West Ham United Foundation International Soccer Academy Transfer Information & Camp Frequently Asked Questions
The camp provides a negotiated transfer service from London Heathrow (LHR) airport, London Gatwick (LGW) airport, and St Pancras London Eurostar train station to the campus.
The personal meet and greet service is from all airport/train station mentioned above on arrival (Sunday) and departure (Saturday) for flights arriving and departing between 09:00 AM – 21:00 (9:00 PM).
Participants must arrive on the first date of the camp and leave on the last date of the camp as mentioned on your registration.
There will be an additional fee for transfers outside of the time frames mentioned above (more information is available on the Prices Page). All transfers must be pre-arranged. After collecting their luggage, students proceed through customs. Students are then met by a camp representative in the public arrival area, with a Choices International shirt, who will be displaying a prominent Choices International sign. Airport transfer fees include a maximum of 45 minutes waiting time. Further delays may result in additional charges for you.
You are allowed one suitcase any extra one will have an additional extra cost that will be charged to you on arrival.
UNACCOMPANIED MINOR SERVICE (mandatory when requested by the airline company, additional fee paid to camp and also to the airline): If your child is under 15 years of age and travelling alone (without an adult) the camp will ensure that a member of the staff will take your child over from the airline staff on arrival (paperwork required with the airline) and will take your child to the check-in counter and check him onto the flight and accompany him to the security gate on departure. If you have pre-arranged Unaccompanied Minor service with the airline, the camp staff will hand your child over to the airline representative. Please make sure you select this option online when you register or confirm this option at the latest one month before arrival at the camp as you will be automatically billed for this service if it was not requested before camp starts and you have scheduled a UM (Unaccompanied Minor) (check Airlines Services for UM) service directly with the airline without letting us know. Please Contact Us if you have any questions about this service.
Check local requirements for children travelling without their parents or legal guardian – each country has specific requirements and may require written consent and/or identity documents.
Please note that UK Border Control (Immigration) does not allow children to wait alone without supervision.
UK Border Control may stop any child traveling alone and will only release them into the care of an adult. Therefore, students cannot wait by themselves.
We recommend mid-day arrivals and departures as there are no activities planned during the day on arrival days and departure days.
It is of vital importance that all necessary flight/train details are sent to Soccer Camps International with the booking form or as soon as available. We require the exact flight information including dates, airlines, flight numbers, arrival and departure terminals, and flight times. This service must be booked no later than 1 month prior to the start of the course.
** Flight information must be provided at the latest 20 days prior to arrival at the camp.
*** Transfer fees won’t be refunded if you select them at registration and decide to cancel them later on before your camp starts (you can always add an airport transfer option after your registration if you need one and when you know your flight details up to the deadline mentioned above); changes at the last minute will incur extra costs.
**** Choices International won’t accept flight notifications or changes less than 7 days prior to arrival!
|Approximate Journey Time:|
|University of the Arts|
|London Heathrow (LHR) Airport||1 hour|
|London Gatwick (LGW) Airport||1 hour 15 minutes|
|St Pancras (Eurostar) Train Station||20 minutes|
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What age group can attend the West Ham United Foundation International Soccer Academy?
A: West Ham United Foundation International Soccer Academy is available for Boys and Girls from 10 – 17 years old as well as for Boy and Girl Goalkeepers from 12 – 17 years old but please be aware that there are only Coed Training Sessions available during the first two weeks with boys and girls training together (since girls are only allowed to attend the first two weeks but boys can attend any of the camp sessions including the first two weeks) and there is a very limited number of girls at this camp. Soccer Club players can enroll in the High Performance sessions (12 – 17 years old only) while players do not have to belong to a soccer club in order to enroll in the Development sessions or the Standard sessions (West Ham International Academy coaches will assess players during camp and players who sign up for High Performance but do not have the level required will be moved to the development session). Standard sessions are for beginners at soccer. Please note that campers must be within the relevant age restrictions to register for the camp and that campers whose age is outside of the above age limits cannot register for the camp. Camp participants need to be the relevant age throughout the duration of the course in order to register.
Q: What is the maximum time my child can stay?
