Bright World host families

why do I need a host family?

host family

The majority of UK boarding schools close during holiday times. All students need to leave and UK-based students go home to their parents. Many international students do not have a family or family friend to go to during the short breaks and do not want to make the long journey back home overseas. During these times, an important part of our role is to find them a safe and welcoming host family who will take good care of them.

There may also be the need for students to stay with a host family unexpectedly. Cancelled flights, early and late arrivals due to flight timings can mean that students need a host family all of a sudden. It is at these unexpected times that the Bright World network of host families across the UK and, crucially, near to airports always prove very useful.

when do I need a host family?


exeat weekends

some schools close for two nights over some weekends and these are called Exeats. If your chosen school has these compulsory exeat weekends, we will automatically arrange a host family for you.


half terms

all schools close at half term and most students need to leave. Half terms vary from between 9 and 16 nights and Bright World will be aware of your school's term dates when you enrol. Bright World will select a great host family for your child for these times.


unexpected events

at Bright World we are always ready for the unexpected. We provide safe host family accommodation due to cancelled flights, early arrivals and late departures as well as times when students need to leave school for short unplanned periods. We are here to help.

our host family network

bright world area map

Bright World has a very well established and reliable host family network that spans the whole of the UK (except Ireland). It is very important for parents to know that there will be a caring and safe host family in place when students need it and sufficient families in our network to step in an emergency or unexpected situation. We are very well known for our great host families and our ability to provide for long term continuity for students as well as emergency accommodation at the last minute.

how do you recruit host families?

host family meeting

All Bright World host families are subject to stringent checks and screening that comply with the AEGIS framework and Bright World's own set of high standards. AEGIS (The Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students) also sets high standards and inspects our work.

Bright World staff are trained in Safer Recruitment which guides companies working with children on recruitment of staff and volunteers. Bright World follows Safer Recruitment Guidelines carefully when enrolling host families. Host families complete an extensive application form, interview and house inspection. We then take out references and conduct DBS or enhanced criminal record checks. House inspections are rigorous and include checking of fire alarms and paperwork for boiler and appliance servicing. We expect a high standard of accommodation for our students.

Our Accommodation Team works closely with our Guardianship Care Managers to choose the right host family for our students according to their preferences.

how do you choose a host family for a student?

host family with dog

With over 20 years' experience of working with students and host families, we are particularly proud of our ability to match students with host families successfully. We listen to parents when they enrol and throughout their guardianship stay with them and we also listen to students. By gaining information on their likes and dislikes, allergies or food preferences, and looking at their age and the profile of the host family, we consistently get it right.

On the rare occasions when a student does not like our choice, we have a no questions asked policy of moving the student for their next stay. Our priority is to keep students safe and happy. If they are not happy we do not try and make it work, we move on.

Parents and students can also help us to choose their host family by using a unique link we will give them to our Host Family Selection Tool.

the Bright World Host Family Selection Tool

Bright World host family selection tool

We believe that our clients should be able to help us to choose their host family if they wish to and also see what choice there is available to them prior to enrolling.

With this in mind, people who are interested in joining the Bright World Guardianship programme are able to access our Host Family Selection Tool which gains them unique access to a database of our host families. They can select preferred distance from their school and browse and overview of all the families we have in that area.

They can then request availability for the specific dates we need from our team.

host families during the Covid-19 pandemic

girl studying on bed

Staying with a host family remains the most popular choice for students remaining in the UK for half terms. This has been very popular this academic year, as many students who would normally be going home will decide to stay in the UK. Not all schools are staying open for students so Bright World host families are available to host our guardianship students.

For the reassurance of parents and agents overseas, all of our host families will have signed up for our Host Family Covid-19 Safe Plan should students fall ill with Covid-19 symptoms while they are staying with them. The will also be carrying out enhanced deep cleaning. Host family accommodation will be in single rooms for all holidays, with students only sharing if they arrive from the same household or if the room is of a sufficient size for social distancing to be possible.

Jenny and Esther

Bright World Guardianships

  • Enquire now about joining the Bright World Guardianships service


Enquire now

  • Ask for a link to our Host Family selection tool for for more information about guardianships.

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How much does it cost?

  • Find out about costs for UK guardianship

host family

Read our blog about host families

  • Where to international students go in the holidays?