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Hi I’m Alessandro,  I come from Italy.

I chose Live and Learn Homstay after two different experiences in on other schools in London and in Braigton.  There are great differences from Live and Learn H. and the other schools.

First and most important for me the host family. Before this experience the host family was a tragedy.

The familys usually are chosen casually and without control from the school. So you can find house dirty,  bedroom where you couldn’t swing a cat, no conversations in family,  offen anybody that cook and sometimes no food so you eat out.

When I spoke with Lorna from Live and Learn Homestay, we talked about this, and she promise me that her school is totally different.  After two years I booked in her school and today I finish my English course in Birmingham.

If I may a score 10 out of 10. Good host family, available and always present, location close to the station for travel, good bedroom with private batroom and every days they arrange different meals for me, fantastic.

I did lessons one to one in the house with a capable teacher with a method and program for me, without taking a train, taking a bus that can be stressful and take a long time.

Everything was chosen accurately for my needs.

I say thank you to Lorna and a big thank you to my host family.


Alessandro Peretti

Yes, I did contact other English schools. I didn`t know Live and Learn Homestays but I accepted because they offered a cheaper price than the others.

I would rate my experience 9 out of 10 as my English course has helped me to improve my writing and speaking skills.

Rosie (my teacher) and her husband, Alan. were very nice to us. They will always be in our hearts.

I would advise other people who are looking for an English course with Live and Learn Homestays - apply for it. You will improve your English and enjoy a beautiful city.


Agostino Bono

Hello Lorna,

How are you?

This morning I had my last English lesson :( I don't want to leave Garner's family!!!!

Thank you and congratulations for you Company, you know exactly what a student needs to improve his English :)

Below you find my review:

I can’t believe that my experience in Birmingham is finished!  It has been the best experience ever indeed! Without a doubt I rate it 10 out of 10. 

Before choosing Live and Learn Homestays I contacted lots of Companies, but not one of them could give me what I was looking for. I wanted to improve my English in the best way possible, not just attending a class in an English School. A friend of mine suggested to me that I contact Live and Learn Homestays and it was great advice.

I had never heard about this Company before; in Italy people know only big standard schools and it is a pity because Live and Learn Homestays can provide a far superior service.

I spent 6 weeks living with my teacher and his lovely family, improving my English from morning till evening every day, it has been a real full immersion.  I learnt more about English grammar, idiomatic expressions, the British way of life, but also about music and culture.

I visited nice and interesting places with my teacher and every trip was an occasion to continue to learn.

I want to say thank you to my teacher Frank and his wife Ruth, I felt comfortable with them, they made me feel at home caring about everything, always cheerful. It is due to both of them that I have had an unforgettable experience in Birmingham. They have been not just a host family but my lovely English family.

Live and learn Homestays encompasses all you need to improve your English and I’m sure that your expectations will be surpassed!



Lucilla Lestingi

Dear Lorna,

Please find below my feedback.

I tried only one other company just to compare the services and prices offered. The other company was: Living Learning English, they offered nice locations but the prices were much higher.

I would rate my experience 10 out of 10, because I was totally satisfied.

It was the first time I'd visited an English-speaking country. I was eager to learn everything in this environment beginning with very basic words I'd never used before like saucepan :-).

I also had the chance to know more about English culture, traditions, politics or what people think about hot issues. But one of the best things of learning this way was that I felt I could ask questions all the time, even about just a word in English or a grammatical structure and I got answers immediately. 

The welcome I received from my teacher was excellent, my host family did everything to make my stay pleasant. They were not my hosts rather my family far away from my real family. Frank is not only a very good teacher, but also a very good company and he is a real chef. The trip to the Cotswolds with my host family is an unforgettable memory. I would come back anytime to be the guest of my host family.

I would recommend staying a longer period of time than I was able to be here.

Thank you very much for your help, Lorna. I really enjoyed every minute being here and I would recommend your company to all of my friends.

Best wishes


Before I chose Live and Learn Homestays, I did contact other immersion English course providers but I chose your company for the following reasons:

-  I read on the internet good and positive feedback that other people wrote about their experience with you;

- You were very friendly and kind during our communication via email;

- Your solution was a little bit less expensive than others.

I would score my experience 9 out of 10. I am very satisfied of this experience because I have had a lots of opportunities to speak English with lots of different people all day.

