Development And Alumni Relations Office

Queen’s University is calling on locally based graduates to host an international student for a day, the weekend, over Christmas or other holiday period, in their home and to offer their guests a little taste of Northern Ireland craic and friendliness.

The University is part of an initiative called HOST which enables international students coming to Queen’s to study to benefit from some homely Northern Ireland hospitality.

However much they might enjoy their studies in the UK, international students often feel the loss of meaningful contact with family and community life beyond university. But thanks to HOST Queen’s alumni can now be part of the special memories of visiting overseas students.

A long-established charity, HOST links students with graduate and staff volunteers who offer one-off invitations for a day, the weekend, or for a holiday period like Christmas or Easter.

The HOST experience offers much of what visiting students come for, but can’t always access easily on campus – friendship with local people, an insight into real life in somewhere like Northern Ireland and language practice in a social context. And it’s a chance for the student to ask all sorts of questions and to be ambassadors for their own home country.

The experience also offers much to the volunteer hosts who make all this possible. It gives them a chance to show kindness to young people who may be homesick, lonely, or even victims of racial intolerance. It’s also an excuse for a bit of local sight-seeing and to see our customs and attitudes through the eyes of others.

Above all, however, hosting offers a fascinating encounter with a bright young mind from another country. As one UK host put it: ‘This is a wonderful way to find out what is going on in the world, and to meet the future.’

Sadly, many international students are disappointed each year because of a shortage of invitations from volunteer hosts, so could that perfect 2016/17 host be you? Could you offer hospitality to an international student from Queen’s for 1-3 days? You do not need to live near the University – students will travel to you for this very special, highlight experience.

For cultural exchange, friendliness and fun, and to be part of the special memories of an international student, please visit to find out more.

To talk to someone at HOST UK, telephone 0207 739 6292 during office hours (9:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday).

For information about HOST at Queen’s visit the University's host web page or contact International Student Support (tel: +44 (0)28 9097 3839).

For more on volunteering at Queen’s, contact Alumni Officer Natasha Sharma (tel: +44 (0)28 9097 3135).

Media inquiries should be directed to Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office, Queen’s University Belfast (tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5321).

Top of Page