International students get English ‘parents’ from host families in South London

By Alexandra Causer

A guardianship service for international boarding school students is seeking more host families in South London.

Pippa’s Guardians connect international students with host families who fulfil the role of English ‘parent’ during what might otherwise be a lonely and stressful time for children.

Due to pandemic-imposed travel bans and quarantine restrictions travelling home from their UK boarding schools for the holidays has become impossible for many international students.

Host family Paula and Antoine Piazza said: “Our daughters have had the opportunity to learn about different cultures first-hand and have enjoyed having a ‘big sister’ to play games and watch movies with.

Hosts Elspeth and Philip Grace with students

“As so many of the students we host have a dedicated work ethic this has been a hugely beneficial influence on them both.”

The students are aged between 10 to 18-years-old and come from countries across Asia, Africa and Europe.

Pippa’s Guardians Managing Director Ben Hughes said: “The families we look for are welcoming and interested in other cultures.

“Having children of similar ages helps but isn’t the most important thing as we have many successful host families who have no children, younger children or indeed older children who have left home.

“Being part of a family and experiencing day-to-day family life enhances students’ study and plays a part in improving their English language.”

If you are interested in becoming a guardian and live in South London, email



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