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Being a Homestay provider

Thank you for your interest in becoming a homestay provider for Marjon’s international short stay courses. We recognise that the service our homestay families provide is an important factor in ensuring that our students feel welcome and safe.

Register now to become a Homestay Provider.

Show video transcript

Hello I’m David Lovell and I am the Project Lead for Naval Related Programmes at Plymouth Marjon University. At Marjon we run a training programme for Naval Officers, specifically from Oman in the Middle East, designed to prepare young officers for further Naval training both within the UK, at BRNC Dartmouth and in Oman. The programme consists of three main modules, namely English, personal fitness and maritime subjects. An important element in this training is the cultural, social and environmental experience that the students enjoy whilst at Marjon. The Omani Military are particularly keen that the students experience and witness the family life of a British household and to that end we have, for many years, partnered with local host families who accommodate and integrate these young men into their household for the duration of their time in Plymouth. For many of these young people it is the first time they have been away from home and visited a different country. Their average age is between 19-22 and all have a good understanding of spoken English. What are we looking for? : families to welcome guests into their homes to experience life in a UK household to eat together, join in discussions, listen to each other to understand that safety and security are a priority to include the guest in family life conversations, family outings, activities, the day to day things that families get up to to have fun in a comfortable and welcoming environment What are the benefits for those who might be interested in participating in homestay?: the opportunity to learn about another culture meet interesting and engaging people to share stories and experiences to expand their horizons to help others new to the UK to acclimatise to allow others to experience life in a UK household to build life-long friendships to offer insights, viewpoints and knowledge on the local area, it's culture and community gain satisfaction and a sense of pride from helping others and providing a welcoming, comfortable and inclusive environment to earn additional income If hosting a student in your home is something that might be of interest to you then please get in touch with Maddy Hopson on Plymouth 01752 636711 or e-mail

Our educational activities have continued to evolve in response to local, regional, national, and international needs. Proud of its historical roots, the University continues to develop its educational courses to reflect the needs of the twenty-first century, attracting students from all over the UK and overseas.

The University is committed to the principles of equal opportunities in all aspects of university life. The aim of these principles is that no person is treated less favourably than another on grounds of social class, gender, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or racial origin.


What is a homestay provider?

Providing homestay accommodation for international students at Marjon is a great way to generate some extra income and learn about new cultures. You will be welcoming someone into your home as if they were part of your family.

Marjon is accredited by the British Council which provides guidelines on the provision of homestay accommodation within the UK.

These include:

  • To collect your student from the University, bus, or train station on arrival and drop them off on their departure - arrivals and departures will usually be on a Saturday or Sunday between 9 am and 9 pm, however, this cannot be guaranteed and may be outside of these times.
  • To help your student find their way to the University by providing bus timetables, directions, maps and if possible, by personally showing them the way there and back on their first day.
  • To provide breakfast and dinner Monday to Friday - a healthy diet, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, catering to a halal diet where necessary.
  • To provide breakfast, lunch and dinner at weekends.  If your student is going on an excursion, then please provide a packed lunch.
  • To take care of your student’s laundry needs – fresh towels and linen on a weekly basis and provision for laundering personal items.
  • To provide clean and comfortable accommodation in a single room - if you are able to accommodate more than one student then we will aim to place students of different languages, we are also happy for you to accommodate students from other agencies whilst hosting a Marjon student. However, our students will not share bedrooms.
  • To provide reasonable access to the internet for study purposes, enabling the student to remain in contact with home and family.
  • To be available for inspection by Marjon on a two-year cycle.


Current rates of pay:

  • £200 per student per week.
  • Payments are made directly to your bank account


Our Students

We have Naval Officers studying with us from Oman. These students usually come in September and again in January and are here for about 14 weeks, prior to heading off to Dartmouth. These are all young men, from 19 to 21 year-olds. All our students are over 18 years old.

We also run short courses throughout the year with cohorts coming for as little as two weeks, and get inquiries from visiting interns and even lecturers

When a student requests a homestay they are often looking for more than a room in a home, they are looking for support in finding their way around the area, settling into a new way of life, and helping them improve their English language skills. Many of our students will maintain contact with their host long after they have departed.


