Host UK is a British charity set up by the British Council, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and the Victoria League. Their mission is to help international students to connect with host families in the UK to promote friendship and understanding through intercultural exchanges by becoming guests in British homes for varied periods of time.
This year, due to COVID, the charity had to reinvent itself and created an online cultural exchange program for international students and British residents. Recently, I was able to participate in their online Christmas celebration, where many international students, host families, and members of the charity participated to spend a lovely evening with Christmas-themed games and trivia.
The participants of this celebration were from many countries, such as China, Nigeria, India, Francia, Rwanda, Peru, and, of course, the UK! The event started by showing us a world map marked with the home countries of all attendants, it was really amazing to see how far many international students have come from, and taking turns to speak about our countries, culture, and customs, getting to know more about each other.
The rest of the night our British Hosts talked about the British traditions for this holiday, which was really interesting, as it really helped us to learn more about the country and the activities we can engage in during these celebrations. For example, eating the traditional Christmas dinner with mince pies and Christmas pudding, as well as opening Christmas crackers with family and friends, and finally, hanging the traditional Christmas stocking to fill it with presents on the 25th of December. What I loved the most about this event was the possibility to share and learn from people with different cultural backgrounds about their own experiences, values, and traditions.
Time really did run short as we were engaged in deep conversation, while experiencing a cultural exchange experience among all the participants, having a small taste of the spirit of this charity. I would definitely recommend participating in this fantastic experience, it is a great way to meet new friends and learning about British culture and several other international cultures.
Why would I recommend this online program:
- It is a unique experience that you can do in your free time
- It is a great way to meet new people.
- You get to learn more about British culture, as well as international cultures.
- You will get to live a unique experience, and it's free!
I want to apply! Where can I learn more about Host UK?
It is really easy! You can look for their website www.hostuk.org