Enjoy the ultimate British experience: spend a day, weekend, or Christmas with a HOST family and embrace this country’s culture

Blog for students
29 August 2017
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Would you like to learn more about the UK and its culture? Do you want to meet friendly people and find a home-away-from-home? One of your options as an international student is to spend some time with a UK family to get a true taste of the country and its people.

HOST arranges for adult international students studying in the UK to spend a day, a weekend, or three days at Christmas in the homes of people living across the UK. A visit is a fantastic experience to experience British home life for yourself, take a break from your studies, and make new friends in the UK.

Laila Amrani Gonz, a Spanish student at the University of Leicester, commented:

“HOST is a great and easy way of getting in touch with the British culture. Wherever you go, your hosts will make you feel like home as well as teach you in the most natural way how life in the UK is. You should definitely give it a try to see it for yourself; you won't be disappointed!”

HOST has been arranging cultural visits between students and hosts for 30 years and is dedicated to helping international students feel welcome in the UK.

“We know that students can feel isolated when they start to live and study in a new culture,” explains HOST Chief Executive, Susie Alemayehu. “A HOST visit allows them to find out more in a relaxing and friendly environment.”

With HOST, all hosts are volunteers, which means that they do not get paid to invite students to stay with them. This means that you can expect a warm welcome from people who are genuinely interested in showing you more about British culture.

You can apply for a HOST visit at any time during your UK studies. Visits last for either one day (Saturday or Sunday), a weekend (Friday to Sunday) or for three nights at Christmas. There is an application fee, but many universities in the UK pay part or all of this for you – please visit HOST’s website to check application fees for your university.

HOST takes the safety of its students very seriously, and all of our volunteers are assessed before they are allowed to welcome a visitor. You are welcome to travel with your friend, your spouse, or your dependants (children under 16 years of age).

Experience a British Christmas
If you are in the UK during the Christmas period you can embrace a real festive experience with a host. You’ll see how Brits celebrate Christmas, enjoy some festive food, and take part in some festive UK traditions.

HOST visits are always popular, so apply early to avoid disappointment. You can apply for a festive visit between the 9th of October and 20th of November.

“The couple that hosted me were wonderful and they exceeded every bit of expectation that I had from this visit,” comments Tevita Vahai, a Tongan student at Bangor University. “They have not only become like family but also lifelong friends. Thank you HOST UK for providing such a lovely platform where I can learn and get to know more about Britain, its rich history and culture, but also for me to share who I am and all about where I'm from with the host couple and my new adopted British family.”

To find out more about HOST visits or to apply, please visit www.hostuk.org or call 0207 739 6292.