About HOST visits


Jingya's Story

One of the most memorable things is traveling with my hosts in their motor home. We went to  a seaside town and took a walk along side the seashore.

During that day, they told me many special things such as the birds that I never saw before. What's more, they shared many past experiences with me. For lunch, we had a picnic near the sea. What a lovely and gorgeous journey it is!

Then for dinner, they specially prepared a traditional Christmas dinner for me. I had a wonderful Christmas day even though it has passed for three months. On Sunday, I went to a chapel with them and gained much knowledge about belief.

Moreover, I have learnt how to cook British food. By the way, every meal cooked by them was so good and tasty. After visiting them, I have started to change my unhealthy lifestyle.

My English is not good but they are very very patient when talking with me and listening. Besides, they have taught me many authentic English, also gave me useful effective to improve my English. They gave me much confidence to talk with others in English, which is very very helpful in my life.

They have given me so much warmth and happiness, which makes me feel at home and eliminates my worries of living abroad. Living with them seems like staying with my family. I am full of energy to face the challenge in my life because of their encourage. 

Why have a HOST visit?

The British Council and Foreign Office founded HOST in 1987 because of the great value it adds to an international student’s experience of the UK to meet British residents in their homes. Thousands of students have enjoyed this experience, and they say things like this:

I learnt more about this country during my HOST visit than I did in 3 months in the university.

After the weekend with my host, I stopped feeling homesick.

It was so nice to get away from the city and enjoy the countryside.

My visit helped me with my spoken English.

I discovered the real life of this country.

It was a chance to share my culture.

My hosts were so kind, I feel I have made wonderful new friends.

Now I know what Christmas is like in the UK.

The food! The amazing home-cooked food!


HOST links international students at UK universities with friendly approved hosts who offer an invitation to their home for a day, a weekend, or at Christmas.

Who are the hosts?

All our hosts freely welcome students to share their lives during a short visit. There are hosts offering invitations in every  part of England, Wales, Scotland and N Ireland.

All our hosts are visited and approved by our volunteer regional organisers. We know your host and we know the home where you are going.

Our hosts are very varied - they are highly educated professionals and skilled manual workers; they are busy young families and active retired people; they live alone, and they are couples, and they are mixed generation families; they live in small towns and in the middle of the countryside, and by the sea, and in the suburbs of cities.

We do our best to match you with the right host for you. All our hosts are kind and generous with their hospitality, because they are interested in meeting international students and helping you to feel at home.

Who can apply for a HOST visit?

You can apply for a HOST visit if you are:

  • A registered student on a full-time course at a university or college in the UK. HOST cannot accept applications from outside the UK
  • Aged 18+
  • You will still be in the UK for at least 6 weeks after the date of your application
  • You can include your husband, wife, partner, children – if they are living in the UK for the duration of your study period. HOST cannot accept applications from visiting family members or friends
  • You can apply to go to the host with an international student friend – your friend must complete a separate application. Please make sure that you and your friend give us the same dates when you will both be available, and the same travel budget.

What does a HOST visit cost?

Application fee – the application fee helps to pay for HOST’s administrative costs (it is NOT a payment for the visit). Many universities pay all or part of this fee for their students. If you open the link below, you will find out how much your university requires you to pay towards the application fee.

Application Fees for HOST visits

Visit – there is no fee for the visit itself, thanks to the generosity of the hosts, who give their hospitality free of charge. You should take a little money with you so you can offer to pay, for example, your entrance fee, if you are out sight-seeing with your host

Travel – you are responsible for the cost of travel to your host. You can tell HOST your maximum budget for travel when you apply.

HOST's policy on refunds. If we are unable to find a suitable invitation for you on any of the dates you have given us, we will ask you for more dates. If you are unable to give us more dates, your application fee will be refunded.

But please note that in the following circumstances, no refund will be possible:

if you do not respond to our messages;

if you reduce your availability to fewer than 3 dates and we are unable to find an invitation for your remaining dates;

if you decline an invitation which is for a date you have given us, and which fits your criteria with regard to travel budget and pets etc;

if you cancel a visit after accepting an invitation;

in circumstances beyond our control - such as extreme weather interrupting transport services - although in this case we will always try to re-arrange your visit.


What students say about host

Ali Al-Agri from Yemen gives international students this advice from his experience:

HOST is your best window to Britain. If you want to learn more about british culture and people in a short period of time, HOST is your best option.

Esther Jawing from Malaysia visited a host family with a friend in May 2014. She wrote:

My Host family is indeed very amazing. They prepared all the british traditional foods during our stay there. We got to enjoy the countryside too and they really make us feel at home. We taught our host family's children our national and ethnic languages which was fun.

Make the most of your time in the UK and get to know British people as they are very kind, helpful and very hospitable too.

This is indeed an amazing program for international students who come to study in the UK. We have developed a bond of friendship with our host family and we are always invited to visit them again in the future which is nice. We have in fact planning to introduce our traditional cuisine to our host family during our next visit. Thanks HOST UK for an amazing experience!

Elizabeth Quan from the USA enjoyed her visit in June 2014:

Host UK allowed me to really connect and get to know the English culture. My family showed me all the touristy places, but more importantly, their favorite areas that are not very well known. It is a great way to spend the weekend and make new friends!

Great program! I had a wonderful and lively family. Thank you for this opportunity!


Contact us

Unit K106, The Biscuit Factory, Tower Bridge Business Complex, 100 Clements Road, Southwark, London, SE16 4DG


Tel: 0207739 6292


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