Residence or homestay
On our junior language holidays you can decide whether you want to stay in a student residence or a home stay (host family).
What is a Residence?
Our residences differ from centre to centre. In Bournemouth you live in student residences close to school. In all other centres you sleep directly on a university campus or youth hostel. This type of accommodation is perfect for anyone who does not like the idea of staying with a local family. You have more privacy and time for yourself. In addition, you get the chance to live together with international students of your age and experience real campus life. Lessons, as well as the activity programme, take place either in the residence or close by. Depending on the residence, you can live in a single or a shared room and they are either en-suite or you share a bathroom with other students.
Are there supervisors in the residence?
Yes, our staff members live in the residences also, and will look after your well-being and safety.
Which facilities can I expect?
Our residences are similar to youth hostels, so hotel services and facilities, such as a 24-hour reception, a phone and/or safe in your room or room service cannot be expected. Bedding is provided, but towels usually need to be brought along. The rooms are cleaned once a week, we do however ask you to keep your room tidy. You can wash your clothes in public laundrettes either on campus or nearby in town. Public phones are usually located on campus or close by.
In some centres internet access is available in the residences or in the school itself, for example in the ‘IP Ocean Lounge’ (not in Exmouth). It is free in most cases, but in some schools you might have to pay a small fee in order to use the Internet – this does not apply in UK centres. There is a safe available in a few residences. If you stay in a single room, you can leave your valuables there. Should there be no safe, or should your room not be lockable, our staff members can look after your valuables. Due to safety reasons, the kitchens cannot be used and are not equipped with cutlery and crockery.
What is a homestay?
Homestay accommodation is available in Bournemouth and Bayonne. For a short time you live with a family, single parents or younger/older couples in your host country. You are immersed in a new world, full of new ideas, and you will learn a lot about the culture and customs, and of course you will speak a foreign language! You need courage, patience and to be willing to adapt, as well as being curious and open-minded. Your hosts will live their everyday life and soon you will notice the differences in your new home. The home, the decor, lifestyle, food, size and furniture of your room, bathroom facilities, state of mind and habits – everything may be a little different from what you are used to. In addition, you need to communicate in a foreign language, and especially during the first few days, you will need to adapt. Nevertheless, you will have experiences that are just as valuable as the language course itself.
How do I get to school?
Your hosts live all over the town, so in some cases you might have to use public transport to get to school (costs are not included). The average distance from your home stay to school is 15-20 minutes; the maximum distance is 45 minutes on foot and/or by bus. The journey to and from school is not accompanied, so you will either go with friends who live nearby, or alone. Please be aware that you might not be able to take part in all programmed activities, as public transport does not always run frequently in the evenings. Should your parents not be happy with that, we strongly recommend booking the residence instead.
What else do I need to know?
Your hosts will wash your clothes once a week during your stay. You can receive phone calls at your homestay, but it is usually not permitted to make phone calls from your hosts phone. We always try to put students with another nationality in the family, but we do not guarantee it.
General information regarding accommodation
Can I move into my room straight after arrival?
Usually rooms are ready around noon or in the early afternoon. Departing students are checking out in the morning and the rooms are cleaned before new students can move in. We kindly ask for your patience while the rooms are cleaned.
Can I stay together with my friend/s?
Should you have any special requirements regarding your accommodation, please notify us when you are booking the educational trip. Please note that we can only accommodate people of the same gender together. If you are travelling alone, we try to accommodate you with a girl/boy your age (maximum age difference: three years) from another country. We cannot guarantee special accommodation arrangements. We also ask you to notify us of any allergies or medical conditions, to avoid problems and make sure you are well looked after.
In some centres we might ask you for a deposit for the room key or as protection against damage. On rare occasions we reserve the right to use accommodation that is not identical, but similar, to the published ones.
You will enjoy full-board catering, meaning that there are three meals a day included. Depending on your accommodation, you either get a hot lunch in the residence (packed lunch for trips) or a packed lunch with a sandwich, a drink and some fruit from your host family (in Biarritz also students in residence get packed lunches). The food in our residences and homestays is nutritious and delicious. Most course centres run a bi-weekly menu, so after two weeks the meals are repeated. Please note that in most cases there will only be tap water available during meals. Should you require vegetarian, vegan, halal, kosher, gluten free or dairy free food, please let us know. We are happy to recommend course centres that can cater for your dietary needs.