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Monday 11 November 2013

Charity appeals for volunteers to share their Christmas with an overseas student

An excellent way to brighten-up a 'normal' Christmas


London based charity Host UK is seeking families and couples willing to invite an international student to stay this Christmas.

Spokeswoman Margaret Stevens told the Slough Times:-

There are adult international students at UK universities who will be spending Christmas alone. They would love to discover what Christmas is like in a British home. Having a visitor from another part of the world will add interest to your festivities, possibly help to keep the peace when the family comes together, or if you are alone too, may give you a reason to 'do Christmas properly'.

Invitations are arranged through HOST, a well-established charity, whose local organisers aim to make a good match between student guests and volunteer hosts. If you live near a university, your visitor may come just for the day. Many students are happy to travel to spend 2 or 3 days with their hosts.

Please see www.hostuk.org or call HOST on 020-7739 6292 to be put in touch with your area organiser.

If you are not available at Christmas, but would like to welcome an international student to your home, HOST arranges visits throughout the year.

The Armstrongs share Christmas with Lira

Host UK matches students to volunteer families and couples to ensure everything goes happily and smoothly.

Masato a Japanese student at Kings College, London said:-

I was glad to have a chance to share a real 'family' celebration of Christmas at home and see my kind hosts involvement in the Christmas service at church with bell ringing. These experiences are really rare to observe otherwise. I am truly grateful to both HOST and the family who welcomed me for Christmas. Without this kind of programme, my understanding of the UK and its people and culture would be much shallower.

and Yu-San, a Taiwanese student at the University of the Arts in High Holborn, London said:-

First time experience traditional Christmas, discovering how people celebrate, the songs they sing, the moments they share. Moreover, building on the experience from our host family and their friends, we have a much better understanding of British culture. It was great. Thank you.