“Need a break from exams? Want to get away from University for a short time? Why not join HOST UK and explore Britain in a truly unique way?”

HOST is a voluntary organisation, a network of UK residents who welcome adult international students to their homes for a weekend or a Christmas visit. The purpose is to give students an insight into the way of life in Britain and students also share their own culture with their hosts.

By helping students far from home to feel welcome in the UK, HOST contributes to international friendship and goodwill. A HOST visit will be an interesting and valuable addition to your experience of Britain. It is a unique opportunity to get away from the campus and out into the community; to meet British residents and find out more about the everyday life of this country by sharing it for a short time.

What is HOST?

  • HOST is a voluntary organisation, with a small office in London.
  • In every region of the UK, we have a volunteer Regional Organiser (RO), working at home. An RO will arrange your invitation.
  • Every RO has a list of volunteer hosts in their region. A host will invite you for a visit.

Who can use HOST?

  • All International students; including all scholarship holders, graduate fellows, Chevening Scholars and Research Fellows.
  • You must be 18+.
  • You must be studying here full-time and your study period must be at least 3 months.
  • Foreign Language assistants in schools, and international volunteers aged 18+ who will be staying here for at least 3 months may also apply.
  • If your husband/wife and children are resident with you in the UK, they may accompany you on the visit.
  • If you prefer, you can go with an international student friend.

Who are the hosts?

  • Our hosts are volunteers – they are not paid to invite you.
  • They are friendly, hospitable people who enjoy meeting international students and helping you to feel at home here.
  • They are interested in you, your country, and your ideas. All sorts of people are hosts!
  • Some are families with children at home; others are middle-aged and older couples; some live alone.
  • Some are professional people; others work in business, trade, or manufacturing; some are artists and craftsmen. Hosts have all kinds of jobs. Many hosts are retired: they have time to spend with you, and lots of life experience to share with you.

Where will I go for my visit?

  • We have hosts all over the UK, including England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • When you apply to HOST, you can request a visit 'near my place of study'. This will involve a journey of no more than 2 hours.
  • Otherwise, you tell us how much you are prepared to spend on your travel, and we will find you a host somewhere in the UK within your travel budget.
  • You will be surprised how many interesting and beautiful places there are in Britain, which you have never heard of before!

When can I go?

  • HOST arranges visits on every weekend of the year. A weekend visit normally starts on Friday and ends on Sunday, but it can be flexible. You can now opt for a day visit rather than committing for the whole weekend.
  • Christmas visits are very popular, enabling students to join in our most important family festival. At Christmas, most students stay 3 nights with their hosts.
  • In a few regions it is also possible to have a one day visit (no overnight stay).
  • When you apply for a visit, we ask you to give us a choice of dates, and we hope you will keep all those dates free, or inform us of any changes, until you have news of your invitation.

What will it cost?

  • There is an application fee of £60.00 for a weekend visit and £36.00 for a day visit. This contributes to HOST's administration costs. If you wish to visit with a partner, there is an additional fee of £24.00.
  • Please note that there may be an additional charge if you wish to apply for a festive visit. A festive visit is a visit taking place on the weekend before Christmas, Christmas, and New Year. If you wish to apply for a festive visit with your partner, there will be an additional fee of £30.00
  • You will pay for your travel to the host's nearest train or bus station.
  • The HOST visit itself is FREE. You do not pay your hosts anything.
  • You will probably want to take a small gift to say thank you to your host. And you may need a little money to pay your entrance fee to a place your host may take you to see.

To find out more and apply for your visit, go to the HOST UK website.