Host families provide a home away from home where
a student can go during school breaks.
As a host family you'll play a crucial role in helping our international students feel at home whenever they're not at school.
If you're ready to provide a safe and supportive atmosphere for a student, then we would love to hear from you!
The first step in becoming a host is to fill in our Application Form.
One of our team will call you to discuss hosting and how it works.
Your local Area Manager will contact you to arrange a home visit to make sure hosting is right for you and your family.
We'll take care of some paperwork - your disclosure notice, driving licence, safety certificates and your profile. Then we'll share our Host Handbook and finally we both sign our Host Agreement.
You're ready - welcome to our international family! Now we can match you with a student attending a boarding school nearby.
We like to give our students as much continuity and security as possible, which in turn helps everyone develop positive relationships.
Ideally, we hope that you will be able to host an international student for at least one school year, but we understand that life and plans can sometimes change. We ask that you keep us informed of your plans so that we can minimise any impact on your student and make alternative arrangements in advance.
Students usually stay with their host over a couple of weekend "exeats" each term. They may also stay an occasional night before or after travelling home depending on their flights. A few students may want to go to their homestay at half term too.
Some of our hosts prefer to provide ad hoc emergency homestays, welcoming a student whenever a need arises. Others prefer to welcome their matched student at agreed dates.
Hosts can't always commit to every date but don't worry - it's our responsibility to match students with another host for those dates.
Our network of host families extends all across the UK and includes families living in cities, towns and rural areas.
Some of our hosts are grandparents, many are parents and others are couples who don't have any children of their own.
What do they all have in common? Each one understands the needs of international students and will ensure they balance their time between studies and enjoying quality relaxing breaks getting out and about to explore the UK while they are here.
We look after students from over 20 countries and we work with dozens of families all across the UK.
We are always on the lookout for families who can provide a safe, welcoming environment for an international student.
Chat with us via the Live Chat feature here or request a callback and one of our team will contact you as soon as possible.
“I have worked closely with Academic Families and have always been extremely impressed by the quality of service which the company provides.
Host families really do provide a warm and caring service for children of all ages, and a real bond is formed between them.
The company is extremely well organised, and parent and child satisfaction is always extremely high.
This is a company which really does go the extra mile on behalf of the children with which it works.”
Freddie, Housemaster, Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh
Many of our host families have been caring for international students for more than 10 years, going the extra mile to ensure all our students feel at home throughout their school years in the UK.
Safety and security
Advice and guidance
Develop social skills
Practice languages skills with native English speakers
Navigate cultural differences
Our host Davina welcomed in Mike while he went to a nearby boarding school. They formed a lasting bond.
Mike performed well at school, went on to university and finally returned home. Through the years, he often remembered Davina and the life skills she taught him - especially cooking and ironing!
Many Christmas cards and years later, on their honeymoon, Mike returned with his wife to the UK and she personally wanted to thank Davina for making Mike the man he is today.
Davina was delighted to host Mike one more time and extend her international family further. They had lots to remember, catch up on and laugh about.
Hosting is more than a weekend - it's building relationships for life.
Ski in Europe
Adventure in Greece
Academic Families has personal and professional experience with boarding schools. Many of our staff attended boarding schools themselves when they were young or have worked in them. We have all lived overseas and most of us are mothers, so we understand how important it is to find the very best education for every child no matter where that might be in the world.
From our headquarters in Edinburgh to our local staff across the UK, our team regularly visits hundreds of British schools. Our excellent knowledge of the UK education system and certification from the British Council means we understand UK boarding education from the inside and out, and know how to ensure the best education for each child.
In addition, our guardianship service has been fully accredited by AEGIS (the Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students) since 2016 so you know, with Academic Families, you're guaranteed to have the best local support anywhere in the UK.
Moreover, our team are trained MHFA Mental Health First Aiders so we are qualified to support our students with any wellbeing and mental health concerns.