What to expect from your student

  • Your student should try to fit in with the everyday life of the household and become a member of the family, eating together and sharing the common living space. There may be minor difficulties and misunderstandings – on both sides – but with goodwill and humor these can usually be sorted out.
  • Your student is expected to keep their bedroom tidy and make their own bed, as this is their own private space.
  • Your student should ask before using any of their own electrical equipment; and may need to be advised to use the correct adaptors. It may be wise to have some of these available.
  • Your student should let you know if they are cold so please provide additional blankets. They may not be used to our climate.
  • Your student is aware that gas and electric are expensive in the UK so please remind them that heating is not on overnight and they must turn electrical equipment and lighting off when not in use.
  • Your student is expected to eat meals with members of the household. They should let you know if they cannot eat any particular food (this may be due to religious or cultural reasons) but are expected to take the opportunity to experiment and try as many new and different foods as they can.


Food and Muslim students

You should provide a traditional British menu, but will need to consider the requirements of a halal diet. Food products which are usually halal (permitted for Muslims are):

  • Rice, pasta, grains
  • Fruit, vegetables, dairy products
  • Eggs, most seafood, dried peas, beans and lentils
  • Non-alcoholic drinks (tea, coffee, carbonated and still drinks, juices)

Food products which are haram (not permitted for Muslims):

  • Pork products (including ham, bacon, sausage, salami and canned vegetables containing pork)
  • Meat and poultry not slaughtered according to Islamic dietary law
  • Alcoholic drinks (beer, wine, spirits, etc.) and products containing alcohol (vanilla extract) 
  • Products which contain animal shortening, lard, gelatine etc.

Certain foods may be difficult to classify because of ingredients. If in doubt, check for a halal certificate of food labelling or just ask your student.

While your student should not use your kitchen, they may offer to cook some traditional food from their country for you.


Day-to-day considerations

Make arrangements with your student for the most convenient times for them to take a bath or shower. They should be allowed to wash daily. Explain how the equipment in the bathroom and toilet work (toilet paper can be flushed down the toilet). Our student should leave the bath, shower, washbasin and toilet clean after use.

Your student will ask where they should leave their dirty clothes for laundering. 

Your student should do their own ironing, so please provide access to the iron and ironing board. They may require instruction and supervision at first.

It would be considerate of your student to offer to help with small jobs such as clearing the table after a meal, assist in folding laundered clothes, or even offer to help with the weekly food shop, and this should be encouraged.

Your student should ask your permission if they want to invite friends to your home. Please be clear on where they should entertain them and the time they should arrive and leave. Friends should be reasonably quiet and not disturb the rest of the household, especially late at night. 

Your student must say if they are going to be away overnight or coming home later than normal.

Your student is provided with a bus pass and should use this service. They should not be reliant on you for lifts to and from the University outside of the initial pick up and drop off.

There is a lot more to being a homestay family; your happiness to talk with your student will improve their language, your kindness will help them if they feel homesick and by involving them in your life you will be giving them an experience they will remember for a lifetime. Your student may ask many questions relating to the history and culture of Britain and are keen to learn.


What to expect from the University

The University will support you and your student. On the rare occasion that a student is unhappy and requests to be moved, we will mediate to try and resolve any issues but may need to move the student. If you are not comfortable with a student, we are happy to mediate or move a student at your request if you prefer. One weeks' notice is required to for a student or homestay provider move request.

Occasionally, due to international factors beyond our control (e.g., war, terrorism, illness, immigration), a student or group of students may completely cancel their study in the UK.

Should a group cancel and we are unable to give you at least one weeks’ notice, you will be compensated with one week’s payment to cover your costs. 

You may want to seek advice about renting a room in your home to a student. More information can be found on the Government website here.


Register now to become a Homestay provider by completing this form.

We will need to arrange a visit to meet you and see your home and check you have a current gas safety certificate and insurance. Then we can arrange a Fire Risk Assessment and start sending you students.