Hosts - Hosting

HOST is a national charity which links international students at universities and colleges in the UK with British residents who volunteer to invite students to their homes for a day or weekend.


Playing Chinese Chequers


Having an international student as your guest gives you an opportunity to connect in a personal way with another part of the world. You can learn about your guest’s culture and way of life, attitudes and aspirations. It is a great way to introduce younger members of the family to people from different backgrounds, and helps to make geography, and current affairs, come alive.

HOSTing is also a great chance to be an ambassador for Britain. And an excuse for visiting places in your area which you only go to when you have guests!

For the students, the purpose is to enable them to feel welcome in this country, and to give them an insight into the everyday way of life in Britain.

In the university, many international students make little contact with British students, and rarely have any involvement with community life beyond the campus. Apart from travelling to the most obvious tourist destinations, they see little of the country. And although they come here to immerse themselves in another culture, they can return home feeling that they have done that in a rather limited way, as university life is not ‘normal life’.


Florence feeding chickens


A HOST visit is above all about friendship and cultural exchange. A typical weekend involves chatting; cooking and eating together; an outing or two to see the local area; perhaps participation in a community event (village fete, church service, fund-raising event, Morris dancing!...); and possibly meeting relatives and neighbours of the host.

If you would like to read what some of our 1700 volunteer hosts have said about hosting students, please click here.

If you would like to read what students have said about their HOST visits, please click here.

If you would like to be put in touch with HOST’s voluntary regional organiser in your area, to hear more about us and perhaps to offer an invitation, please contact us.