At Homestayfriend we believe there are many benefits to the homestay experience for both hosts and guests. Every year thousands of tourists and students visit the UK in order to experience our culture and history and every year hundreds of British families rent out their room through homestay programs to share their love for the UK and to make some supplementary income from their hospitality! This belief is being echoed by by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) out in Vietnam currently!
In several areas of Vietnam the ILO is supporting communities to be able to provide homestay accommodation. The My Son Community Village is home to 237 families, is located close to the World Cultural Heritage Site of My Son.
The National Heritage Site of My Son.
40 families are set to offer a home-stay service in the area which is expected to open a new channel for sustainable tourism development in the heritage site. To help the families provide a better service they have had the opportunity to learn basic English, first aid and environmental protection skills in the hope that local residents’ income will increase and the My Son Heritage Site will become more popular with domestic and foreign visitors.
Have a think about the area you live in and what attractions a visiting tourist might like to see. Maybe offering homestay would allow them to visit and experience your local area and also generate a extra source of income for your family!
This week Homestayfriend was listed in the 2013 High Net World Magazine’s High Growth Entrepreneurial Action Team (HEAT) Scotland 100 publication! We are delighted to be featured in this brilliant listing! Sponsored by some of the biggest Scottish business, the West of Scotland Loan Fund and East of Scotland Investment Fund and listed along side some of the best and brightest small businesses in Scotland.
The HEAT listing was created by HNW Magazine and links groups of high growth company leaders with investors and advisers throughout the UK. It provides a source of support for new start up’s – it links other high growth start up businesses together and is putting together the foundations for the creation of a Business Centre for High Growth; a joint initiative between HNW Magazine and one or more of the main Scottish universities.
Thanks to HNW Magazine and HEAT we look forward to all the benefits the listing will offer and hopefully hearing about future developments of the other small business supported in the listing!
This week, the Homestayfriend team have really enjoyed reading an article by Nobuo Arita the Senior Director at World Youth Service Socity in Japan, a non-profit organisation that arranges Homestay Accommodation both to and from Japan!
WYS was established in 1980 and it is interesting for us to read about the policies and practices they adhere too in order to ensure that students and hosts get the most from their homestay experience.
If you are considering visiting the UK in 2013 and are looking for affordable and flexible accommodation that will allow you to have a truly British experience, perhaps homestay is for you? Homestay can be a great opportunity for you to learn about the area you are staying in through the eyes of someone who has lived there for a number of years. It allows you the opportunity to practice your language skills away from the class room in a friendly environment and through you can socialise with your classmates outside of tuition, you have a comfortable and friendly family home to return to and study from.
If its your first time traveling overseas, homestay can offer you:
- A welcoming arrival to your new home
- A friendly support system for all those ‘first times’ that are about to begin
- A comfortable, safe place for you to live and study
- The experience of British hospitality
- Local knowledge
- Help and Support from your host family when you need it.
Can you get all this and more in a student residence?
Get in touch if you would like to know more!
At Homestayfriend we are constantly trying to improve all elements of our business. If you have registered as a guest or a host you might have seen that it is possible for guests to leave feedback on a host listing on the website. You can view some of the great feedback we have already had using this system in Glasgow and in Plymouth.
For our Language School, College and University Partners over the coming weeks we will be rolling out a paper feedback forms which students can complete during their final week of tuition.
We will be collating the information from the students and publishing the details regularly on our website to help our guests make a more informed decision and to allow our hosts to view which elements of the homestay experience their guests put the most emphasis on in order to help them improve their service.
We have already rolled this paper feedback service out with our Manchester partners and have had some successful feedback already! If you are planning to study in Manchester this year, why not consider staying with our host who was graded an 8/10 by her most recent student!
Two slices for two years!
This week is the second birthday of Homestayfriend and we could not be any happier!!
Fresh from the Glasgow based young entrepreneur hatchery ESpark we have made leaps and bounds since flying the nest in January! We took on our first full time employee in February and have built on and developed some great partnerships with language schools: London School of Business and Finance in Manchester and St Andrews College in Glasgow, Glasgow based student advice service: ScotVenture and the University of Plymouth!
In the coming 12 months we will mostly be consumed with:
- The happiness of our existing partners
- Getting to know as many amazing language schools, colleges and universities as we can – we know we can help you!
- Applying for Edge Funding in the hope of recruiting more team members to the Homestayfriend world
- Making enough money to celebrate our third birthday in Paris…or anywhere its not snowing and minus 2 degrees in March!!
For all those who have helped us along the way so far – THANK YOU!!