

To provide a home environment in which it is possible for the student to carry out his/her English studies properly.

To provide the student with a balanced and appropriate diet.


Booking Procedure Student sends us their application and full payment.

We check our hosts’ availability

We send confirmation to host and student.

We confirm the student’s proposed arrival date and time

When we have received a student's application and fees, we will contact you to check your availability. Bookings will usually start on a Saturday or a Sunday. If you agree to take the student, we will send you a letter of confirmation by post or email. The letter will include the name, age and nationality of the student. It will also tell you the start and end dates of the student’s stay and details of any special dietary requirements. Often, students haven’t booked their flights when their booking is first confirmed. If we can’t tell you their arrival time when we make the booking with you, we will be in touch the week before the student arrives to let you know.

Payment Families are paid on the Friday before the student arrives. This payment covers the first two weeks of the student's stay. Payment is made every subsequent two weeks throughout the booking. The payment includes breakfast and evening meals every day, one laundry wash per week, all bills and Wi-Fi.

Home Stay with standard diet

£110 / week

Home Stay with special diet (Halal, vegetarian etc.) £125 / week

Cancellations and Deferrals Students need to tell us two weeks before their arrival date if they want to delay or cancel their booking. If a student does not give two weeks’ notice, the host will be paid for the first two weeks of the booking. If a student has moved into the home stay and wishes to change or cancel the booking, they again need to give us two weeks’ notice. We ask that families try to avoid cancelling a booking at all costs. Last minute changes affect the confidence of the student and the College. Our aim is to build long-lasting working relationships built on trust and reliability.


Extending bookings Students are asked to pay in full for their accommodation so that both the college and host knows exactly how long the student is staying. This is important so that we know when the host’s room is available to that we can book it for other students and also so that those hosts who work with other colleges can be clear on the availability. Occasionally, we do have students that wish to extend their booking. If this happens, we will always check with you before entering into an agreement with the student. Once payment has been made, we issue a new booking confirmation covering the dates booked to both the student and the host. If a student tells you that they want to change or extend their booking, please ask them to notify the staff at the College reception too. In the past we have had hosts taking money directly from the students and entering into a separate agreement. We strongly discourage our hosts from doing this as should any issues arise, such as damage to the property or a student not paying, we would be unable to intervene. It is also worth mentioning that, according to The British Council, our students are considered vulnerable adults, due to English not being their first language and it is entirely possible that they may not fully understand the correct procedures.

Deposit When students arrive at the College, they are asked to pay ÂŁ100 accommodation deposit. If the student causes any damage beyond usual wear and tear during their stay, you may be able to claim some or all of this deposit for cleaning or repair. You will need to provide receipts and/or photos to access the deposit and will need to contact the College before the student leaves if you have any issues.

We advise all home stay hosts to check that their home and contents insurance policy covers hosting students as the College will not be held liable for any damage over ÂŁ100.

Catering for special diets We often receive applications from students who have special dietary requirements including requests for vegetarian, Kosher and vegan food. However, the vast majority of special diet requests are for halal. Halal diet: All beef, lamb and poultry must be halal (meat is classified as halal depending upon the way in which the animal was killed). All pork and pork products are completely prohibited as are all toxins, such as drugs and alcohol. When cooking, you should use vegetable rather than meat stock cubes and gravy granules. During Ramadan, Muslims will only eat and drink before sunrise and after sunset so if you are hosting a student during this period you will need to take this into account too. If you don't usually cook halal food, it may not be as difficult as you think. Many of the big supermarkets now stock halal ranges. For more information on halal stockists in your area, please contact the College.


How to apply? To apply to be a home stay host, please complete the prospective host questionnaire, available on the Excel College website, and return it by email or post. Please note, we ask that all families live within 50 minutes' public transport travel from the College. Once we have received your questionnaire, we will be in touch to arrange a visit. The visit is an opportunity for us to find out more about you and which students you are able to accommodate (for instance, male or female students, students requiring halal or vegetarian diets). At the visit, we will also inspect the house, check smoke alarms and ask you to sign the home stay host agreement. We will expect you to provide a copy of a gas safety certificate (or proof of a gas maintenance service plan) before we make any bookings. If you have any questions or would like any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at admin@excel-college.com or 0161 236 5551

“It’s such a joy and privilege opening up your heart and home to people who genuinely appreciate what you do for them” Excel College Homestay Host

“The family do their best so that you feel “at home”

Excel College Student

“Esther was a pleasure to have stay. She was lovely and very considerate. Her English is excellent and she helped me with my Spanish!” Excel College Homestay Host

“The best thing about my home stay is that now I have another family in Manchester” Excel College Student

“The best thing about hosting is firstly meeting people with different nationalities, backgrounds and cultures and secondly making friends with them over the time of their stay” Excel College Homestay Host

We look forward to hearing from you! Anna Bartholomew Accommodation and Student Services admin@excel-college.com


admin@excel-college.com +44(0)161 236 5551 -

www.excel-college.com @excelcollegeman http://www.facebook.com/excelcollegemanchester Excel College, 2 Fairfield Street , Manchester M1 3GF

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