Why Host?

Being a host family is a rewarding, fun and educational experience for all members of the family and an opportunity to create long-lasting relationships. Your family can meet new international friends, and appreciate a great way of learning about other cultures and languages, whilst sharing your own.

You’ll become a key part of our visitors’ time abroad and their experiences, becoming the students’ home away from home. You’ll provide a safe and comfortable environment for our students to ensure they get the best experience abroad as possible.

Host families allow students and teachers to live as locals, with local people, giving a deeper insight into British culture and enabling them to rapidly improve their English.

Our friendly Homestay team are here to support you with questions, and will ensure you’re well-prepared for your visiting students. We also provide access to an online course to help you prepare.

Read our Host Guide to learn more: 

Safeguarding & Application Process

Safeguarding students is our number one priority, and it’s important that all hosts understand their role in keeping visiting students safe.

Our ‘SAFER recruitment’ of hosts follows Ensuring that our students / teachers are welcomed into a safe and welcoming environment is crucial. Families wishing to host international students are screened and interviewed in their homes by our staff, and then regularly visited and monitored to ensure high standards.

  • Review our website, and read the Homestay Host Family Guide
  • Make an enquiry or complete our online application form
  • A staff member will then follow up with you to arrange a home inspection
  • An Enhanced DBS Disclosure is applied for all family members who are above the age of 16 and will be spending unsupervised time with the students
  • Successful hosts are added to our database, and sent our Homestay family guide
  • Hosts are contacted well in advance of any potential opportunities to host

GSE is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. Any applicant wishing to be considered as a host family will need to demonstrate they are able to share this commitment.

Read our safeguarding policy here, and please contact us should you have any questions. 

Hosting Dates

Our students are typically in the UK in January and February, and throughout the months of June, July and August, but there are also other periods in the year when Chinese groups are keen to visit. Programmes operate from 1 to 3 weeks in total, so the opportunity is ideal for hosts who cannot commit to long-term hosting.

We will ask you to notify us of your general availability, and prospective hosts are contacted well in advance of any hosting opportunities.


GSE hosts are well compensated for their time, and are paid per night, per student / teacher hosted. 

If you have the space and time to host two or three students at once, this is very much recommended as the students will have a friend to share their local experience with. 

Typically, nightly pay is inclusive of providing breakfast and dinner.


We are currently seeking new host families to join our community. 

Apply now (link) or you have any questions, or would like further information, please contact us at any time:

“We loved having the students and would definitely do it again, they were a pleasure and so much fun to have staying with us. A wonderful experience and my children now try to talk their language”

Taunton host family

“We always enjoy hosting your students. I still keep in touch with some who came to us many years ago. One of the girls was recently accepted into a Canadian University!”

Gosport host family

“We enjoy short-term hosting for you as we like travelling and are busy, so long term students wouldn’t suit us. It’s nice to have students for a few weeks each winter and summer”

Southampton host family

“As a first time host family we cannot thank you guys enough for making the whole process, from the start, so straight-forward and clear, and we are enjoying every minute of it!”

Greenwich host family