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Current international students

Social events and schemes

There are several events and schemes organised both by Student Support and other internal and external organisations. If you study at our Loughton or Southend Campuses, please contact your Student Services Hub for information.

  • HOST Scheme

    HOST UK has a network of volunteers all over Britain who enjoy meeting international students. HOST families invite students to visit them in their homes for a weekend or a day, throughout the year. Some hosts welcome visits during Christmas and Easter. It is possible to go with another student or with your spouse/partner and you can choose which area of the country you wish to visit.

    The University of Essex subscribes to HOST UK. If you are over the age of 18 and studying a full time course for more than three months duration, you can apply for a day or weekend visit to a HOST family.

    Visit the HOST website to find out what happens on a visit, how it is arranged and how you can expect to be treated.

    How much it costs

    You do not have to pay for the actual visit to your host family but will need to pay an application fee to HOST and your own travel costs. Check the HOST UK website for the cost of the application, this will depend on the type of visit you wish to go on.

    If you wish to apply for your spouse/partner to accompany you on your visit there will be an additional charge. Please be aware that if you apply but do not take up the visit offered the application fee will not usually be refunded.

    Free visits 2017-18

    The University’s free visits for this year have all been allocated. Funding is available via HOST for Chevening and Commonwealth Scholars and for students from the following countries: Japan, Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, Israel, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Yemen.

    If you would like a festive (Christmas vacation) visit please apply to HOST by 20 November 2017.

    How to apply

    When you apply to HOST you will need to pay the application fee, if applicable. After you submit your application to HOST UK via the website, they will send us your application for checking and authorisation. HOST will contact you directly to arrange the visit.

  • International Students' House

    International Students’ House (ISH) is an accommodation and entertainment centre in the heart of London, near Regent’s Park. It is open all year and offers comfortable, inexpensive accommodation and a warm friendly atmosphere.

    ISH has a special programme for international students at Christmas time. If you decide to stay at ISH it is best to make your reservation well in advance, as demand is bound to be high, you can even book in October.

  • Friends International Colchester

    Friends International Colchester (FIC) is a local group representing Christians from churches in the Colchester area. FIC gives you the opportunity to visit an English home, attend a traditional Christmas party, Easter outing or summer event or just practise your English.

  • Rotary International

    Rotary International is a global network of service volunteers. It is the world's largest service organisation for business and professional people.

    Several times a year local Rotary clubs organise social events which you will be invited along to. These events give you an opportunity to meet and talk to local people as well as other international students. Events are usually popular and fill up fast, keep a look out for our emails and book early to avoid disappointment. Emails advertising these events are sent to your Essex email address if you subscribe to the international-students-info email list (login required), or look out for information in the International Students' Newsletter.

    Rotary in Colchester

    If you are interested in finding out more about the young persons' division of Rotary and getting involved, contact Rotaract in Colchester which was started by University of Essex students and is active on campus, you can also join their Rotaract Facebook group.

Students' Union cultural events and societies

The International Students Association brings together all international students. Anyone can join and it is dedicated to making sure that international students have a great time while they're at Essex by making sure they are represented and by arranging events and trips.

Further information