Accessibility statement

Host families

Contact us

T: +44 (0)1904 322483


We work with a number of families around York who provide a home for short course students from around the world. Students are typically from China, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. 

We have courses ranging from one week to four months, with a typical stay being four weeks. Host families are paid a sum per night that a student stays with them.

The home life of a student plays a large part in their overall experience so it's important that we have committed and welcoming host families. 

What's expected of a host family?

Staying with a host family allows students to immerse themselves in the English language and British culture. To make the most out of this time, the student should be treated as part of the family, through conversation, eating meals and doing activities together. 

We have expectations around accommodation, meals, activities, travel and health as outlined below. 

Accommodation and laundry


Students should have access to the internet and be provided with a house key for the duration of their stay.

Students should have their own bedroom including:

  • a bed (not fold out)
  • a waste paper bin
  • a desk
  • a desktop lamp
  • adequate storage space - preferably a wardrobe and chest of drawers
  • bed linen and towels that are changed weekly 

If it is not possible to have a desk in the bedroom, they must be provided with a quiet area elsewhere in the house, with a table and chair so they can study at any time. 

They should also have access to:

  • a shower/bathroom (with a lockable door)
  • a living room
  • a kitchen

Laundry and ironing

Bed linen and towels should be changed weekly. 

Students should have access to laundry and ironing facilities. You may prefer to do the student's laundry and/or ironing, but expectations should be discussed with the student when they first arrive. 


A student's time with you may be the first time they have eaten British food. Involving them in the preparation of meals will enable them to see what the ingredients are, and will also be an opportunity of talking to them.  Sometimes the students like to cook for their host families as a thank you for their kindness during the homestay.


Students will not expect a cooked breakfast, although you may choose to provide this at weekends. Breakfast should normally include:

  • tea/coffee
  • fruit juice
  • cereal(s)
  • toast with jam/marmalade etc

You may occasionally want to offer cold meats, cheese, fruit and yoghurt.


Lunch is not expected to be provided on weekdays, however if the student is at home at the weekends, they should be offered lunch.

Evening meals

You are expected to provide a daily cooked meal of at least two courses, including fruit and vegetables that is eaten with the family. Fast or convenient food should be limited to once a week. 

Students will be told to fit around your daily meal time and to let you know in advance if they are going to be delayed.

Eating out

If you choose to eat out, it is your responsibility to pay for the student's food as part of the host family fee.

Travel and transport


It is your responsibility to pick up the student staying with you and their luggage from the University on the day of their arrival. Students should not be asked to wait or travel alone by taxi or other means.


It is your responsibility to drop the student and their luggage off on the day of their departure. Students should not be asked to wait or travel alone by taxi or other means.

Travelling to campus

Throughout their stay, classes will usually begin at 9.30am and finish at 3.45pm. On the first day of classes, it is your responsibility to bring the student to and from campus. After that you should accompany the student to and from campus until they feel comfortable making the journey alone (if you cannot drive them each day). 

You should make the student aware of bus timetables, bus stops (and how to stop and get off the bus), and how much their fare will cost to/from campus to home.

In and around York

You are not expected to provide a taxi service. You should discuss evening transportation arrangements with the student. 

Health and wellbeing

We expect the student to inform us if they are ill and will not be attending classes.

If you have any concerns regarding the health of a student, you should discuss it with us directly, by getting in touch on +44 (0)1904 322483 or at

Being away overnight

Host families should be present everynight for the duration that the student stays with them. We understand that there may be unexpected circumstances, where alternative arrangments should be made, informing us.

Students should not be left alone over the weekend or overnight. 


Things to do

Example activities of things to do with a student may include:

  • bowling
  • card and board games
  • cooking
  • looking at the families photo albums and conversation


Once you have read through what is expected of you as a host family, you can submit an application form to provide more details about your home and life. We have ten requirements that need to be followed at all times whilst a student is staying with you.

Host family requirements

There are ten requirements that you should meet at all times:

  1. Students are to be collected from the University campus on their arrival, and brought back at the end of the stay by the host family.
  2. Students will be provided with their own house key.
  3. An adult family member will accompany the student to and from the University campus on the first day (using the mode of transport that the student will use during their stay) to arrive by 8.45am and collect at 4.30pm.
  4. Families will take every opportunity to speak with their student.
  5. The family will provide breakfast and an evening meal every day, as well as lunch on a weekend - serving fresh home-made food with vegetables and fruit as much as possible.
  6. Families will sit at the table and eat with students during evening meals. If it is not possible to eat together in the evening due to family/work commitments then every effort should be made to find at least two days per week where this can happen.
  7. Families will involve their student in their everyday life, spending time with them in the evenings and weekends.
  8. Families will include their student in family events/parties/visiting friends, etc. The homestay payment includes an allowance for miscellaneous expenses during the homestay, e.g. if the student accompanies the family to a place of interest, the student should not be expected to pay the entrance fee.
  9. Students should not be left alone overnight - if absence is unavoidable due to a work or family emergency, families must inform the Centre for Global Programmes in advance to discuss the matter.
  10. Families should come to the 'thank you' party for host families and students (usually held 6pm to 8pm in the final week of the course). This is a 'graduation' event for the students and it is very important that families are there to celebrate with the students.

Once we've received your application we will be in touch to arrange an inspection of your home.

Please note that home inspections currently take place via an online call.

Apply now