HOST UK

Are you an EU or international student? Would you like to learn more about British culture? Would you like to spend some time meeting friendly new people who will treat you as a guest in their home and show you their local area?

If your answer is yes to any of the questions above then HOST UK may be for you!

What is HOST UK?

HOST is a charity, founded in 1987, that is supported by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and many UK universities. It wants to help you feel welcome in the UK and to give you a taste of British life first-hand, by giving international students the opportunity to be guests in the homes of approved hosts all over the UK.Their aim is is to promote international friendship and cultural exchange in a friendly and safe environment. 

HOST has hundreds of friendly, welcoming people across the UK who would like to meet and give you a home-away-from-home experience. All hosts are unpaid, and invite students because they enjoy offering you a welcome to the UK.All HOST volunteers are visited and approved by regional organisers so they know who and where you are going to.

For more information please see HOST UK website.

Please be aware that whilst LSE support HOST UK it cannot take any responsibility for their actions, or the actions of the volunteer hosts.

 

"I felt at home and everything was very cozy and comfortable. Judith and Roger, my hosts, shared with me so much about the beautiful festival of Christmas...They would always guide me through everything and I hardly had to ask for anything. It was a very memorable visit. I encourage all students especially international students to go on a HOST visit. This is a very interesting and different experience from the start. You get out of your university and see more of UK, especially the countryside. You get to learn so much about the family's culture, food, faith and their way of life. They are very interested in knowing about you and very insightful discussions follow. Don't miss this great and unique opportunity. I will cherish my HOST UK visit memories forever..." - Vineet Mittal, India, LSE

 

Who can apply to HOST?

  • You must be over 18 years old
  • You must be either an international student or an EU student
  • You must be a currently registered LSE Student
  • HOST UK is open to students on undergraduate programmes, exchanges, the General Course and Taught Masters Programmes.

"A HOST visit provides international students with a precious interactive opportunity to enhance our knowledge of British culture and tradition, which is too good to pass up." - LSE Student from China

How much does HOST cost?

  • HOST visits are free due to the generosity of HOST’s volunteers; this includes meal in the host’s house and accommodation.
  • The membership fee is paid for by LSE.
  • You will have to pay:
    • An application fee to HOST of £60 for the weekend or £36 for day visits. Please note this fee must be paid for every trip you go on.
    • Your own travel costs.
    • You may also have to contribute to, or pay for in full, any outside meals and excursions that you enjoy with your host. Your host will always explain this beforehand.
  • Christmas visit applications are now closed, the following information is for your information only:  (weekend before Christmas, Christmas itself and New Year). The application fee is:
    • Overnight visit: £72
    • Day visit: £48
    • Partner fee: £30

"This arrangement and experience have brightened my future and I really appreciate the HOST." - James Akinyoola, Nigeria, London South Bank University

Is there any support towards the costs?

HOST occasionally funds free visits (no administration fee to be paid) for students from specific countries. HOST also occasionally provides grants to cover travel fees.

As these opportunities become available we will list them here.

"You cam make friend with your hosts and feel like you have a family here...HOST give me a chance to know local culture and have a wonderful time." - Cheng Li, China, University of the West of Scotland

When can I go on a HOST visit?

  • You can go on a HOST visit throughout the year- Christmas, Easter and the summer vacation are especially popular with students.
  • When making an application you must give 3 dates when you will be available for your visit.
    • Weekend visits normally start on Friday evening and finish on Sunday evening (2 nights).
    • Day visits can be on Saturday or Sunday. They start in the morning and continue until the early evening of the same day (no overnight stay).
    • Christmas visit applications are now closed: Christmas visits run from the weekend before Christmas, Christmas itself and New Year.

Please note: The hosts are volunteers therefore the dates that are offered to you are based on their availability as well as your chosen 3 dates. HOST will try its very best to find you a HOST visit within your given dates and will work with you to find an alternative date if no host can be found.


"It is simply tremendous way to learn about British culture in a fun and engaging way." - Sandrea Clarke, J amaica, University of Manchester

Where can I go on a HOST visit?

  • HOST volunteers are located all over the UK. At the time of application you must tell HOST your travel budget and then HOST will choose the region where your visit will be.
  • You can also tell HOST if you want to stay near your place of study (that means no more than about 2 hours on public transport).

Please note:  As the hosts you will be staying with are volunteers, it is not possible for you to choose your location and dates of when to travel are limited (although as mentioned above you can give 3 dates which suit you). Your location will be based on the location where a host who would like to give you an invititation is located. 

"Thank you so much for everything...I love you all, my family" - Uyen Vu, Vietnam

Who can join me on a HOST visit?

  • You,
  • Your husband/wife/partner or children.
  • You can apply to go to a host with an international student friend – your friend must complete a separate application. Please make sure that you and your friend give HOST the same dates when you will both be available, and the same travel budget.

As an Iranian woman who is totally deprived of watching football matches live (governmental restrictions), my host generously invited me to the match. I had a chance to participate to the church and sing the Christmas carols. They became a lovely, supportive family to me" - Sedigheh Ebrahimi, Iran, University of Sussex

How do I apply?

  • Apply online at Host UK
  • Your application will be sent to a volunteer regional organiser who will (based on the information you have given) match you with a HOST volunteer and home which they know.
  • Once a Host volunteer invites you to their home you will be contacted via email so please ensure that you are checking your emails regularly.
  • Host UK will ask LSE to verify your student status and that we are willing to pay for the membership fee. This is all done automatically you do not need to contact us separately

What does LSE expect from me?

After you have completed your visit we will send you a short survey to complete. This will ask you how you found your visit and how you heard about the HOST scheme. Completion of the survey is a condition of us agreeing to pay your membership fee.

You may also be invited to events to help us to promote the scheme to other students. Whilst attendance at these events is not compulsory we hope that you will come along. 

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