The benefits of day school hosting

Sponsored: Diana Gwynn, guardianship manager at Gabbitas, explains what day school hosting is

Also known as homestay, day school hosting enables international students over 16 to attend an independent day school and live with a host family in the local community. For the last six years Gabbitas has been at the forefront in providing this unique service for schools and international families.

Why would international students choose it over boarding?

Overall the total cost of the homestay and day school fees work out much cheaper than the cost of an average boarding school. But there are many more benefits than just the financial cost. Living with a host family provides a cultural and linguistic immersion which far outweighs what a boarding house can offer.

Indeed, day school hosting is particularly popular with Chinese families, as evidenced by the Independent School Council’s 2019 census, which showed that 50% of international pupils who are day pupils come from China.

How does it help schools?

Day school hosting helps schools tap into the international market – something they may have previously been unable to access easily due to lack of boarding facilities. Along with this comes a financial benefit as, naturally, more pupils result in more fees being paid to the school, enabling more investment in the school’s facilities and future.

This in turn makes the school more attractive to prospective parents, whilst also encouraging a more diverse school community.

An additional benefit to day school hosting is that schools rarely have to do much on their side for it to work smoothly and efficiently. Indeed, the schools merely need to help with applying for a Tier 4 Visa and supplying the students.

Agencies like Gabbitas then handle liaisons with host families and act as the link between parent, child, guardian and school.

On the homestay side there is no direct cost to the school – the contract is between the parents and agency.

If you would like to find out more about how day school hosting could work for your school, please contact us at

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