About HOST

Mission: To promote international friendship and understanding by welcoming international students as guests in British homes

Vision: A world more understanding and accepting of different cultures 


Celebrating 1987-2020: HOST UK was a charitable organisation set up in 1987 by the British Council, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Victoria League. It was funded by subscriptions from participating institutions and donations from grant-giving foundations.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the charity to close, HOST UK asked another charity to continue it's work. In the summer of 2020, the HOST UK Programme and volunteers transferred to their new home at EIL UK.

HOST UK today: Run by EIL UK, the HOST UK programme continues to be supported by a network of voluntary Regional Organisers across the country with the collaboration of International Student Advisors in academic institutions.

The HOST UK programme enables international students at British universities and colleges to be invited to stay in a British home for a weekend or visit for a day where they have the opportunity to experience British culture at first-hand. HOST UK is open to all international students in higher and further education in the UK who are at least 18 years old and have enrolled on a course of at least 3 months. In 2015, more than 3,000 students from over 100 countries requested a HOST visit.

There are approximately 1500 volunteer hosts across the UK who report many benefits such as the chance to introduce their family to people from other cultures.

The Office Staff

Thank you to all of the dedicated members of staff for their commitment and loyal service to HOST UK from 1987 to 2020. Today staff work from EIL UK's offices in Worcestershire and from Hertfordshire.

Kara USA
Enjoying the street festival in Cornwall

The Board of Trustees

The Board was dissolved when the charity HOST UK was closed in 2020 and HOST activities moved to their new home at the charity EIL UK. The last HOST UK Board thanks all past Trustees for their service and for their ongoing support for HOST and EIL.

The Regional Organisers

HOST is very grateful to have a team of volunteer Regional Organisers (ROs) who link international students with the hosts in their regions. They give a lot of their free time to do this, and many of them are hosts as well.

Kerry Bloom

Looked after by HQ
East Midlands and Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire

Looked after by HQ

Lucia Dickinson

Looked after by HQ

Frances Good
Somerset and Wiltshire

Linda Hellyer
Herefordshire, Worcestershire & Gloucestershire

Maheen Mufti
Shropshire & West Midlands

Sallyann O'Neill
Norfolk and Suffolk

Ceris Owen
North Wales, Mid, South and West Wales

Richard Sim
Central and Southern Scotland

Looked after by HQ
Staffordshire & Derbyshire

Marie Songhurst
East Riding of Yorkshire

Margaret Stevens
Devon and Cornwall

Monika Strell
North Scotland, Highlands & Islands, North East

Mike and Mandy Talbott
Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Nottinghamshire

Katherine Varden
Hampshire, Surrey & SW London

Looked after by HQ
Hertfordshire & N London

Alan Law
Northern Ireland