PEARTREE LIFE: Experiencing Languages

What is live in a homestay like?

Many of our adult students here at Peartree and almost all of our junior students will stay in a local homestay while doing their courses at our school. If you haven't been in a homestay yet you may ask what exactly this means and how it works. This blog post is here to explain everything you need to know about living in a homestay accommodation.

First and foremost, what is a homestay

A homestay or host family is a type of accommodation for people who study abroad or do something similar. Other types of accommodation could be living in a hostel, renting an apartment or staying in a flat share with housemates. In a homestay, you will be placed in the home (hence the name) of a local person living near our school. There, you will have your own room and share the rest of the house with the host. You might be the only foreign student in the homestay if it's a smaller house or there might be other students if the host has enough space in the home. Our adult students who often stay for a couple of months, always have one room to themselves for privacy reasons. Junior students who visit us in the summer can be put in a shared room with one other junior student of the same group or of another nationality as they usually only stay for one or two weeks.

Who can host students? 

Here at Peartree we always make sure to background check all of our hosts in order to keep students in a safe environment throughout their studies. Also, we strive to provide the most information and help possible to each and everyone of our hosts and students. If you ever have any questions you can ask us at the Welcome Desk or have a chat with our Student Experience Coordinator (and homestay mastermind) Tereza. Usually, hosts will be either families with children or senior people living alone. Our hosts might have pets such as dogs, cats, rabbits or fish tanks so always make sure to tell us upfront if you are allergic to anything or feel uncomfortable around certain pets so we can find your homestay accordingly.

A day in a homestay: 

If you are an adult student, you will start your day by having breakfast with your host(s). It is important to get to know your host family so try to make some conversation and be friendly even if you are not a morning person. In the first few days of your stay you will learn how to get to our school in Canton either by walking or by bus. Your host will be more than happy to help you and make sure you understand the route.

Once you are at school your lessons will start and you can ask us all for help if you need anything. Your host might have given you a packed lunch for your break or you can fix yourself a cup of tea and a toast in our student kitchen.

Once your lessons are over you are free to spend some time in the city like going window-shopping or taking a stroll through Bute Park. You can meet friends, have some alone time or go to work like many of our students do. Some people are waiters and waitresses in the local restaurants or work in shops where they also get to know new people and be an important role in a team. If you do not work you might find it interesting to be a part of a volunteering programme. We would like to ask you to find some hobbies here and not stay at home in your free time. This helps you to get to know people, work on new skills for your later life and practise your English, too. It is also important to give your host family some space every once in a while just like you need to rest sometimes

Our Junior students have a full programme of activities after their lessons and will only get home to their hosts by 6:30pm. The activities will be listed on your planner for the week and you will have a packed lunch each day for school.

In the evenings you will have dinner with your host family and everyone can talk about their day. There might be aspects of British culture which you don't understand so this is the perfect time to ask your host about it and tell them about the culture differences to your country. Many of our hosts love to hear about different cultures and languages, so they will also be interested in what you have to say about your home country!

To ensure a happy and healthy way of living together you need to keep to the house rules of your host, many of which are common sense like being quiet at night time and respecting each other's privacy and personal belongings.

Our list of general homestay rules is put below, please follow these easy rules in your new home:

Homestay & House Rules

- Always remember that you are living with people in their home, so you need to follow their rules.
- Be considerate of your host and keep your room tidy and clean, it is a signal of respect.
- If you need anything, ask your host in a polite way and use “please” and “thank you”.
- Try to socialise with the family you’re staying with and tell them about your day and ask them how their day went. This way, you will practise speaking and get to know your host a little better; small talk is a big part of British culture.
- All genders are asked to help equally in the household and each other.

Some more general information on the UK can be found below.

The British culture might be quite different to the one of your home country. You will get to know some of the customs and traditions during your stay at our school and in your host family. Many of the cultural aspects also help you to be polite and thoughtful towards the people around you.

Everyday life & Meeting the locals 

- In Britain, most shops are open seven days a week and it is not unusual to do your shopping on Sunday.
- The easiest way to get around is public transport and you can use your bus card for any travel.
- Actively take part in the different afternoon activities to meet new people and to make friends.
- Other nationalities often think the British are reserved on the first impression. The British may not embrace and kiss you on both cheeks when you first meet but, in time, they can show themselves to be very warm and considerate.
- At first, the British use ‘small talk’ when they don’t know somebody well. This may be talking about the weather. Small talk is often just a way of finding out what you have in common.


- Most British meals are rather savoury and filling and might not be seasoned the way you are used to from your home country. You should still try different foods and be thankful for the meals that have been cooked for you.
- It is okay not to like some of the foods you will have during your stay as long as you are polite about it. Tell your host what you like and don’t like. They will not be offended.
- Wait until everybody has their food to start eating.
- When eating in somebody’s home, it is important to use good table manners and make conversation

If you follow these rules and pieces of information, your homestay experience will be fabulous! We would love to see you soon at school!
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About Peartree Languages

Peartree Languages is a language school located in Cardiff.


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