We are living in an age of authenticity where people strive for genuine products and real, genuine experiences. As the popularity of the British education system continues to grow, so does the variety of services which surround the international student marketplace.
Homestay schooling for international students aged 16+ can provide that level of authenticity. International students living with trusted ‘homestay parents’ can enjoy the same lifestyle as other day school students studying in the UK. The student will most likely have a British curriculum school in their home city but the draw of living in a British home with a British family along with the added value of learning about cultural differences is hugely valuable.
From the schools’ perspective, an international student homestay intake can do much to enrich the school community. Norwich School, as one of the pioneers of the day school homestay concept have worked with Gabbitas for many years and as the popularity for homestay students has grown, the Gabbitas offering has been built to support this from concept through to execution and beyond, to maximise the opportunity and provide the best offering to all stakeholders – the student, the students family, the school and the school community.
Gabbitas now work with many day and boarding schools across the UK to offer homestay. Services are bespoke and vary from school to school. We work with boarding schools with day pupils and where an international student hasn’t settled into boarding, plus day schools with international students in the 6th form.
“We have worked with Gabbitas for several years now and are always impressed with their professional attitude. The wellbeing of the student is at the forefront of their minds and as a headmistress it is wonderful to know that our overseas students are well cared for.” Alison Jones, Headmistress, Rye St Antony’s School, Oxford.
The homestay offering is not for every school and the process of becoming a day school with an international admissions department can be complicated and drawn out. However, the benefits for suitable schools are far reaching, beyond the school gates and school community. At the start of the process, Gabbitas can advise on becoming a Tier 4 visa sponsor for international students, whilst recruiting an international cohort to help with the pastoral care and provisions required to successfully make the transition to welcoming these international students.
We recruit host families following a rigorous vetting procedure and formal interview process at the potential hosts family home and we are fully responsible for carrying out the necessary safeguarding and administrative checks before contracting a family. Once approved, we match these families with students and whilst the host family will offer a welcoming and supportive home environment, Gabbitas, as the parents’ representatives in the UK, retain guardianship responsibilities and nominate a consultant to have guardianship oversight on each student.
As the international student community we work with continues to grow, with our international offices, overseas representatives and close work with Embassies, we are better equipped than ever to support schools with their international student intake.
If you would like to discuss whether a homestay offering to international students may be of benefit to your school and the wider school community, please contact Monika Fryzicka – firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7734 0161.