Dr Milena Kremakova is a Research Fellow at Warwick University. She first came to Warwick from Bulgaria to study for a Masters, and was introduced by HOST to Toni Olsson in 2006. Milena writes:
‘I had the most wonderful Christmas weekend with Toni, and was so impressed by the whole HOST experience that I decided to run a 10 km race to raise money for the organisation.
Thanks to Toni – and HOST - I got to know about what life in Britain really is like. I spent a happy Christmas, instead of being alone abroad, learnt about local history and culture, and met people engaged in interesting local initiatives, such as the Restormel Twinning Association. My friendship with Toni has continued ever since - my most recent return visit was in April this year. When my younger sister visited me, I took her to meet Toni. Our day trip to the Dartington Music Summer School inspired my sister to continue her piano studies – she has now earned a Masters degree in piano performance from Trinity Laban Conservatoire, and says that this is thanks to Toni. Even my Mum has been made welcome, and recently Toni herself has visited me in Germany and my family in Bulgaria.
Of course, this is a personal story, but I also know other students who have used HOST and found the experience uplifting. Unfortunately, international students in the UK tend to be isolated from local communities. When you come to study in another country, it is reassuring to know there are people willing to make you welcome in their home and share their lives with you. This also gives you a chance to give something back. This is exactly the best thing about HOST: it creates a much needed opportunity for international students and locals to meet. There is no better way to create community and fight against cultural stereotypes.
I am so grateful to Warwick University for offering HOST to their students – my life in the UK has been immensely enriched by it, and so have my understanding and appreciation of British culture and hospitality. Without exaggeration, that one little trip to Cornwall in the winter of 2006 became one of the most wonderful and memorable experiences in my time in the UK.’
Dr Milena Kremakova
Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow
Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick
Authorising student applications is quick and easy. When a student submits a visit application on the HOST website, our database sends you an email containing a link to their application and asks you to confirm their student status. If the applicant is a registered international student, please click "allow" and if not, click "disallow". You can then simply keep the e-mails as a check on how many visits you have authorised.
We issue invoices to our subscribing institutions quarterly. Each covers the charges relevant to the number of student applications authorised in the previous quarter. With each one, you will receive a printout of the applications included. We encourage you to make payment by BACS into our Bank Account. This is CAF Bank, sort code 40-52-40, account number 00013220. If you have any queries, please contact Faye on 020 7739 6292.
We offer speakers for orientation events and HOST Socials to our subscribing institutions. Please contact us if you would like us to make a presentation, or run a HOST Social to introduce your students to British culture and to show them how a HOST visit can enrich their time in the UK. There is a booking form in the Institution Forms section.
HOST is mentioned as an example of good practice in the ProetctED Code of Practice, which includes comprehensive measures in five key areas impacting student well-being. More information can be found at www.protect-ed.org.
HOST UK, Sylvia Adams House, 24 The Common, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 0NB
Tel: 0207739 6292