A: We advise you to only send your child for a maximum of two consecutive weeks. This is due to the busy training schedule throughout the week and after two weeks children tend to get tired, homesick, or possibly injured.
Q: My child is just outside the relevant age for a particular course. What can I do?
A: Unfortunately your child has to be of the relevant age throughout the duration of the course.
Q: What do I need to bring with me to camp?
A: Students should bring a variety of clothes for both hot and cool days. Students should remember to bring sports clothes/shoes, swimwear, towels, and some smart clothes to wear during the discos or school ball. Students may also like to bring their own soccer equipment such as a soccer kit (you will receive West Ham training kit for your week stay), soccer shoes, and shin pads. Students are permitted to wear either West Ham United T-shirts or plain ones; no other branded shirts can be worn (plain West Ham United or plain t-shirts are OK, no club or country jerseys). You can find a list of what we recommend children bring with them HERE (PDF).
Q: Will I receive training kits while at camp?
A: Students at the camp will receive two training kits as they will have to train daily with the official West Ham United Foundation equipment. For residential campers only (not available for day campers) there will be a laundry service available four times per week. Residential campers can purchase a personal laundry bag (net with zip) for an additional £10 and there will be laundry service available for £6/wash. Please note that residential campers can bring their own personal laundry bag with them to camp or purchase one for an additional £10. Sample training kit (subject to change) can be found HERE.
Q: How much pocket money will my child need?
A: This depends entirely on the age and the personal preferences of the student and their family. The camp recommends approximately £75 to £100 per week (in addition to the £150 necessary for the deposit). This pocket money is for general spending (buying souvenirs on excursions, snacks from the school restaurant, etc). Residential campers will also need to bring an additional £10 so that they can purchase a personal laundry bag (net with zip) which is necessary for the laundry service of their soccer kits.
IMPORTANT: The camp requires that all students on arrival make a deposit of £175.00 (British Pounds) (credit card accepted) at the school against any damage they may incur while at the school. This will naturally be returned at the end of their stay if they are not responsible for any damages.
Q: Will day camp students also be required to pay a deposit fee?
A: Yes, all parents/guardians of day camp students will need to pay a £175 deposit (British Pounds) upon registering the camper on the Sunday prior to the first day of training (deposit for late pick up of child after time of pick up at 17:45 (5:45pm)). The registration of the student during the day on Sunday is mandatory.
Q: What are the check-in and check-out times at camp?
A: Camp self check-in is on Sunday from 14:00 (2pm) to 18:30 (6:40pm) and self check-out is on Saturdays mornings (8:30am – 9:30am) (Day Camp check-out is on Friday evening) at the University of the Arts at the Sketch House in North London. Final Times Confirmation will be mentioned in your camp information email PDF before camp starts.
Day Camp practices are from Monday through Friday (daily lunch is included). Day Camp check-in will be on the Sunday before camp starts (check-in day only) at the University of the Arts at the Sketch House in North London. Day Camp check-out will be on Friday after the soccer activities. Day Camp participants will need to be dropped off every morning at the WHU Foundation Community Hub at 60A Albatross Cl, London E6 5NX and picked up every afternoon at the Bacon’s College & Sports Centre, Timber Pond Rd, London SE16 6AT.
Q: How can I get a trial with the West Ham United Academy?
A: The West Ham United Foundation International Soccer Academy is only a summer soccer camp. The West Ham United Academy has a scouting network to identify talented youngsters. Players need to make an impression for their local club/team. Please note that you cannot apply for a trial with the West Ham United Academy through the West Ham United Foundation International Soccer Academy.
Q: What are the chances of meeting a player?
A: The first team players will not be attending the West Ham United Foundation International Soccer Academy sessions.
Q: My child is attending on his own; will he be ok?
A: Yes, the majority of players attend without friends and family. Individuals will be placed in groups with players near the same age who are also on their own. The first session of every course is designed to help all individual players integrate to form a team and also make new friends.
Q: What to expect as far as camp culture based on the country of the camp?
