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8 Reasons Why UK Families Love Hosting International Students

1st December 2022

Host and International Student

Being a Homestay Family means you’re welcoming a student from another part of the world:
Be it Spain, Japan, Colombia, Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica, Germany, or anywhere you can imagine!

When welcoming someone into your home, you are adding someone new to your family – whether their stay is long or short, they can become as close as your own son or daughter.

You can be part of the life-changing experience of hosting a student, and share a bond that can last long after they return to their home country.

But there’s more to this experience than you can see at first glance. When asked, these were the main reasons our Welsh hosts gave for loving being a host.

1. It’s like visiting another country, without leaving your home

International students are usually passionate about sharing their own culture; telling you about their routines, their favourite meals and how they like spending their free time. We have always said that “the academy is like having one world under one roof”.

A lot of homestay families end up visiting countries they didn’t take into consideration before or creating connections for the future with students they’ve hosted.

2. If you really want to get to know a culture, even learn a language yourself, this is the way

Having an international student in your own home allows you VIP access to traditions and cultures in a way you otherwise wouldn’t. It’s not like being a tourist; it’s like having a front row seat to your very own specialised presentation.

Also, why not embrace the moment to host an English language student if you’re learning a language yourself? Whether the student speaks the language you are trying to learn, or another language, you can share tips to practise and motivate each other.

3. Every type of family can host an international student

Some hosts have children at home; some are retired; some are same sex couples; others are those with children who have flown the nest, there are also couples with no children or people living alone. All are welcome.

Busy families and individuals also find time to enjoy hosting students, from one parent families to working professionals. Whatever the shape of your family, you are very welcome!

Celtic host families gathering – September 2022

4. Students are matched with hosts that can meet mutual requirements

To help ensure the best possible experience for everyone, CEA reviews the student’s application for initial requirements, then shares interests and availability to find the right student for the host and vice-versa.

5. Being a Host is fun!

Everything from preparing meals to sightseeing are opportunities to have fun. Hosts can be amazed and create unforgettable moments, while their family (and friends!) experience a different culture.

host family theatre

A host family and their host student from Italy at the Millennium Centre

6. Host parents give their kids the opportunity to have multicultural siblings

Single children, or those whose elder siblings who have left home, enjoy the company of international students.

It’s a great experience for young people growing up, as they can become more open minded and broaden their horizons.

Being a host-sibling can help the kids in the household to:

  • Develop valuable intercultural skills, such as empathy and effective communication.

  • Learn different languages.

  • Have access to opportunities to study abroad themselves.

  • Widen networking opportunities by making global connections.

Host family siblings

Host siblings: living the experience with a student from Guatemala

7. Hosts choose the right type of hosting duration for them

SHost can be in control, and choose how much time they want to give to hosting. The range of students can vary from teens of 13+, university students, adults and seniors. You can also vary the length of time they stay.

  • 1 to 4 Weeks

  • 1 to 8 Months (Short Stays and Mid-term stays)

  • 9 /10 Months (High School Year Programme)

  • 9 to 12 Months (Long Stays)

8.Families can earn an extra income as a Homestay Provider

While the best hosts don’t house a student solely for the financial compensation, programmes that do offer a stipend are certainly very attractive to potential hosts, and can ease the costs of adding another member to the household e.g. food, electricity, gas and water expenses.

When having school-age children in the household already, the compensation can easily provide a margin of extra income. Since hosts are already cooking larger meals and incurring transportation costs getting their own kids to and from school, adding another student to this routine is fairly simple.

Under the current host scheme, hosts can earn:

  • A minimum of £145 per week as living costs bursary.

  • £7,500 a year of this income (per household) is tax-free, through the government’s Rent a Room scheme.

Do you have more questions or are you thinking about becoming a homestay provider yourself?

You can contact us and we will happily answer any concern you may have.

Write us to [email protected] or send us a WhatsApp message to +447435140327
(Monday to Thursdays 8 am to 4 pm and Fridays from 8 am to 1 pm)

Host family and their student

One of Celtic’s host families and their student

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