After this experience I can understand better when people speak in English; I have also improved a little bit my speaking skills (but maybe just a week is not enough to see a great improvement).

The welcome I received was perfect; both my teacher and all the family made me feel at home from the first minute.

If I were to advise other people looking for a similar course, the only advice I can give you, just in case you are a young person, is to choose a home near a pub or city centre in case you would like to go out in the evenings (e.g. to have a beer in a pub).

Lucia Nitoglia

Hello Lorna,

Sorry for the delay. This is my personal opinion about the course.

My personal English course in Birmingham was an interesting experience. We decided to spend three weeks in England to escape from the Barcelona hot summer and I decided to study English on my holiday. The customised programs that "Live and Learn Homestays" offered appeared very convenient.

If I had to put a score on the personal experience during the course of English, it would be very high because in 15 days, my English listening and speaking had improved a lot. Also I improved my understanding in grammar, as you can see on the live blog, that records daily experience of the course: http://www.francescvila.cat/category/birmingham/

 My English teacher Steph was very attentive during the course. Her involvement was total. I thank you for your patience and I value ​your ability to offer a variety of interesting learning experiences. I will always remember these learning activities.

Live and Learn Homestays is a very good option for learning and improving English in a short amount of time. Next time, we'll do all the family together and all at once. For sure!

Thank you Lorna for this English learning experience.


Francesc Vila Femenia

Before I chose Live and Learn Homestays, I contacted other companies but they were too expensive.

I rate my experience 10 out of 10 because the company took care of me from start to finish

My teacher, Frank helped me to improve my English.

Even when my daily lessons were over, Frank spent time with me and I was able to practise my English a lot.

I had a really positive experience and I will return next year with my family.

I wanted to improve my English quickly so I contacted the Director of Live and Learn Homestays, Lorna via her website.

I did try contacting other homestay companies but chose Live and Learn Homestays because it was recommended by a friend.

I would rate my experience as 9 out of 10 because Lorna was very friendly, professional and precise.

I had the opportunity to speak, listen and learn and because of this my English is now better.

My teacher, Helen was very welcoming and I had a great time with her.

For people considering a course with Live and Learn Homestays, I would say that it is a good experience and helps you to improve your speaking and listening skills. Also, because you live with your teacher, you get to know about the culture and customs.

In July 2011, I spent 1 week in Birmingham to improve my English and to have a football coaching experience.

Live and Learn Homestays was recommended to me by my English teacher, Domenico Vernava.

I would rate them 10 out of 10 because I was able to improve my English level and personal knowledge of Britain

I think that this was the best way to improve my English; Lorna and my host family were very professional.

In just 1 week my speaking and listening skills improved; this was very important to me.

Live and Learn Homestays also helped me to find an important FA coach and I took part in an amazing football coaching experience. Furthermore I met a lovely host family who showed me a fantastic side of Birmingham. They had a very nice house and they were so hospitable.

I also spent an evening at the pub with Lorna and Domenico; I enjoyed it a lot!

If you would like to come to England to improve your English, I would advise you to choose Live and Learn Homestays for their professionalism and ability to make people feel at home. They will help you before, during and after your experience.

Trust me and try it!

My husband and I were both pleased with the support that we received from Lorna prior to the stay, during the stay and indeed after the stay. Lorna was always available when we needed her and telephoned, and indeed visited, to ensure all was going well for everyone. We were sent sufficient information about the boys and were able to e-mail them and find out more about their interests prior to the visit. This enabled us to include activities in the daily programme to suit their requirements and make sure that they got the most out of their stay.

We received the payment very promptly after the visit and found Lorna extremely amicable and easy to communicate with.

Both of us would be delighted to work with Lorna again and would enjoy hosting further students.

We wish Lorna every success with her business and would recommend her to others who are interested in hosting students or indeed staying with a host family.

In April 2012, I spent 1 week in Birmingham having lessons with my homestay teacher.

My experience has been fantastic and was important to me. I returned back home fully satisfied.
My host family was very friendly and warm. I could speak English with them very often.
I practised my English during lessons in the morning, while in the afternoon I went sightseeing with my teacher.

I could have never imagined that from a simple study trip I could feel such enthusiasm and could have felt so melancholic when it had finished.

