What is a Host family?

A host family is a 'home away from home'. For our day school students it is the family your child will live with while they are in the UK. For boarding school students it is where your child will go for leave weekends (exeats) and half terms, some students also choose to stay with a host family between terms or before term starts too. 

Our host families are all different but they all share our values and approach, they are committed to providing outstanding care for your child. Our host families are kind and friendly, they look forward to welcoming students into their homes and treat them as they would their own family. Our students stay with the same host families each holiday so they really get to know each other. The friendships formed are long lasting and students often keep in contact with the families well after they have left school, becoming life long friends. 


Our host families are mainly located in Cambridge and the surrounding villages. We also have families nearer to some of schools a little further away, although many students prefer to travel to the beautiful City of Cambridge and all that it offers. As a world famous city with an excellent University, students are able to attend lectures, concerts and other activities that are frequently held. Our families have professional careers and many of them have children who attend or did attend independent schools. We match families and students carefully, taking into account of their individual interests and hobbies.  

While staying with a host family students really get to experience day to day life in the UK, this is a unique cultural opportunity that is often quoted by students as being one of the most valuable aspects of their time in the UK.  


 How are host families selected?

Our host families are much more than just a place to stay. Not only are they honest, welcoming and reliable, they provide an important role in your child's physical and emotional wellbeing. They take a real interest in your child and your child's interests. They might bake a cake or make a special meal for a birthday. Take them bowling or to the cinema. Or to an art gallery or museum. They might notice your child is concerned about something and pass it on to us so we can help. These things may be small individually but together they make all the difference in how your child feels. When the school, guardian and host family all work together your child will be more likely to succeed at school and achieve their aims.

Our host families are all recruited to the very highest standards. Each family is personally visited by our Director and the question she always asks herself is 'Would I leave my child here?'. We are looking for friendly families who share our values.  

During host family selection we make sure that:  

  • We follow the AEGIS guidelines and their code of practice.
  • Each family is DBS (police) checked.
  • We follow up two written references from people who have known the family for over two years.
  • We inspect the home to make sure that the house is clean, well maintained and meets our standards of care.
  • We discuss with the family what hosting means, aspects of safeguarding and child protection, home safety and our expectations.
  • We regularly reinspect the families and provide training.

These rigorous checks ensure that your child will have a safe, comfortable place to sleep and study, giving you the reassurance that your child is well cared for while they are living with their homestay family.