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HomeApril 2023Issue 484Homestay is where the heart is

Homestay is where the heart is

Outside the UK, the image of a summer school is not a week at Hogwarts but a day spent at school with an afternoon excursion and an evening spent with a host family. There are plenty of great schools in the UK that offer this and plenty of children, especially in the mid-teens, who would prefer it. Perhaps, because they are shy and bookish and don’t want to spend every evening at a disco or simply because they have done the boarding school thing and want to try somewhere else.

But where can you find a very good school with very good host families? The first thing to do is to choose a very good school. Second comes location – avoid most major metropolises:– and concentrate on small EFL destinations for the youngest learners, and student cities for the older ones.

Below is a list of the top ten schools, based on British Council Inspection reports, offering summer course with homestay accommodation.

14/15English in Chester 14+
12/15IH Bristol, IH Newcastle, IH Torquay 14+, Loxdale English Centre
10/15EF Bournemouth, EF Eastbourne, Sidmouth International
9/15Celtic English Academy, English Experience, St Brelade’s

Now let’s look at the location. One thing to note is that three of these schools are in Devon. This is no surprise; the county is famous not only for its picture postcard prettiness and its cream teas but also for its unique system of checking host families through the local government system for fostering, pioneered by Sidmouth International School. Isca in Exeter is our top ranking family summer school while the owner of IH Torquay on the famous British Riviera told the Gazette on arrival from London: “I just couldn’t believe how great the families were down here.”

For other small destinations we have the beautiful Roman town of Chester, the Welsh Capital of Cardiff for Celtic English and St Brelade’s on the sunny island of Jersey. Both of the last two schools also run residential options.

And for student cities we have IH in Newcastle, which has the highest student population per capita in the country, IH in Bristol, every student’s favourite university town. Then of course in Brighton, there is Loxdale English Centre – our fastest rising school – which is a member of Sussex Safeguarding.

Image courtesy of COPYRIGHT PEXELS.COM
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