Furthermore the prices, compared to other schools, are very competitive without loss of service quality.

I suggest this experience to anyone, from any age, you just have to let yourself go.
Lorna, thank you for your excellent organisation.
And thank to All Things London as well, your Italian partner.

We'd like to thank you about Thomas' homestay in January.

The accomodation was very nice, the family atmosphere very warm and Thomas liked Norma's cooking and relationship with Norma and her children.

We are sure Thomas will keep a good memory of his stay.

My name is Daniela and when I decided to try an English language homestay in August 2011, I contacted many language companies, both English and Italian.

I chose Live and Learn Homestays because its proposal had the better price, many agreed excursions per week and the possibility of having a certificate of attendance - this was better than the other companies.

I'm sure that my experience rates 10 out of 10, because it was a great experience for me and my language has improved with my teacher's help.

Before my homestay course, I made many mistakes in English speaking; during that period my teacher corrected me every time that I made a mistake so I could learn and improve every day.

The additional benefits had been the professionalism of the service and the possibility of choosing the family.

In fact, the most important benefit is Lorna's professionalism as everything that she offered in her proposal really happened.

My advice is to rely on Lorna and to choose a family like the Garners!

My name is Domenico Vernava; I am British and work in Milano Italy. Although my main profession is as an architect, I also teach English and have around 20 students of all ages.

Around  2 years ago I was asked by  a few of my students about home stay possibilities in England so I started making an internet search on possible companies that would service my request.

I contacted quite a few companies in England and to be honest I was disappointed by the feedback with one exception www.homestay-online.com.

I was sent an email by Lorna Allen, the Director of Live and Learn Homestays Ltd who said that she would be able to help me with my request, well to say the least I told her what I was looking for and in no time at all she furnished me with not just 1 but 3 different options as I was looking for accommodation for children and adults.

From then on it was easy I just filled in the form on the web site and Lorna did the rest. As you can imagine when parents send their children to another country they will be a little apprehensive but they were comforted knowing that their homestay family had been police checked and they, the parents, had internet and phone contact with their children 24/7.

I must add that Lorna made frequent calls and visits to the host family and also took photos of the children at their home and sent them to the parents, GREAT.

The value for money was excellent and the excursions offered were varied and imaginative - from golf, archery, museums, canoeing in Wales, well what I can say. The students have been in 2009, 2010 and are already planning their next visit for 2011!


My name is Federica and I spent a week in Birmingham in August 2011.

I needed to improve my English quickly so I booked 20 hours of private English lessons with my host/teacher, Frank.

Before I booked my English course with Live and Learn Homestays, I contacted 2 other companies - EF and a smaller company.

I chose Live and Learn Homestays because the director, Lorna, was very kind and helpful; I also read her interview on the Network Milan website.

I'd give my host family 10 out of 10; they were fantastic and Frank was the best teacher I'd ever had. The family was always available to speak with me and they spent lots of time with me.

The house was beautiful and clean and they treated me as part of their family.

Lorna came to meet me to make sure that everything was going well; we also spent an evening together at a salsa club!

Even though I only spent a week there, I was able to improve my spoken English and work on my grammar.

As well as improving my English, I was able to spend time with the family and learn about British culture and customs; this was really important to me. I also got to see many beautiful places around Birmingham and the Midlands.

I congratulate Lorna for doing a great job and suggest that she considers taking au-pair students and offering conversational English lessons via SKYPE; I'd be her first client!

If you're considering using Live and Learn Homestays, my advice would be to "Just do it!"

My only regret is that I could only stay for 1 week.

Back in July, I recommended Lorna and her company to a German colleague. His 16 year old son was struggling with his English at school. I told him about what Lorna does and suggested that it might be a possibility. Now, after having met the father again, I can say that Lorna's concept works and must be supported. His son's English grades improved after only a 2 week stay with one of Lorna's 'host families'.

The father showed me the end of course report. It explained very clearly the problem areas the tutor recognized and what was done about them and further recommendations. What is also worth mentioning is that in the placement process, Lorna uses a matching system to find the most appropriate tutor / host family for the student. In this case, the student had an interest in music, so Lorna had the ideal combination of a qualified teacher married to a musician.

What also came to light, mentioned by the student's father, was that the host family integrated their guest, showed him the local sights and took him to restaurants or take aways. The latter has the consequence that the student refuses to go to an Indian restaurant in Germany because they are not as good as those in England!

