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Winter hosting for international students

It's Back ! Winter Hosting 2022 will go ahead

We are helping to match international students who are away from home this Christmas to spend a few hours with a local person or family in York. Called winter hosting, the meet-up can be for just a few hours at any time over the festive season.
For everyone involved, it’s a chance to meet someone new, find out more about another culture or tradition and share in some Christmas celebrations.

If you choose to apply, we'll be in touch after the closing date to confirm whether you have been successful.  If so, we will explain what the next steps are and put you in touch with your matched student or member of staff/local resident.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the scheme please contact the International Student Support Team by emailing, or through our support for international students webpage.

How winter hosting works

  • Anyone who lives in and around York can host an international student.

  • You can meet up for just a few hours at any time over the Christmas period. Ideally it will be some time between mid December and early January.

  • Hosts may want to offer a family meal in their own home, alternatively they may prefer to meet for a coffee, go for a winter walk, or attend a carol service together.

  • You can host as many students as you like at once.

  • Once you've applied and if you're successfully matched, we'll be in touch to arrange a brief meet and greet at the start of December so you can have a chat first.

Student application form

Host application form

It’s been absolutely fantastic. Hosting students from all around the world has really given my children a flavour of different countries. It’s been brilliant to broaden their horizons at the same time as meeting new people.

Meet two volunteer hosts

Lily's winter hosting experience

Students take part in many different activities with hosts, including having a coffee in a local cafe, attending a local carol singing service or going for a country walk. Lily was invited to her hosts' home to cook and eat a traditional Christmas meal.

Winter Hosting Guidelines 2022

  • The International Student Support team will match interested students and interested hosts based on information given in the application forms. Hosts and students may like to attend one of the Meet and Greet sessions on Tuesday 6 December at 6pm, or Thursday 8 December at 5pm, in order to meet one another and make arrangements. If unable to meet beforehand, hosts and students can correspond by phone or email to make arrangements.
  • If things change and you are unable to meet your host/student during the Christmas vacation, please email International Student Support at as well as the person you have arranged to meet.
  • If students would like to be hosted with a friend, both students will need to make their intentions clear on their applications. Likewise, if hosts would like to host more
    than one student at a time, please indicate this on your application. International Student Support will do their best to accommodate the preferences of hosts and students.
  • Over the years, Hosts and students have enjoyed a wide variety of activities, many of which are listed here for you to consider: Home cooked meal, decorating the Christmas tree, carol concert, visiting a Christmas market, going for a country walk, meeting for a coffee, board games evening, going to the pantomime, making Christmas decorations.
  • Hosts should make it clear to students what to expect in terms of proper attire, length of visit. If the student is coming to the Host’s home, then please let the student know about any pets, other people in attendance, or any other helpful information to make them feel comfortable. Students should be respectful and courteous to hosts.