A: Each camp provides a sports experience as well as a cultural experience. Many of the participants will experience something different from home as they will be in a foreign country with a different way of living. For most of the camps, participants will experience the local cuisine, special times for meals (early meals in northern Europe, late meals in southern Europe) as per the culture of the country, showers after training sessions, typical entertainment at the camp as per the country’s summer camp culture, early or late bedtimes based on the country’s living habits and more. If you feel that your child will have difficulties to adapt to a new way of living, then we recommend that you wait until your child is of an age where they will be ready to do so.
Q: Where are the residential camps based?
A: The residential camp offers soccer training at the West Ham United Foundation Training facilities with residential accommodation being provided at the University of the Arts at the Sketch House in North London. More information can be found on the Camp Location page.
Q: Who will meet my child at the airport?
A: If possible, students should arrange to fly directly to London. If you are worried about your child travelling alone, please contact the airline who should be able to provide you with assistance (such as Unaccompanied Minor service, etc.) especially if your child has to change planes at another airport before arriving in London. Students will be met by a member of the camp staff at the airport with a sign and an I.D. tag at the airport. The journey from Heathrow airport to the school takes about 90 minutes and from Gatwick airport to the school takes about 75 minutes. More information can be found in the Airport Transfer section at the top of this page.
Q: Are meals provided?
A: Full-board is included (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) for residential camps. Day camps include lunch.
Q: What does full accommodation include?
A: Single rooms with private en-suite bathrooms at the University of the Arts at the Sketch House in North London.
Q: Can I stay on site with my child?
A: There is no accommodation for parents on site. We do not recommend any particular accommodations and it is best to choose a hotel in the London area which meets your requirements.
Q: Is goalkeeping training available?
A: The coed goalkeeper training option is available for boys and girls from 12 – 17 years old (Coed boys and girls training for the first two weeks only). Please visit the Details Page for more information.
Q: What type of visa do I require?
A: Visa requirements change all the time, please contact your local British Embassy for the most up-to-date information about traveling to the UK.
Q: Do I need insurance?
A: Insurance in included in your camp. Please see details on the Prices Page but if you want additional coverage we recommend that you do take out insurance to cover personal belongings, illness, and injury. Refunds might be issued if illness or injury prevents individuals from participation or cuts short their stay on the course. You can contact the insurance company directly for details.
Q: Will I be in the same room as my friend?
A: There are only single en-suite rooms available. Should you wish to have the room next to a friend or relative please indicate this when you make your booking online. Please note that we cannot guarantee any room share requests. Please visit the Camp Location page for more information.
Q: When is the closing date for applications?
A: Applications are open until there are no slots left. Slots are limited and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Once a session is filled, then it is closed for sale.
Q: When can I phone my child?
A: Campers are not allowed to use their mobile phones during training, classes, or any activities. Your child will let you know the best time for you to contact him after his camp session has started. Contact details for the camp will be provided to you a few weeks before camp starts in the welcome email packet.
Q: What are the camp’s telephone numbers?
A: Camp telephone numbers will be provided in your welcome email packet a few weeks before the start of camp for registered campers.
Q: What if my child has special dietary requirements?
A: The camp can cater for many different dietary requirements as long as they are informed before the student arrives. If the student does have dietary requirements or allergies, please provide details during online registration.
Q: My child takes prescription medication – should I inform you about this?
A: Yes, during online registration please be sure to mention any medication that your son is taking or if he is following a treatment. We will update the medical staff at the disposal at the camp who will follow your son. It is important that we receive accurate information about any pre-existing medical conditions your child may have. Should you not have already informed us of a medical condition when you registered online, please do so as soon as possible. Please note that the West Ham United Foundation International Soccer Academy accepts campers on the assumption that they are in good health. If your child needs to bring any medication with them please give us full information about dosage, time to take the medication, and storage information.
Q: What happens if my child feels ill?
A: The camp has staff with first aid qualifications. If a student does feel unwell, they will look after him but there is also a hospital not too far the University of the Arts at the Sketch House in North London.
Q: Who will supervise my child throughout the day?
A: The happiness, safety, and welfare of students is the camp’s main priority. They have staff on duty 24 hours a day, staff bedrooms are clearly labeled, and important telephone numbers are advertised throughout the school.
Q: Is there anybody supervising the participants during the night?
