It is a nice gesture to buy a small gift for your host family. Many students also like to email the family to let them know about them and inform them of arrival times.
Most families are mixed male and female. They may also have students from other schools of the opposite sex.
Host families usually have dinner (the main meal of the day) between 6pm and 7pm. You are expected to have dinner at his time with the family. You can tell your family if there is anything that you particularly enjoy eating. Lunch is a snack, such as a sandwich.
Many British families have pet cats or dogs.
Remember that most host families work and/or have children. If you wish to skype/talk to your family late at night due to time differences, try to be respectful of people who may be sleeping in your house.
English houses do not usually have a bidet and you may not be able to use the shower late at night (after 11pm). If this is important for you, you may need to buy wipes instead. (These must not be put in the toilet, put them in the bathroom bin).
A bathroom is usually shared in families. It is not usual to have a bathroom connected to your room for your use only (en-suite).
You cannot cook for yourself in host families. However, families usually enjoy tasting food from other countries and if you know how to cook, perhaps you can cook something typical for them.
If you are not sure if you are allowed to use something in the house, always check and ask first.
England might be more expensive than you think. (Especially cigarettes and public transport)
Opening and closing times for shops are probably different than in your country. Most shops and businesses open at 9am and close about 5.30pm. Shops do not close at lunchtime. Many shops are also open on Sundays.
Learn some phrases to use at the Airport when you arrive.
Change some money to Pounds sterling (£) before you come.
What about your mobile phone? You may need to unlock it before you come?
If you are vegetarian or don’t eat pork or beef, make sure you check food labels as many things contain gelatine (including some yoghurt).
The weather can change a lot. Bring warm clothes and an umbrella, even in the summer.
Many products also contain nuts, so be careful if you have a nut allergy.
You will need to show your ID or passport to do a number of things in The UK. This includes entry into bars and clubs.