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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 in London.[1] It is located on the south side of Regent's Park and operates as a financially self-supporting charity under a board of trustees.

International Students House
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]



Student Movement HouseEdit

Student Movement House, located at 32 Russell Square (in the Bloomsbury district of London), was founded in 1917 as a social centre and hostel by the Student Christian Movement of Great Britain and Ireland. The House was founded with legacies from three of its members who had been killed in World War I, and it was dedicated on 26 November 1917 as a memorial to British students who died in the war.[4] The House was founded with the original intention of creating accommodation for Belgian and Russian refugee students but became a centre used by students of all countries.[5]

The House served as an important space for Bloomsbury's Black population during in interwar period and was well-known as a place where African and West Indian students would not experience discrimination.[6][7] In 1932, C.L.R. James described Student Movement House as "a club for London students, white and coloured, but with its chief aim giving coloured students in London the opportunity to meet together".[8]

Mary Trevelyan was appointed as Warden in 1933 and in 1938, the House relocated to Gower Street.[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 (known as GPS because of its entrance at 229 Great Portland Street) was acquired and rebuilt. It was opened in May 1965 by the Trust's Patron, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. In 1968, a series of buildings designed by John Nash on York Terrace East in Regent's Park (seven minutes walk from GPS) were acquired and rebuilt. They were subsequently named Mary Trevelyan Hall and 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 2010, ISH students represent over 110 nations, and ISH has over 70,000 non-resident student members.

ISH accepts 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. ^ "Student Movement House (lost)". UK War Memorials. Imperial War Museums. Retrieved 2017-12-14. 
  5. ^ Students Abroad. International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation. 1934. 
  6. ^ 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 ..."
  7. ^ 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 "
  8. ^ Romain, Gemma (2017-09-07). Race, Sexuality and Identity in Britain and Jamaica: The Biography of Patrick Nelson, 1916-1963. Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9781472588647. 
  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