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Project information

Chinese at Christmas

Thousands of Chinese students are studying in UK and can feel very isolated in their institutions. This project enables Chinese students to spend a weekend or Christmas in the warmth of a British home.


Charity information: HOST UK

HOST UK logo
  • Need


    Weekends and Christmas can be very lonely times for Chinese students in UK. They often spend the time alone in their student accommodation when the rest of the country is with family and friends.
    They can feel isolated from the resident population and retreat into their institutional 'ghettos'. In addition, British residents have very little contact with or understanding of the international students they see on our streets.


    HOST UK gives Chinese students the opportunity to spend a weekend with voluntary hosts who invite one or two students into their home. This enables the students to feel welcome and appreciated, experience British culture at first-hand and make friends with people they would not normally meet. This helps create social cohension and contributes to international friendship and peace building in local communities.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To bridge the gap between Chinese students at UK colleges/ universities and the residents of UK.


    » To arrange a weekend or Christmas homestay in a British home for Chinese students.

    What success will look like

    Success will be Chinese students will meet British residents in the wider community and learn about British life and culture. British hosts will learn more about China.

  • Impact


    Students will return home to China with changed attitudes and more positive feelings about their period in UK. UK hosts will understand more about life and culture in China. Success can be demonstrated by the feedback from both students and hosts and by the lifelong friendships which can result. In the longer term, success can be demonstrated by stronger business relations between UK and China.


    A risk can be that a student or a host have differing expectations. We have dealt with this risk by visiting each volunteer host and explaining the aims of the programme in detail. In addition colleges and universities verify that the applicant is a bona fide student and they pass our literature on to the student. We also actively encourage student and host to communicate by email before the visit in order to learn a little about the other party.


    Funders will receive a quarterly report on the project, detailing the number of students who have had HOST visits. They will also receive a selection of feedback reports from both student and host. They will be invited to meet some hosts and students.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £3,000 Host recruitment PR campaign to encourage additional hosts
      £1,500 Literature Explanatory leaflets for for hosts and students
      £2,500 Student recuitment Visits to UK campuses to meet Chinese students
      £3,000 Admin Office costs
  • Background


    Hosts are located throughout UK.


    Chinese students will benefit as their stay in UK will be greatly enhanced and they will receive a warm welcome in a British home. This add-on value to their stay in UK will mean they will return home with more positive feelings about UK. This will be important to UK as a whole when the students achieve positions of influence in their own countries. British hosts will also benefit as their understanding and knowledge of China and Chinese people will be heightened.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    HOST is the only charity which welcomes students into homes on a national level. HOST has 24 years' experience in bridging the gap between international students and 'real' people in the UK. HOST has long experience of helping Chinese students adjust to life in UK.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Susie Alemayehu

    Susie is the Chief Executive of HOST and has worked for the charity for 12 years.

    Our Hosts

    These people will welcome Chinese students into their homes and show them British life and culture. This simple act can transform lives.