English Language Education

Homestay Accommodation

Information about Homestay accommodation for English Language Education students.

My host accommodation has been my shelter in a warm, kind atmosphere. Felt like home.

Maria Castelo Blanco, English Language Education student

What is Homestay?

Homestay is a unique housing option that provides a memorable Scottish family experience with an excellent opportunity to develop English skills with native speakers.

The Homestay team will try to place you within a local family home that is right for you. Hosts are vetted for their care and understanding of International students as well as providing a clean and comfortable home. The service connects cultures through nurturing family environments, enabling students to practice Conversational English, and feel safe within Edinburgh.

We do this by matching students with hosts who are carefully selected for their knowledge, understanding of international students and shared common interests.  Hosts range from families with young and/or older children, individuals and couples. Accommodation is regularly inspected to ensure high-standards.

Many of our hosts have developed lasting bonds with their students through shared experiences and cultural exchanges, and many have over 30 years’ experience hosting students.

Student to Host Matching

The Homestay team aims to match hosts and students specifically on commonalities, interests, likes and needs. During your Homestay application you will be asked to complete a basic profile to tell us about your hobbies and interests. The information you provide will help the Homestay team in the matching process.

Homestay Locations

Homestay hosts are all based in or around Edinburgh. Whilst it cannot be guaranteed that allocated hosts will be based within walking distance of teaching locations, Edinburgh has a robust public transport network and it is common for students to utilise this to travel around the city.

Homestay Eligibility

Students on the Academic and General English (AGE) programme can request Homestay accommodation during the programme application process. In addition, Homestay may be offered as an accommodation option for bespoke groups studying at the Centre for Open Learning.

Homestay Options and Prices

Option Services Included Cost Per Week (2019/20)
  • Single bedroom
  • Breakfast (cereal, toast, yoghurt or fruit)
  • Self-catered evening meals (access to kitchen facilities)
  • Laundry taken care of by host
  • Single bedroom
  • Breakfast (cereal, toast, yoghurt or fruit)
  • 4 evening meals (2 courses – starter and main; or main and dessert)
  • Use of kitchen facilities to make hot drinks only
  • Laundry taken care of by host

Many of our hosts can accommodate special dietary requirements, should you have any. You can tell us about any special dietary requirements on your Homestay application form, and there will be an additional £10 weekly charge to your Homestay package.

Further Information

Please read the following guide for helpful advice and tips regarding your Homestay experience:

Tips for Settling into your Homestay [PDF]

Homestay Code of Practice

By booking Homestay accommodation, you agree to abide by the COL Homestay Code of Practice, to ensure that both students and hosts fully benefit from the experience and avoid misunderstandings:

COL Homestay Code of Practice for Students [PDF]

Contact Homestay Team

If you have any queries regarding Homestay, you can contact the Homestay team by emailing: homestay@ed.ac.uk