Privacy Policy

The purpose of HOST is to promote international friendships and understanding by arranging for international students at British Institutions to meet UK residents in their homes. This requires some personal data to be held by HOST.

In managing this data, HOST will be following the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (2018).

  1. HOST will ensure that all personal data is used lawfully and fairly to enable the purposes of HOST to be carried out.  Legitimate interest is the lawful basis but for a few sensitive items explicit consent is obtained.
  2. The information held will be used to allow visits of international students to be arranged and for communications on matters directly associated with the work of HOST.
  3. HOST will not ask for any information that is not required in order to fulfil its purposes.
  4. HOST will aim to keep all information held up to date. Data Subjects (ie anyone who has provided data to HOST) will need to inform HOST of any changes of their personal details.
  5. Data will not be held for longer than is necessary. After the relationship between the Data Subject and HOST is completed, data will be deleted unless the Data Subject asks for it to be retained to allow continuing correspondence with HOST. Data subjects may request their data to be deleted at any time.
  6. Almost all personal data is held on a secure database. HOST will make every effort to keep the data safe and protected against unauthorised access or loss. Data processing staff and volunteers have received training and have the necessary skills.
  7. Data Subjects may ask to see the data held on them and this will be provided normally within one calendar month.
  8. HOST will not pass personal details to any third party except with the express consent of the Data Subject.




Data on Students

This document explains why HOST UK needs your data, what it will do with the data and how long it will be retained.  HOST UK collects information about students primarily so that the Regional Organisers (RO) can arrange student visits with suitable hosts.  This information is collected from the application form and loaded onto the HOST database.

The data is used first to decide which would be a suitable region of the UK for the student based mainly on location of institution and travel budget. The RO of an appropriate region is given access to the student’s data.  He/she looks for suitable hosts for the student taking into account the requirements specified by the student (e.g. any special diets, whether they are happy with pets, available dates). A brief description of the student based on the information is sent to possible hosts but the identity of the student is not disclosed until after an invitation has been issued and accepted by the student. Then the visit is set up and almost all the information provided by the student is sent to the host (and the host’s details are sent to the student).

After the visit has taken place students receive a feedback form.  This feedback is also stored on the database. This information is useful in deciding whether to send a student to a particular host - for example by knowing what happened on the visit and whether the student enjoyed it. Although that visit is then completed, information about the student needs to be retained as the charging regime in many universities depends on the number of previous visits and must be kept until the student leaves the institution. It is also helpful for second and subsequent visits to know where the student has previously visited.  The normal period of retention is four years but students can ask for their records to be deleted when they leave. Students will also be invited to remain on the Alumni database in which case the data will be retained until the student requests its deletion. However, HOST UK may also retain data without any name or other identifier only for statistical, research or monitoring purposes. The student cannot be identified from this data.

If any information on a student needs to be shared with another organisation (other than HOST UK and the University), explicit consent will be sought unless HOST UK is legally required to provide that information. HOST UK will not disclose email addresses or phone numbers to others without the consent of the student.

Data on Hosts

This document explains why HOST UK needs your data, what it will do with the data and how long it will be retained. HOST UK collects information about hosts when a new host is appointed and stores it on the HOST database primarily so that the Regional Organiser(RO)s can arrange student visits with suitable hosts. Each Regional Organiser can access the data only on the hosts in his or her region. They can only access the data of students who have been allocated to them.

When a student is assigned to their region, ROs seek to find a host who meets the requirements (e.g. special diets, pets, available dates) of the student(s) allocated to them.  Once a host has offered an invitation, the invitation together with outline information is sent to the student. After the student has accepted the invitation, almost all the information provided by the host is sent to the student (and the student’s details are sent to the host). A feedback form is provided after the visit and the information provided is stored on the database.

HOST UK aims to keep data up to date. Hosts should send updates giving any changes (eg a new address or change in their pets) to their Regional Organiser who will update the database accordingly.  HOST UK will also periodically ask all hosts to check and update their data.

The information held on the HOST database is also used for other communications. These may be emails, letters or phone calls, for example about host events, details on availability of staff, newsletters, fundraising events, and, with permission, marketing information.

When a host retires he/she can either ask that all information be deleted or retained so that HOST UK can continue to send newsletters and other information which may be of interest to ex-hosts. When hosts indicate they wish to retire, they are asked whether they would like to maintain contact with HOST UK – perhaps as a Friend of HOST.  Data may also be retained without any name or identifier only for statistical, research or monitoring purposes.  Individual hosts cannot be identified from this data.

If any information on a host needs to be shared with another organisation, explicit consent will be sought unless HOST UK is legally required to provide that information.