A: There is camp staff on site 24 hours per day.
Q: My child is participating for two weeks in the Summer Camp: will the staff take care of him during the transition period between one week to the other?
A: There will be staff staying with the children during the weekend between the two weeks.
Q: Is there a laundry service?
A: Yes, there is a laundry service available for residential campers only (not available for day campers). Residential campers will be able to purchase a personal laundry bag (net with zip) on-site at the camp for £10 which will be required for the laundry service of the camp’s official soccer kits (participants can also bring their own laundry net bag). The laundry service for the camp’s official soccer kits is for residential campers and the laundry service will be done three times per week for £6/wash. Please note that residential campers can bring their own personal laundry bag with them to camp or instead purchase one personal laundry bag on-site at the camp for an additional £10 for their soccer kits wash. There is also a laundry wash for personal clothes (not soccer kits) available at the camp which usually does not happen but, when requested, participants can do their own laundry wash for personal clothes for an additional £6/wash. Please also note that the laundry wash for personal clothes (not soccer kits) is not usually requested at the camp.
Q: Do students have access to the internet?
A: Internet access is available to all students.
Q: What languages do the coaches speak at camp?
A: West Ham United Foundation International Soccer Academy sessions are taught in English only. For many years, we have had participants coming from all over the world and a lot of them do not speak English but acclimate very well to the camps as there has not been any language barrier in the past.
Q: Can I watch my child during the camp?
A: Parents, relatives, and friends are not allowed to visit the children during the camp as the safety and welfare of the children at the camp is of the utmost importance. This will enable children to adapt to the lifestyle of the program and maintain internal security and safety. Safety and security is of primary importance and there is a dedicated team to care for the children on and off the field. The camp does not allow access to the training site for parents, relatives, or friends accompanying the participant. Students are not allowed to take any recording equipment (including cameras and mobile phones) to the training ground. The West Ham United Foundation International Soccer Academy staff are FA qualified, CRB checked, and hold certificates in Emergency Aid and Safeguarding Children.
Q: Who teaches the West Ham United Foundation International Soccer Academy?
A: The coaching program is delivered by West Ham United Foundation International Soccer Academy trained, FA/UEFA qualified coaches.
Q: Do I have to be good at soccer to join the course?
A: Campers must belong to a Soccer Club in order to enroll in the High Performance sessions while the Development sessions are for campers who are at a standard level and/or are aiming to go into the high performance level and the Standard sessions are for beginners at soccer.
Q: Where can I find information about the English classes option?
A: Information about the English classes option can be found on the Camp Details page.
Q: How will you know my child’s language level?
A: Testing takes place on the first day and students are placed in classes according to their level of English. Once the camp has started, it is not possible to cancel the English classes option.
Q: How many children will be in each English class?
A: There will be a maximum of fifteen students in each class but classes for the juniors may be smaller.
Q: Do they need to bring school materials or will Choices International provide these?
A: Students should bring a pen and a dictionary. Choices International will provide students with paper and other learning materials.
Q: Are students allowed to leave the school in their free time?
A: Students are not allowed to leave the school during their free time but there is such a wide range of activities that they are always busy. Nevertheless, if the student needs to go out to buy something, he must request permission and one of the camp staff will accompany him.
Q: What about the welfare of the students?
Choices International takes the responsibility for their students extremely seriously – all aspects of safety are considered and they insist on the highest standards from their programs. Choices International has fully qualified first aid staff and their programs have links with local dentists, doctors, and hospitals.
Choices International ensures a 1:15 staff to student ratio on-site and 1:8 off-campus during trips and excursions.
Choices International staff go through a strict selection procedure which begins with an interview. They are selected for their maturity, qualifications, enthusiasm, experience, and common sense. All relevant qualifications held by staff are also thoroughly checked for authenticity with the appropriate issuing organization. All their staff attend comprehensive pre-camp training and orientation days. These courses cover a range of topics from security, fire drills, policies and procedures, to safety guidelines and site-specific risk assessments for every activity. Meetings with center management teams and staff take place on a daily basis and senior managers visit Choices International sites regularly to ensure that their procedures are clearly understood and followed.