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Our host families
Are at the heart of everything we do

Welcoming a foreign exchange student into your family is rewarding in so many ways. You can share your family's British way of life with a student from another culture, connect to your community in exciting new ways and develop a lifelong relationship with someone from another part of the world. 

Bring the world home

Our host families represent the diversity of British culture, but they all share one thing: their lives have been changed by welcoming exchange students into their homes. Read about some of our wonderful host families below.

The Clare Family

Warrington, UK

"We love creating and sharing experiences (good or bad, happy or sad) with the students; establishing memories and friendships that will stay with us and the student forever. Each student is different and brings something new & unique to our family. One day we plan to do a European road trip visiting each of our host students on the way!"

The Tesla Family

Nottingham, UK

"We have been a host family since 2014- after hearing about it from a friend. We love being a host family because it always keeps us busy, and every day is different. Our students tend to do a lot of baking and cooking too, always a bonus! We'll be signing up again to take two more students for next year."

The Bulkeley Family

Walsall, UK

“We have hosted EF students for 28 years! We enjoy sharing cultural experiences with students and exploring favorite locations in our area. It is wonderful to see the shy, nervous arrivals blossom into confident and independent people during their year. We hope they continue to consider us ‘family’ and ‘home’ when they leave."



questions every host family has

It's The
Simple Things

For our exchange students, it's the little things that make their year: visiting the Beatles museum in Liverpool, shopping on Boxing Day, having a nice cuppa and catch up. Hosting an exchange student doesn't take anything fancy — just a welcoming spirit and the love you'd give to your own family.


How Student Exchange Works

Below is an overview of how our exchange programme works, from accepting the best international students, to finding and screening all our amazing host families, all the way through the exchange year itself.

Exchange Student

Application: A student applies to EF High School Exchange Year and is guided through the process by their local EF office. The student selection process is thorough and competitive; it includes academic transcripts, teacher recommendations, an English evaluation, an interview, and more.

Program acceptance: Once the student's application is approved, EF High School Exchange Year officially accepts them into the programme. Next we find them a host family with the help of EF Staff.

Next stop the UK: After a thorough preparation in their home country and an EF orientation when they first arrive in country, the student heads on to their host family to start their life-changing exchange year in the UK!

Part of a global family: Over the course of their exchange year and beyond, the student becomes much more than a guest in their host family's home; they're part of one big global family.

Host Family

Application: Families who express an interest in hosting are guided through an application process by a member of EF staff in the UK. The screening process includes a home visit, an in-person interview, an online application, and DBS check.

Choosing your student: Once you have been accepted into our programme as a host family, you will be able to review the profiles of students looking for host families. Together, you and EF staff will find the perfect match!.

Student arrival: Your student arrives before the start of the school semester, marking the start of a life-changing experience for everyone. Throughout the year, EF is available to support host families and students 24/7.

More than just a student: While your student is here in the UK, they'll become like a true member of the family. And it doesn't end there; they'll be your family from across the globe for years and years to come.



questions every host family has

Hosting an exchange student is an incredibly rewarding experience and life-changing experience in so many ways. It’s a chance for you and your family to learn about new cultures, create lasting friendships, and bring the world into your home and community. And for the student you welcome into your family, you’re providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience they’ll treasure forever.

There is no 'typical' host family! Our families represent the diversity of British culture, and we encourage families of all shapes and sizes to host. Some families have young or teenage children, while others may be empty-nesters or newlyweds. We've had single parents, couples, and grandparents all be wonderful hosts. We've found that our most successful host families are those who truly enjoy the experience are caring, open-minded people who want to learn more about other cultures while sharing their life with a student from across the globe.

Host families provide the student with room, board and a place for them to study, and are expected to treat their student as a member of a family, not as a guest. Students cover their own travel costs, health insurance, school expenses, cell phone, and spending money.

The most successful families are driven by the rewards of being a part of a unique cultural exchange. At EF, we support our families by providing a monthly grant to assist with covering household costs. You will also be part of an industry-leading home improvement stipend programme to reward host families that remain with EF year after year.

EF exchange students come from countries across Europe and Asia.

Yes, our staff will work with you to find the perfect student match. We have spent more than 30 years matching students to their British host families. If you have an idea of what type of student would fit best in your family, let's talk about it!

We are committed to making sure that our exchange students and host families have a great experience. If problems ever arise, you can rely on your Regional Manager and EF staff in London to be there for you. In the rare case that we can’t all resolve the issue together, EF High School Exchange Year will find the student a new home.

EF exchange students come to the UK for either one semester (beginning in September) or one school year (usually September to June, though it depends on your school district).

We are always looking for local exchange and host family recruiters. Additionally, we offer referral incentives for each family or coordinator you refer to our program. If you're interested in joining our program, give us a call or let us know the best time to reach you!

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