A home away from home - Your child's British family

Our host families are recruited for their caring qualities and provide an excellent homestay experience for each child they welcome into their home and family during school breaks and holidays.

How we support parents

Host family group shot with their students

Your child's home away from home

Academic Families offers a support system built on empathy, peace of mind, emotional support, guidance, and help with navigating cultural differences. That includes our premium guardianship services, as well as finding homestays for international students who might not be able to fly home during school breaks or holidays.

We work with dozens of host families across the UK who welcome international students with open arms and provide a supportive home away from home.

The host families that Academic Families recruits are:

  • selected for their skills, hobbies and interests.
  • people we would want to stay with ourselves and trust with our own children.
  • looking to help international students settle into their British education.
  • outstanding citizens with the highest credentials and police clearance.
  • knowledgeable of the British education system.
  • internationally minded and globally curious.

UK-wide host families

UK map

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.

My experience with Academic Families was very good. They chose an excellent host family for my son and he felt at home with them, especially because they have a similar way of educating children and that made him feel calmer.

He also learned about the way of life of other cultures. And they took incredible trips in which my son enjoyed and learned new things.

As for their Airport Assistance service, it was exceptional as they accompanied my child and helped him at all times.

Chantal, parent of 15 year old son, Mexico

How do host families help international students?

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.

Provide safety and security

Offer advice and guidance

Give emotional support

Develop social skills

Practise language skills with native English speakers

Navigate cultural differences

Meet our host families

host teaching student how to make drop scones

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, Mike returned with his wife to the UK on their honeymoon. His wife 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.

From our blog

Half term trips

Discover Dubai or London or Best of UK Tour
October Half-Term

Ski in Europe
February Half-Term

Adventure in Greece
May Half-Term

Quality you can trust

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, accreditation by the Boarding School Association (BSA) 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 Gold accredited by AEGIS (the Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students) since 2016 and also by the BSA, 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.


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