What is a host family?

Host families provide a ‘home away from home’ for international pupils during occasional exeat weekends and half term holidays.


Our students come from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Russia, and many countries in Europe, and are mainly aged 10 to 17 years old. They will be attending a boarding school near to your home. When their boarding school closes for half terms and exeat weekends, they need a supportive and welcoming place to stay.

Becoming a host family can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for the family too; providing the opportunity to really make a difference to a student whilst they are studying here in the UK, in many cases a very long way from home.


Some host families have school-age children, who benefit greatly from lifelong friendships with a child whose background is very different from theirs. Other families’ children have grown up and left home, so hosting offers the chance to have young people in the home once again.

Host families must have a spare room as students will require their own bedroom, with a desk or private space to study and access to the internet.

Pippa’s Guardians covers all your out-of-pocket expenses for the pupil, as well as an attractive daily rate.

Sarah and Andrew Medley

(and Sergeant Pepper the dog)

What is your favourite thing about hosting?

Learning from students about their families and their home countries and sharing our hobbies with them, such as dog walking, swimming, cooking and theatre experiences .

We also enjoy playing (and occasionally winning) games with them such as Jenga or cards. One of our students was very musical and it was great to hear him practicing on the violin.

"The Pippa’s team are lovely people;  genuine, kind, supportive, reasonable, and always provide practical support if and when we need it."

Why host for Pippa’s Guardians?

24/7 support and advice

Our host families are an absolutely crucial element of what we do, so we’ve developed a comprehensive support system. One of our superb Area Managers, who lives locally, would be the point of contact for you, the pupil, his or her parents overseas, and his or her school. Having approved you and your home for hosting, your Area Manager remains in regular contact and is available 24/7.


Your local Area Manager will communicate with you in advance, the school term dates and therefore possible opportunities to host so you can plan ahead. Should you have any unexpected changes of plans, worries or concerns, you can pick up the phone and talk to someone 24/7 on the Pippa’s duty phone.

Information and training

Each host family is provided with an extensive host family handbook with tailored information to help you when hosting a Pippa’s student. A regular host family newsletter and local host events keep you informed about the industry and our company. Each host family is also given AEGIS safeguarding training.

Knowledge and experience

Pippa’s Guardians has over 25 years’ experience caring for international students and matching them with host families. Our Area Managers get to know the students and the host families extremely well and do their best to find the perfect match for both the student and the host.

An extra income

Pippa’s Guardians pay one of the highest hosting rates amongst guardianship agencies. You will be paid a daily rate for each student you host as well as any out of pocket expenses.

Prompt payments

Host families can submit their expenses quickly and easily via a secure page on our website. Payments are received within a matter of days.

Gold Standard

Pippa’s Guardians is accredited by AEGIS, the governing body for Guardianship and have been awarded the highest accolade of Gold Standard accreditation.

Experience the world

educational experience for all members of the family and an opportunity to create long-lasting relationships with people from other countries.



Yes. Each student must have their own bedroom, so if you have more than one spare room you can host multiple students. The students will provide great company for each other and you be paid a fee for each student you host.

Our youngest students are 8 years old and our oldest students are 18 (pre- university)

This will be discussed and agreed with you in advance. Some students need hosting for just one night, others for longer periods such as half terms.

We expect all of our students to behave to high standards, however if you have any worries or concerns, you should contact your Area Manager or our 24/7 duty phone immediately for assistance.

As a host family, you should provide 3 meals a day plus snacks for your student. We send you a profile of the student you will host in advance which details any foods they particularly enjoy or dislike including any allergies. Our students attend UK boarding schools and will be familiar with traditional English foods. However many of our students enjoy sharing recipes from home or even cooking for their host families.

Our Area Managers will get to know you and our students very well. It is their job to match the right student to the right family. We do also take into account your requests when placing student in your home.

Absolutely! All of our students are different and have different needs and it is our job to find the right hosts for the right students. Some of our students, particularly those studying for exams, may prefer a quieter household for example.

Hosts can’t always commit to every date but don’t worry – it’s our responsibility to match students with another host for those dates.

You are welcome to take your student out with you and we encourage this wherever possible. Whether for a meal, the cinema or meeting up with family friends, students often enjoy these things and many will come from families where they enjoy activities and socialising together. You can claim expenses for the students share of some outings.