Homestay is a great way to stay in the homestay the homes of the local community in and around Birmingham. Local hosts and host families offer private guestrooms and support to domestic and international students who are new to the community and local schools, colleges and universities. Most host families offer furnished guestrooms, meals, and utilities included for a nominal monthly homestay fee or rent.
In order to find and contact host families or International students and coordinators there are couple of ways to do so:
1) Use of a Homestay Consultant: Contact a homestay agency or coordinator. The agent or coordinator will take sometime to contact local hosts and work with you to make the booking arrangement of the available homestay room. The agent or coordinator one-time charge an application or placement fee and requires an application to be completed to start. Some agents list host families for additional charge and/or commission when they provide additional marketing value and booking value for the host. It is a valuable service if you do not have time to search and contact families yourself or lack the experience to do so. Same thing for hosts, some hosts do not have time to contact and match students with their homes. Some agents also provide addition services like airport pick up service to their clients and/or travel insurance for an additional charge. Example of a homestay agency service would be "IHA" their website is www.homestayagency.com.
2) Help Yourself Portal: If you have time and good communications skills to search and contact families or International students yourself, then there is a new and easy way to do so. Networking website or portal would be the best example of such method where you search potential hosts by city or locality or destination. Choose whom you are looking for, but you will need to contact them and arrange homestay room booking. It could be simple but time consuming for some, but results are well justified since you communicate by yourself or others may contact you. The key is that you need to create a good and compelling profile about you and what you offer as a host or a student and communicate well what you are looking for in English or possibly in a foreign language too. Photographs are always very important to introduce yourself and what you offer. A free or paid membership would be necessary in such module of network website. The cost is usually way less than homestay consultant option but more time and work for you. Example of this networking websites is "Homestay Online" or www.homestayonline.com.
3) School or College Student Services: Contact your local school or college student services department or admissions, they may offer homestay placement service for a charge.
Note that most hosts and host families are motivated enough to assist you when you arrive and go out of their way to assist you as a guest in their house. However they cannot host you for free since living costs in Birmingham is usually high for average family. The monthly or weekly homestay fee will vary depending on perks included with the room like meals and utilities or location. For a fair homestay fee or rent in your area, please consult with a homestay consultant.
Good luck and we hope to see you in Birmingham
Claude Chennai Jr.