Your Christmas chance to give an international student a lift and help to ease loneliness

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts - Credit: Archant

Royston Volunteer Centre manager Denise Graham’s regular look at the voluntary sector in North East Herts

It’s that time of year again – HOST UK, the organisation which promotes international friendship and understanding, is beginning to look for Christmas volunteers.

Hundreds of adult international students studying in the UK could be facing the prospect of a lonely Christmas on a deserted university or college campus.

You can invite one or two students into your home for four days of Christmas, learn about their culture, show them your local area and traditions, and invite them to experience your own home life.

Volunteer hosts invite students to visit for a few days over the festive period so the student can experience ‘real’ Britain, away from university and popular tourist sites, and the host can meet new people and learn about diverse cultures from around the world.

You can choose how many people you invite – individuals, pairs or families – and if you would like to meet someone from a specific country students and hosts will be matched on interests and availability.

There are no specific expectations from a host visit, other than the student should be made to feel part of your family for that short time.

Most Read

Hosts can show off their local area, visit friends, attend local events, or just spend time chatting. This is not a tourism opportunity for the student and hosts are not expected to act as tour guides.

If you’d like to make the most of this unusual and rewarding activity, just contact us and we will put you in touch.

You can find the Royston & District Volunteer Centre in the Royston Town Hall Annexe, Melbourn Street, Royston, SG8 7DA

Phone 01763 243020, email or visit the website at