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Make Money Hosting Foreign Students

MoneyMagpie team 10th Jul 2020 198 Comments

Reading Time: 6 minutes

It’s always nice to have some new faces in your life. Have you ever thought about hosting a foreign exchange student? You probably should, having a student, or even a university lecturer in your home can be a really rewarding experience for everyone involved!

Also, there are ways you can make even more money with foreign students including giving English as a Foreign Language tutorials. Find out more below.



How do I get into hosting foreign students?

There are thousands of English language schools, social clubs, colleges and universities around the country with foreign students looking for places to stay while they learn.

Students at different institutions have varying accommodation needs.


english as a foreign language

For example, there foreign students learning English as a foreign language who are usually only here for about six weeks.

Lots of language schools run summer programmes for teenage foreign students, although during term time they have students of all ages for varying periods of time.

There are two types of hosting English Language students:

  • The first is the easiest – you’re expected to provide house and board for a student who’ll then go to a language school or organised activities during the day. In the evenings and their free time they can come and go as they please. This is very flexible. Different schools will expect different types of board, from just bed and continental breakfast to full board. You can choose whether to let the students cook or use your laundry facilities, phone and internet.
  • The second option is providing accommodation, food and tuition for a certain proportion of the day. To do this you’ll be expected to have some sort of qualification in teaching English as a foreign language, preferably a TEFL.

For more information on this read our articles on teaching English as a foreign language and making up to £80 as a private tutor. 


university students and lecturers

Then there are university students and lecturers who can be in the country for up to six months at a time.

Universities often run exchange programmes and will need accommodation for students for a term or a semester.


step by step:  hosting foreign students

foreign students

step 1: contact schools and universities

If you want to start hosting foreign students then your first port of call is a local language school.

They’ll have an accommodation officer who’ll be in charge of a database of host families.

To get on the database you’ll probably have to undergo a home inspection and be within a reasonable distance of the school.

The International Association of Language Centres and English UK both have a list of English Language schools in the UK. Find your nearest schools and give them a call.

If you’re close to a university, visit their website and try and find the accommodation office. If they don’t have a section about hosting foreign students then give them a call, see if they do it and if so how you can get involved. Find universities close to you on the UCAS website.


step 2: look at ads

You can also look for adverts in your local paper and ask around. Even local football clubs do exchanges and need accommodation for foreign players. Put an ad up for free on Gumtree too so that anyone in your area can get in touch.

Another great site to check out is KaplanInternational.com. Kaplan International Colleges is a large international education group with over 40 English language schools worldwide including 11 in the UK and Ireland. They look for friendly hosts who are interested in learning about other cultures and who can provide a warm welcome and comfortable accommodation to international students. To find out more go to KaplanInternational.com.


step 3: check the rules and requirements

Different organisations will have different requirements for their students so find out what they need from hosts.

If you’re hosting teenagers who are doing an exchange, for example, you are likely to be asked to provide all their meals, pick them up from school and more.

Companies such as Homestay.com allow you to rent out your spare room on a daily, weekly or monthly rate to students over the age of 18.

You could also use Airbnb for short-term rentals. Quite often foreign students look for a room to rent on that website.

Hosts are expected to provide a light breakfast as part of the cost, and can choose to provide other meals also at an additional cost to the student.



How much can I make with foreign students?

What you can charge depends on where you live, what your home’s like and what facilities you include as part of the rent. Hosting foreign students in London (bed and breakfast) you can make around £100 a week, (or about £150 with dinner).

You can charge extra for use of the internet or to do laundry, if you’re willing to. Alternatively, including this in the price is a goodwill gesture and will give you more favourable feedback, encouraging the organisation to use you again.

If you are able to host foreign students in a posh house with a bathroom en suite you can charge more – around £200 a week. Often mature students will prefer a double bed and en suite, so if you can offer this, then you’ll be better off.

Outside London, the going rate for hosting foreign students can vary from about £35 to £80 per week with central locations in bigger cities getting the top prices. The organisation you host for will probably give you an idea of acceptable prices. Charging too much will dissuade them from placing students with you, so be reasonable.

Because you have a tax-free allowance on revenue made from your home, your income from renting a room is likely to be completely tax free. You can make up to £7,500 a year before you start paying tax.


Are there any hidden costs?

The only expenses you’ll incur when hosting foreign students are the extra costs of food and maybe a few bills.



A good way to approach breakfast is to have a decent selection of bread, cereals and juice for students to choose from in the morning. This way they can grab whatever they want and go.

If you’re providing dinner you can reduce your costs by including the student in your family evening meal. Cooking a separate meal for them isn’t cost or time effective.

Be flexible – younger children may not want to eat certain things so it’s always good to cook popular dishes that you know they’ll like.



Although having another person in the house may increase energy costs, if you already have a family it shouldn’t be much more.

The to watch are phone bills – the best way is to make sure students always use a phonecard with a freephone access number so you don’t incur any costs. However, many of them will have their own mobile phone so that shouldn’t be so much of an issue.



You also need to make sure that your home contents insurance is up to date and notify your insurance company that you have paying guests.

Find out how to make money teaching English as a foreign language


Is it worth hosting foreign students?

We think that hosting foreign students in your spare room is a brilliant way to make money and meet new people.

You get to learn about foreign cultures, forge new relationships and even visit students in their home countries in the future.

And if you don’t get on with one student you’re safe in the knowledge that they’re only there for a limited period of time so you don’t have to put up with them forever.

You might experience a culture clash now and again, but if you don’t mind coming home to unusual cooking smells in your kitchen, and you’re clear about the rules of your house, it should be fine.


If you’re looking to make even more money through your home, check out our article on how to run a B&B


Useful links

If you’re interested in hosting foreign students then have a look for your local language school using these sites:

If you have a room you could rent to a foreign student – or you are a student looking for accommodation in the UK – leave a comment below


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K Nathaniel
K Nathaniel
4 years ago

Hello my name is Kessa ,

I a beautiful maintained double room available with own bathroom from the 28th July 2019
please feel free to email me at [email protected] for further details.

Best Regards

Deb DaSilva
Deb DaSilva
4 years ago

i would like to host a student , i have one room

Priscilla Ben
Priscilla Ben
4 years ago

I have a twin room and a single room available

Lorna hayward
Lorna hayward
4 years ago

Interested in 2 students sharing a room with 2 beds

4 years ago

Hi my name is Adeline I have a room to rent is available June,1

Sam Darr
Sam Darr
4 years ago

My name is Sam Darr, I have heard about hosting foreign students and its benefits. I would like to make some extra cash and learn more about hosting. I also understand renting to foreign students is not on a permanent basis. I love learning about different cultures.

Helen Hughes
Helen Hughes
4 years ago

My name is Helen+I have free rooms available in Penmaenmawr north Wales.please contact Me with more information

Isabella Santos
Isabella Santos
4 years ago

My name is Isabella Santos and I live with my daughter in NW London.
I have two double rooms available from April 2019.
Could I have some help in hosting foreign students?

Carrie moir
Carrie moir
4 years ago

Hi my name is Carrie Moir I have a double room available from August 2019 living with my husband and two children. Looking for more info on how to get on board with hosting foreign students.

Davonne Wynter
Davonne Wynter
4 years ago

My name is Davonne Wynter. We will have a Double room available Autumn 2019 in South London when our son goes to University. Could we get some more information please?

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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