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International Students House, London

International Students House, London (Colloquially shortened to ISH said as one word, "ish") is a residence for 700 British and overseas students, interns and trainees whilst staying in London.[1] It is located in Central London at the south side of Regent's Park and operates as a financially self-supporting charity under a board of trustees.

International Students House, Park Crescent, London
Founded 1917
Founder Mary Trevelyan
Focus Education and International Collaboration
Area served
Current 700 residents, 70,000 non-resident
Key people
HRH The Princess Royal - Patron, Lord Charles FitzRoy - President, Baroness Diana Warwick of Undercliffe - Chair, Sir John Ritblat - Vice Chair, Peter Anwyl - Executive Director

There are approximately ten applicants for every place and the selection process is distinct from that of the individual colleges and universities with students being selected on the basis of their "demonstrated willingness to participate and become involved in the life of the House."[2] Each year the House admits Fulbright scholars and students attending schools including King's College London, LSE, Imperial College London, UCL, SOAS, London Business School, The Royal Academy of Music, RADA, Goldsmiths, The Architectural Association School of Architecture and BPP Law School among others. Annually the House, together with its partners, awards residential scholarships of over £800,000. ISH also has 70,000 non resident members which makes up a large proportion of the international students in London.[3]



Russell SquareEdit

The origins of International Students House date back to 1917, when Student Movement House, a social centre, was founded in London in memory of students who died in the First World War. Its objectives were to provide companionship and social facilities for some of the overseas students who came to London each year, with a view to increasing international understanding and friendship.[4] The hostel was founded and administered by the Student Christian Movement (SCM).[5][6] The House and Club became well known as a place where African students would not experience discrimination.[7][8]

Gower StreetEdit

The House, in Russell Square was relocated to Gower Street WC1B 5BA in 1938 and Mary Trevelyan became warden.[9][10][11] The Gower Street building was left intact but "leaning" following bombing during the London Blitz.[12]

Park CrescentEdit

The first building at 1-6 Park Crescent, W1, was acquired and rebuilt and was opened in May 1965 by the Trust's Patron, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (known as GPS because of its entrance at 229 Great Portland Street). In 1968, a series of Nash buildings on York Terrace East in Regent's Park (seven minutes walk from GPS) were acquired and rebuilt and subsequently named Mary Trevelyan Hall, which opened in 1971. The House also built an underground garage in York Terrace East as part of the development.

These four buildings combine to make up International Students House, providing over 700 beds (including 56 flats for students with families), three bars, a restaurant, internet access points, a fitness centre and public meeting rooms.[13]

In 1985 the original Trust was separated into two sister charities, operating in parallel, with the International Students Trust managing the investment portfolios and International Students House owning and operating the residences and the activities.

As of 2009/10 ISH students represent over 110 nations and ISH has over 70,000 non-resident student members.

ISH accept UK students as well as international students to live or participate. The four main areas of operation are housing, provision of social facilities and activities, welfare and advice support and the provision of residential scholarships which together with the House's partners represents a £800,000 plus annual programme which received a Commendation in The Charity Awards 2002.

The House operates as a financially self-supporting charity with a diverse number of self generated income streams. The House employs a total of around 130 staff who between them can speak at least 20 languages. ISH has been a recognised 'Investor in People' since 1997, achieved 'Customer First' recognition in 2009 and most recently obtained the Investor in People Gold Award in December 2011.[14]

Stated missionEdit

  • To help students to achieve the academic, personal and leadership aims that have brought them to the United Kingdom;
  • To provide the best possible opportunities for overseas students to experience the many facets of life in the UK and to give them a deeper understanding of British society;
  • To give British students an opportunity to broaden their horizons through friendship with people from widely differing backgrounds and cultures; and
  • By these means to make an effective contribution to better international relations.[15]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ International Students House London
  2. ^ Admissions
  3. ^ International Students House in London, England hostel website with brief description
  4. ^ International Students House London history
  5. ^ The witness of the Student Christian Movement Robin H. S. Boyd, Student Christian Movement of Great Britain and Ireland - 2007 'church ahead of ... - Page 36 "It was he (together with H.-L. Henriod, Zoe Fairfield and George Cockin) who made Student Movement House possible."
  6. ^ The Student Christian Movement during a third year of war Page 50 Student Christian Movement of Great Britain and Ireland - 1917 "With reference to the plans to provide a Student Movement House in London, the need of something more than an office has been felt for some time. What is wanted is a central building where students can not only pay a visit to meet a ..."
  7. ^ David Killingray The Africans in Britain 2012 "Movement (SCM) which in the same year established Student Movement House at 32 Russell Square in central London. 18 The SCM was already in touch with Harris and equally concerned about the effects of the colour bar and racism and ..."
  8. ^ C. L. R. James, Christian Høgsbjerg Toussaint Louverture: The Story of the Only Successful Slave ... 2012- Page 206 "But, were it not for a few institutions like the Student Movement House, and the League of Coloured Peoples, the average West Indian student would have a dreadful time. I say this and state our political aims because a centenary is a time "
  9. ^ A Year's Work in Precis - Page 60 "The Foreign Secretary has succeeded in finding time, in the midst of other and more obvious preoccupations, to make an appeal for funds for the Student Movement House, which has stood since 1917 in Russell Square, but has now to move elsewhere...."
  10. ^ Open University Making Britain Project - Student Movement House
  11. ^ Mary Trevelyan From the Ends of the Earth (London: Faber & Faber, 1942)
  12. ^ The International quarterly - Volumes 7-8 - Page 71 International House (New York, N.Y.), International House (Chicago, Ill.), International House (Berkeley, Calif.) - 1943 "Student Movement House is a tall thin house in Gower Street, and is still, at the time of writing, more or less intact. This in spite of the fact that the whole building leans slightly towards a crater across the street where one of the earliest high ..."
  13. ^ International Students House (London, UK) - Hostel Reviews review website stating location and facilities
  14. ^ more history
  15. ^ ISH mission statement

External linksEdit