HOST UK is an independent not-for-profit charity organisation who work with universities all over the UK. Their mission is 'To promote international friendship and understanding by welcoming international students as guests in British homes' with a vision of creating 'A world more understanding and accepting of different cultures.'
Take a look below for more information on the HOST UK experience and how it can benefit you.
Is HOST UK for me?
If you'd like to spend a weekend in a British home, meet local people and experience British lifestyles, food and community and share your own culture with others then HOST is a great opportunity!
Who are the Hosts?
Hosts are unpaid volunteers, they come from all walks of life. They may be single, a couple or a family. Most importantly, they give up their free weekends to host international students and show them a slice of UK life. They enjoy meeting people from overseas and sharing cultures.
When can I visit a Host?
Visits usually run over a weekend, from Friday afternoon or evening to Sunday afternoon. During the application process you will be asked to pick three dates during which you will be available to visit a host family. It is important to make sure these dates work with your course schedules.
Where can I visit?
You can visit anywhere in the UK - the Hosts are located all across the country! We recommend thinking about how far you want to travel - what is your budget? But also be open to visiting new places, not just the well known tourist sites.
Can I go with a friend?
Yes you can! Your friend must either be another international student studying in the UK or your partner who has been living with you for at least three months in the UK.
How will I make sure my visit goes smoothly?
It's important to specify on your application form if you have any dietary requirements or preferences (e.g. Vegetarian, or Halal meat only etc). Similarly, a lot of families in the UK have pets so if you have an allergies or are afraid, you can just let HOST know on your application form. Usually pets are very friendly once they get to know you!
Do I need to take anything with me?
You can ask your host if you need to bring anything specific, like warm outdoor clothing for example. They will be sure to tell you of anything you may need.
In the UK it is polite to gift a small gift when visiting someone, for example flowers or chocolates - but not obligatory.
Its important to remember that you'll be the guest in someone's home so courtesy and appreciation is very important.
What happens during a visit?
Every visit is different depending on the host and the student, but you can usually expect to chat with your hosts and possibly their friends and family, experience the local area, or cook and taste new food (and perhaps cook your host some of your traditional food, too). Be open minded about what you do: the more you involve yourself, the more you’ll enjoy your visit.
What happens after the visit?
HOST UK usually send a feedback form for you to complete. Its really useful for you to complete this so they can ensure the experience works well for the students and the hosts. HOST are always pleased to see any photos of your visits too!
Many students stay in touch with their hosts and create life long friendships! Some students in the past have even invited their hosts to their weddings and graduation ceremonies!
How do I find out more or apply?
You can visit the HOST UK website where you'll find more information as well as the application form.