IALC Accommodation Standards - Host family, homestay, residential & hotels
The IALC Accommodation standards sets minimum requirements for homestays, student apartments, residences, studios, hotels and is a vital component of the study abroad experience.
Most language school students stay in host families or homestays, but apartments, residences and studios are becoming increasingly popular as well. These minimum requirements are for students aged 16+.
- The bedroom must be suitably furnished with a bed and adequate storage space, lighting, chair and desk. If there is no desk in the student’s room, a private and appropriate work/study area must be available in the home.
- The room should be appealing, with natural light, and the furniture should be in good condition.
- The room must be for the student’s, or sharing students’, private use (i.e. not a room also used by the family).
- Ideally, students should be accommodated as the only native speaker. Member schools should advise their clients of their policies in this regard.
- Member schools should advise their clients of their policies regarding the possible number of students accommodated in households.
- If the student has booked half board, the main meal of the day should be taken with the family and should consist of a least two courses (e.g. main course and salad or main course and dessert).
- Meals should vary throughout the week.
- Rooms, common areas, kitchen and bathroom must be clean.
- The bathroom should be in a good state of cleanliness and repair and students should be allowed a minimum of one bath or shower daily.
- Linen and towels must be changed on a regular basis.
- Families should talk to the students as much as possible.
- During winter in colder climates, heating must be available.
- Distance to school should not exceed more than 30 minutes on foot or by public transport (1 hour in cities).
- Families and their homes must be known to the school staff or to their appointed accommodation agent.
- Families must be inspected prior to the first placement. There must be a stringent evaluation and monitoring scheme involving re-inspection at regular intervals or on an "as needs" basis.
- The standard of the families must be monitored by a questionnaire to students.
- Students’ wishes and needs, such as non-smoking/smoking, allergies, vegetarian food, etc., must be taken into account as far as reasonably possible.
Before the student’s arrival, this information should be sent to the agency or student:
- Address and telephone number of the family.
- Updated information on family members (profession, age, etc.)
- Travel information: How can the student get there by public transport?
- Where practical, a map on which the nearest public transport, the house of the family and the school are marked.
- Distance to school.
- An emergency telephone number in case any kind of problem arises on arrival.
And before or on arrival
- Information on how to get from the family to the school.
- Clear rules / do's and don'ts
Residential and other types of accommodation
- Accommodation must be clean.
- The rooms should be appealing and the furniture should be in good condition and not too old.
- Toilets and bathrooms should be in good state of repair (no mould etc.)
- There should be a person in charge of regular cleaning, except where the students are responsible for cleaning, e.g. flat-sharing in some locations.
- Clear fire regulations and procedure for residential accommodation.
- Adequate security.
- Clear guidelines.
- Hotels must be clean and the service should be good.
- The rooms should be appealing and the furniture in good condition.
- Unless otherwise requested, hotels should have a minimum of two stars.
- The rooms should be ensuite with the bathrooms in a good state of repair.