MEET OUR HOSTS

Welcome to our Meet the Host page!

We sat down for a coffee with some of our hosts to give you an insight into what makes them tick, and why they decided to host.

Image of a Family Child

SANDRA – STREATHAM, ZONE 3

Why did you start hosting?

When I was travelling through South and Central America I stayed with a host family and my Spanish improved dramatically. My host family were so warm and I wanted to give that experience to someone coming to London.

Best Experience?

Each experience is different but we had a young Japanese lady stay with us for 1 year. I enjoyed this because we really got to know each other; we’re still friends til this day.

Worst Experience?

I’ve been hosting for 3 years and have been lucky not to have had a bad experience yet.

Hobbies?

Dancing and swimming are two of my passions. If students are up for it, I take them to my dance class and they seem to love it!

Favourite part of London?

I love Brixton and Streatham and think they embody what London’s all about. I’m also a huge foodie so am spoilt for choice on my doorstep.
Image of Mother & Child

DORIS – SOUTH WOODFORD, ZONE 4

Why did you start hosting?

The kids went off to university. My husband and I realised the house felt very empty all of a sudden. We like having company and helping people improve their English.

Best Experience?

We have 2 rooms to offer to guests and one time we had a student in one room, and their parents visiting in the other. We got to know the family really well and they come back to visit once a year. We have a great time.

Worst Experience?

We had a burst pipe whilst one student was staying with us, so there was water everywhere for a day or so. Luckily nothing was permanently damaged and the student was very understanding, even helping us to get the place back in order.

Hobbies?

My husband George is a very keen gardener, we always have fresh vegetables. Other than this we enjoy slow dancing, talking to new people and going to church.

Favourite part of London?

We really like South Woodford but I think our favourite part of London has to be Leicester Square, where George and I met many moons ago!
Image of Host Family Mother

JANET – ARSENAL, ZONE 2

Why did you start hosting?

I’m quite sociable, and had a couple of spare rooms in my home. A friend of mine did it and thought I’d like it, so I thought “why not give it a go?”.

Best Experience?

I hit it off really well with an Italian student I had come and visit. I feel like I’ve seen her grow up and last summer, went to her wedding in Italy. It was gorgeous.

Worst Experience?

I’ve got a couple of rooms which are open for guests. It only happened once but the two students I had in had a bit of a personality clash, so I had to sit down with both of them and work it out. It all worked out in the end though!

Hobbies?

I’m a season ticket holder at Arsenal, so go to every home game. Sometimes students come along and I get to show them how it’s done! Pies and beers included!

Favourite part of London?

I’m an Arsenal fan so I have to say Arsenal really haha!
Image of a Host Family

SUNITA – EALING, ZONE 3

Why did you start hosting?

My son stayed in homestay when he was travelling on his gap year. He came back with great memories and suggested we do it as a family.

Best Experience?

I can’t pick one!

Worst Experience?

Our guests are generally very happy, but there was one student who was very rude and angry a lot of the time. I spoke to him directly with my husband and it turned out he was dealing with the loss of a loved one. Being so far from home made it even harder. However, after our conversation we were able to support him much better. When he got back home he wrote us a lovely letter thanking us for all our help and kindness.

Hobbies?

Shopping (see below), but enjoy spending time with loved ones, reading classic literature and poetry and attending pottery classes.

Favourite part of London?

Bond Street, I love shopping!

John treated me very well during my stay. My flight was very early in the morning but as soon as I arrived John had prepared some breakfast and English tea, which was perfect. I had a great time with John and we have kept in touch even though I have returned to Russia.

Dimitri, 28

I cannot thank Susan and Geoff enough. My English was very bad when I arrived but they helped me a lot, talking and having nice chats. This helped me improve and their home is lovely. I would recommend them as Homestay hosts.

Hiroki, 19

A brilliant host family and lovely home. Pavinder and Jag were warm and welcoming, I couldn't have asked for more. I was very nervous about coming to London but my host family helped me with the tube, local customs, and I got to eat some lovely food in their home!

Paulina, 23

My host mother Florence is great. She is very kind and was patient with me as my English is not so good. I spent a lot of time with her kids who were so friendly and nice. I will come back to London and visit Florence in the future.

Zhang Jing, 18

A big thank you to Abena and Coffie who welcomed me like one of their own children! I had a fantastic time with them. I had such a great time in London and because of my hosts, it was even better!

Alfonso, 24

I had some issues with my previous accommodation so was nervous about moving into a homestay. But I can truly say it was the best thing that happened to me during my trip in London. My hosts were so helpful and kind.

Jenni, 23

Where do I start?! Cecil and William are warm, kind and helpful. They are the kind of people who want you to feel comfortable. We had some amazing times, good laughs and Cecil is an amazing cook. I got to try so many things I've never had before! Thanks again, Cecil and William!

Lionel, 26

HOST FAMILY ENQUIRY

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