Local Link – Code of Conduct
All Hosts taking part in Friends International Local Link must agree to this Code of Conduct.
- I understand that Local Link is designed to be an experience that will be enriching for both hosts and students. Hosts and students should never feel coerced or forced into being part of Local Link.
- I understand that if at any stage a host or student wants to withdraw from being part of Local Link they are free to do so, and should inform their local Friends International representative as soon as possible.
- I understand that Local Link is strictly for international students who are over the age of eighteen (18), but other than that we welcome students regardless of race, gender, age, class, sexual identity, religion, and physical ability.
- I understand that the student(s) have been advised to respect me and my property; and I will respect the student(s), this includes, but is not limited to, their cultural, political, and religious points of view.
- I understand that the student(s) have been advised not to force religious, political, or cultural points of view on me; and I will likewise not force my religious, political, or cultural points of view on them.
- I understand that Friends International aims to accept genuine international students registered in the UK and known to local Friends International representatives; but beyond that, all Friends International knows about the student is the information given on the application form, which will be passed on to me.
- I understand that any reports of inappropriate behaviour by hosts towards students are always taken very seriously, investigated, and if substantiated, result in the immediate removal of the host from our lists. In addition, I understand that Friends International will take whatever further action is deemed necessary under safeguarding guidelines, which may include passing information to external authorities.
- I understand that after initial contact, my commitment to the student(s) is open ended: I am free to remain in contact with the student(s) by mutual agreement (including after they have completed their academic studies or moved away), or to excuse myself from ongoing contact.
- I agree to give occasional updates to my local Friends International representative regarding my experience as a Local Link host.
Being a Host
- I understand my local Friends International representative will allocate students to hosts at their discretion. When they offer a student to me I will be free to accept or decline; but that, having agreed to “host” a particular student(s), I will regard that as a commitment.
- I understand that, by registering with Friends International Local Link, I am offering to connect with one or more international students assigned to me by mutual agreement with my local Friends International representative.
- I understand that connecting with international students through Local Link normally involves inviting them to be my guest for a short visit in my home. This may still be possible (where local social distancing guidelines allow) but alternative ways to connect might involve meeting in a café or local park or online via video call or messaging app.
- I understand that all hosts in the Friends International Local Link are offering hospitality voluntarily and are not expecting any payment of any kind in return. I therefore agree to not ask for or demand money, or any other form of payment, from any student.
- I understand that it will be my responsibility to make contact with my guest and that I should inform Friends International’s representative if the student is not responding. I should explain to the student exactly where they will be met, and by whom.
- I understand that under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) it is a criminal offence to share in anyway or make public the personal details of any student, unless the student explicity states in writing that this is acceptable.
- I understand that Friends International does not arrange visits for single students with single hosts of the opposite sex; and that where the hosts are a couple, the host who is the same sex as the student should be present throughout the visit.
- I understand that people from other cultures have varying attitudes towards ‘personal space’ and physical contact, particularly between the sexes, and to avoid causing any discomfort or embarrassment I will refrain from any physical contact which is not clearly initiated by the student.
- In light of Covid-19 restrictions, I understand that I must comply with local social distancing guidelines when meeting international students in person and that it is my responsibility to be aware of any changes to local social distancing guidelines.
- I understand that I should not arrange to meet a student in person if I, or anyone in my household, have experienced Covid-19 symptoms until I and my household has completed the required quarantine period or received negative Covid-19 test results.
- I understand that I should not arrange to meet a student in person if I have recently visited another country, or region of the UK, until I have completed any quarantine period required by local government.
- I understand that if anyone in my household or visiting my household experiences Covid-19 symptoms within two weeks of meeting a student in person, in accordance with track and trace procedures, I should inform the student and Friends International immediately.