FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Check back with us as we continue to answer our most frequently asked questions to learn more about what to expect from a guardian, from hosts, and to learn all about life in the UK.

If I find myself in an emergency, what should I do?


If you have any emergency please contact us via whatsapp or phone call, our staff will get back to you as soon as possible. Hong Kong Telephone: +852 3619 2372 WhatsApp: +852 9533 0885 UK Telephone: +44 7745797588 WhatsApp: +44 7745797588 Every member of both our UK and HK teams continue to go above and beyond to provide extra support during this trying time. We continue to provide emergency support to our students currently still in the UK, whether at the airport, with protective supplies, staying at school, or those with multiple flight changes.




What has Belgravia provided for parents and students during the coronavirus outbreak?


Belgravia continues to operate as usual and offer as much support as we can to our students. In the past weeks and months, we have provided protective gear such as masks, gloves, raincoats, goggles, and alcohol wipes. On top of this we have been managing travel to and from schools and airports as well as providing hosts in emergency situations such as when students have been forced to leave their school early. For those whose flights were cancelled, we had staff stationed at the airport to assist them in rebooking their flights. We will of course continue to provide support for our students for as long as it is needed, throughout 2020/21 academic year throughout the UK.




What should I expect when I land in the UK?


We understand that while some students will find the experience of studying abroad very exciting, others can feel slightly nervous, especially if they haven’t been away from home on their own before. There’s no need to worry! Although everyone looks busy, people in England are very friendly and once you’re off the plane, you’ll soon be with your host family or on your school coach. Once you’re off the plane, you’ll be able to follow signs in the airport that lead you to passport control and towards the luggage collection point. Make sure you have all your documents to hand in case immigration asks you for proof of pick up and which school you attend. Remember to keep the Belgravia letter with you to show immigration in case they ask who will be responsible for you in the UK.
If you are travelling alone and would like assistance getting from the plane to immigration with Airport Angels, we can organise this for you. For Platinum packages, this is included, for Gold, Silver or Paper packages, there is an extra charge. After you’ve had your passport checked and collected your luggage, head towards the exit. Here, you’ll either be met by someone from Belgravia, or will find your school coach, depending on what you have chosen.




When should I apply for my tier 4 visa?


The earliest you can apply for a visa is 3 months before you start your course. You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
It costs £348 to apply for this visa from outside the UK via the standard service. To be eligible for this visa, you must have:
● An unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor
● Enough money to support yourself and pay for your course - the amount will vary depending on your circumstances




I'm feeling homesick. What should I do?


It’s very normal for students to feel homesick when at boarding school, especially when you are new to boarding, let alone to a new country. Schools and host families are aware of this and will do everything they can to make their home feel as comfortable as possible for you. Schools often help with this by assigning you an older student as a mentor. These older students have been through the same feelings of homesickness themselves and can help you by sharing their own experiences and offering tips to get past the feelings and start enjoying boarding and experiences of a new country. It is best to try and avoid calling your parents or family too often. Although this might sound counter-intuitive, it actually helps students to adjust to your new environment better. By not being constantly reminded of home, you can focus on enjoying where you are and develop a sense of independence. Belgravia Area Parents visit students throughout the year, often bringing a bag of homely snacks with them. If there's something specific that your child likes, please let us know, and we'll try our best to send our Area Parent with it when they visit your child at School.




What support can I get from Belgravia?


Belgravia can do as much or as little as you would like. Almost all schools require their non-UK based students to have a guardianship company or a relative to act as a guardian. This is partly to comply with Tier 4 visa rules, but also to ensure that someone is available to support each child in their transition to the UK. We support a lot of basic needs such as organising stays with your host family, logistics to/from different locations, meeting students at school, attending different school meetings, such as parents evenings, and many more. We also support different emergency situation, such as: ● Covid-19 and/or other viral outbreaks
● Illness, from minor illness to major hospitalisation and operations
● Visa issues leading to suspension from school
● Snow and volcanic ash shutting UK airports
● Misbehaviours, including theft, alcohol, smoking, sexual relations, bullying, sometimes resulting in suspension
● School virus epidemic and shutting of a boarding house
● School central heating breaking down
● Family bereavement
● Non-payment of school fees On top of this, our Area Parents will support your child's educational journey, making sure that they are achieving the highest results possible and making the most of their time in the UK.




Why do I need a host family?


Host families provide a friendly and safe environment to stay. You will need a host family during your exeats, half-terms or any emergency situations although not all schools have exeats so some students will never need a host family. Hosts provide your own room, three meals, bed linen, towels, snacks, Wi-Fi and access to a shared bathroom. Whilst living with your host family you will communicate and get to know each other. You will learn about the local area, community and customs. Your host family will also be eager to get to know you, learn about your family, country and culture.




What are my responsibilities when I am being hosted?


When living with your host family your responsibilities include keeping your bedroom clean and tidy. You need to show respect for others and follow the house rules outlined to you. You should keep an open mind and be willing to try new foods and experiences. It is important that you communicate with your host family, any issues can generally be
resolved be speaking directly with them.
More details on what to expect are thoroughly detailed in your Pre-departure guide. Our guides are specific and tailor-made to each school, to offer detailed insights into what to expect when being hosted, and the manners that British families expect at occasions such as meal times.




Do I need to inform my host if I am leaving home?


Yes, it is important to inform your host that you will be heading outside and when you intend to return. You need to inform your host if you will not be home for any meals, and if you intend on staying out overnight you should also get pre-approval from Belgravia as we will check with your parents before confirming. If you are under the age of 18 you need to be home for dinner each night, and are not allowed to stay out overnight. Curfew times are all detailed in our pre-departure handbooks.




Am I allowed to invite guests into my host family's house?


You will need to ask your host if they are happy for you to have guests in their home. Some hosts are okay with you having guests over, as long as you inform them, and with notice, however they are not allowed to stay overnight and meals will not be provided to your guests. Others will ask that you do not have guests over and you should respect their
decision.





ABOUT US

Belgravia Guardians have almost 30 years experience in looking after international students while they are away from home. We are your child's 'family in the UK' to ensure that they feel safe and secure during exeats and half terms. 

With a dedicated team in Hong Kong, as well as a team of staff around the UK, you can know that we will always have the best interests of your child in everything we do. 

CONTACT

Ridgefield Cottage

16 Clareville Road

Caterham 

CR3 6LA

Suite 1802,

Chinachem Leighton Plaza

29 Leighton Road

Causeway Bay

Hong Kong

T: +852 3619 2372

T: +852 9533 0885

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© 2020 ANGLO BELGRAVIA LTD

NEW COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR ALL STUDENTS STUDYING IN THE UK

HK: +852 9533 0885        UK: +44 7745 797 588

info@bg-london.com