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Homestay for Students Quarantining on Arrival at Lewis School of English

Homestay for Students Quarantining on Arrival at Lewis School of English

The Lewis School of English in Southampton has a pool of homestay hosts for students who have to quarantine on arrival in the UK before attending the school.

Quarantine hosts provide a private bathroom and follow strict hygiene and social distancing rules, while online lessons give students a purposeful routine and extra social contact. Together with a flexible cancellation policy, this has proved very attractive, particularly as new countries are added to the government’s quarantine list.

For Aubane from Belgium, quarantine even had unexpected benefits.

“It was amazing because it was step by step, so first it was online lessons, and just after, it was at the school. The teachers were very friendly; they help you to feel more confident, and my host made me feel good too.”

Contact with the homestay host is limited during the quarantine period – a distance of 2m must be observed at all times, and the student has all meals in their bedroom (the host leaves food, snacks and drinks at the door). Interaction from a distance was still possible, though, as Aubane’s host, Moira, recalls.

“She would stay in her room and I would stand on the stairs while we chatted. The weather was good too, so she could enjoy the sun in the garden. I thought two weeks would really drag, but because of the routine, it didn’t. She had breakfast, classes, lunch, classes and then dinner, with free evening time to video call family and friends, watch films or read. Before we knew it, 14 days had passed.”

Aubane spent a final day with Moira before moving to her originally-booked host and joining face-to-face classes at the school, meeting new students and former online classmates. Moira and Aubane remain in contact, meeting up on her birthday, and Aubane continues to enjoy the homestay experience: “it’s the best because all the time you need to speak English and it’s the kind of English you use every day.”

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