Lorna is committed to her business and to her customers. She picks up the students from the airport and brings them back. The attention to detail, the whole process involved has shown me the professionalism her business reflects which is enhanced by a warm human touch, so very necessary in an learning environment.

I needed IELTS help in specific sections of the exam so needed private tuition. I was very pleased with the company and service received, as I achieved what I wanted with the final grading of 8.5 IELTS in the exam which surpassed my expectations.

Ongoing contact with Lorna was very good. Lorna is very committed to her work and clients and continually asked for feedback as to how my studies were progressing.

The teacher was very flexible and experienced and it was very easy and comfortable for me as she came to do the tuition at my home.

Was my 1-month-stay and travel successful or not?

Jumping to a conclusion, my answer is yes!

Travel is TRAVAIL in French. So every time when I travel abroad, I have trouble with communication in foreign language; English. Nevertheless, my travel abroad was successful and I can keep motivated to travel again and again.

This journey is at the top of my list of favourite journeys since my retirement.

Success in travel depends on how everyday ends up. I was able to enjoy my 3-week-homestay that my home-stay agent, Lorna from Live and Learn Homestays Ltd. arranged for me.

Judging from my past experiences, the host family is key to home-staying. For 3 quarters of my journey I was home-staying, not only the accommodation but also heart and mind of the host family was superb!

I spent the rest of my itinerary quite contentedly, assisted by the host family.

Lorna took my stay into good consideration keeping in touch with me as travel-counselor. It was helpful to me and was a nice part of my itinerary.

I hope it isn’t incidental for me to be happy this time.

Thank you.

I' ve been thinking about my time in Birmingham since I got back to China.

The experience has become the best one I' ve ever had!

I remember the time I spent with you and Ed and the Warwick family.

I' ve learnt a lot of things which I even never heard about in China from the learning program and I really appreciate it.The trip to Stratford-upon-Avon is another wonderful memory.

You and Ed were perfect guides and I did enjoy the tour.

The homestay was unforgetable as well. Sharon and her sons were such good hosts and that make us feel like we are just at home. I will always remember their warm-welcome and fantastic help.

All in all, the time in Birmingham was awesome.

We miss all of you and thank you again for all the help you' ve given us.

Wish you all the very best in the future!

My aunty booked my English course with Live and Learn Homestays, in July 2012, because a friend recommended the company to her.

I am so happy to have this experience because I feel that every day I have learnt more English. It is very important to live-in as you have to listen all the time and try to communicate with the family.

Now I try to speak and communicate with other people that I meet in England but before I didn’t feel comfortable as I felt embarrassed if I made a mistake. Now I feel more confident and I can understand better what people are saying. My reading and writing are more fluent and easier for me.
I got to see some beautiful places and have nice traditional English meals as well as an Asian meal. I learnt about British culture and I enjoyed being with the family and going to different places.
If I were someone considering using Live and Learn Homestays, I would advise them to enjoy the experience, have fun and learn!

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New Teachers, New Areas


We now have new teachers in the following areas:


Kendal (Lake District)




We're really excited to be able to offer you even more choice of locations for your full immersion English course.

We're adding their profiles to the 'Meet a Host' page so check them out now!

Mumpreneur 2011 Award


Local mum and entrepreneur, Lorna Allen, has earned herself a place in the final lineup of The Mumpreneur Awards, an annual ceremony aimed at celebrating parents throughout the UK who manage the difficult task of juggling business with family life.

The mother of 2 runs Live and Learn Homestays Ltd., an organisation offering personalised English courses and leisure activities to people visiting the Midlands region from abroad. Lorna's customers (homestay guests) benefit from a full immersion experience where they are placed with host families and have the unique opportunity to improve their English skills and learn about British culture through sharing their host families' lives.

Lorna Allen, Director of Live and Learn Homestays tells NetworkMilan.com how you can improve your English and feel at home in the “Heart of England”

Live and Learn Homestays Ltd is a small English language homestay company based in Birmingham, the "Heart of England", in the UK. The company is owned and managed by Lorna Allen, a local entrepreneur who worked part-time as a homestay tutor and local organiser for a large, international language homestay company for over seven years.

Read full article here: www.networkmilan.com