Host families provide a home away from home where
a student can go during school breaks.
Our experienced team find a host family to best suit each international student - both in terms of interests and location.
Many of our hosts are parents and some are grandparents, some live in cities and others in rural areas - but all understand the needs of children and teenagers and will ensure their student enjoys quality relaxing breaks - not entirely spent in bed, studying, or on their phone!
We have hosts who have lived overseas, some have attended boarding school themselves when they were young, and the children of many have attended similar schools as either day or boarding pupils.
International students enjoy caring hospitality from our excellent hosts. Our hosts are all different - as are our students - but all want to support an international child to feel at home and enjoy their British education.
We understand that taking an international student into your home is a big responsibility, and we work hard to make sure both the host family and the student have a fantastic experience.
Our host families are our valued and trusted partners and we provide:
Academic Families' students are all full boarders, so they're based at their school most of the time during term.
Some schools close their boarding houses for an exeat weekend during the year, usually at the end of:
We might also ask you to host an international student during half term which is usually in October, February and May.
However, we also offer half term trips, so your student might only stay with you on an occasional day or overnight.
At other times you might be asked to host your student before or after their flight home or during longer holidays, however, the majority of students return home over Christmas, Easter and summer breaks.
It's fairly common for students and host families to develop a close bond.
Most of our host families maintain their strong relationships with the international students they host when they leave school and go on to university.
Davina's story is a great example...
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.
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 on our site, 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.”
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
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.