The exciting Homestay program

EF students travel abroad for a full immersion experience, and staying with a host family is an essential part of our unique programs.

Living in a private home offers a warm and secure way for students to immerse themselves in the daily life of their new country. Homestay students enrich their understanding of local culture and customs, pick up expressions and slang with greater ease and acquire a more authentic accent. Most importantly, students develop meaningful relationships with their host families that often last far beyond the duration of their language course.

The duration of homestay assignments last from as short as one or two weeks to as long as a whole academic year.

Finding the perfect match

We want every student and family to be fully satisfied by their homestay arrangement and we work hard to find the perfect match for both student and host. Our Accommodation Officer will keep in close contact with you regarding availability of students and we'll do our best to accommodate any special requests i.e. non smoking home, dietary requirements etc.

Your responsibilities

We ask that our host families provide each student with:

  • A warm friendly welcome.
  • A clean, comfortable well lit room, with sufficient heating, ventilation, natural light, storage for clothes and use of a table or desk.
  • A balanced and appropriate diet; half-board weekdays and full board weekend OR breakfast, packed lunch and dinner depending on the students' program.
  • Bed linen and towels which should be cleaned by the homestay provider on a weekly basis (the student should have the option of extra blankets and duvets).
  • Regular access to the bathroom as per a member of your family.
  • A key or access to your home at anytime.
  • Assistance to find his/her way to school on their first day.

Staff support, 24 hours a day

EF staff will be with you every step of the way; helping you select the student who best fits your family; guiding you through your student’s transition to their new country; introducing you to other families in your community; and organizing optional fun excursions.

Our staff is always available for you - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via a special hotline


All of our host families receive monetary compensation for hosting an EF student. This sum is meant to support your family in the weekly costs of hosting a student.

The screening process

Making sure our students are welcomed into a safe and inviting environment is absolutely vital to the success of our programs. Every host family is carefully screened and interviewed in their homes by our experienced accommodation staff and then regularly visited and monitored to ensure high standards.

Over 40 years of satisfied host families

Throughout our long experience organizing homestays we’ve heard from a countless number of families who rave about the program. Many of them continue to host students with us - some for years on end. We couldn’t be more proud of the families we’ve partnered with over the years. Watch our videos to meet a few of them and see what they have to say about the program.

Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas - Dead Brains
Barbatuques - CD Tum Pá - Sambalelê

100 nationalities - and counting

Bringing the world together is part of our mission. At any given time of year, you can find up to 100 different nationalities at our International Language Centers. We boast students from places like France, Japan and Brazil – and that's just at our London campus.

Our diverse student body means that you'll truly have a global experience when you host an EF student. And with ages ranging from pre-teens to professionals you can be sure that we'll find the right fit for your family.

But don't take our word for it, see what real EF students have to say about the program.

Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas - Dead Brains
Barbatuques - CD Tum Pá - Sambalelê
Eleanor Turner plays Baroque Flamenco
Sleepy Man Banjo Boys: Bluegrass

Frequently asked questions

Hosting an international student is a big decision, and we're here to help.
Browse our frequently asked questions, and if you're not fully satisfied simply contact us.

What are my responsibilities as a host family?

Families must provide a bed, breakfast, packed lunch and evening meal & have easy access to local transportation to and from the student's course centre and a stable, caring environment. Host parents must submit an application, references, and are subject to a home visit by one of our experienced staff. Students bring their own spending money for personal needs, souvenirs, entertainment, and other incidentals.

My family isn't a "traditional" family, is it still possible to host?

Of course! Our host families come in all shapes and sizes and we welcome such diverse families as single parent households, empty-nesters, and families with small children.

May I host more than one student at a time?

Yes, you may host up to four students. Some families like to host more than one student, as it gives the students a companion. It also gives your family the chance to learn more about another culture.

May we select our own student?

Yes, we will work together to find a student who is a good match for you and your family.

What if we have other plans while our student is here?

We can work around your schedule and will make arrangements with other host families in your community who can step in temporarily.

What if there is a problem with our student?

We boast nearly 50 years of experience of managing host families and your local accommodation coordinators are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week if you have any questions or concerns. Our students must comply with all program rules and our staff will ensure they follow these while with your family."

In case of an accident or illness, who do we contact?

Help is only a phone call away--EF staff is available to you 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. In addition, your EF student will always be fully insured and has a pre-booked return flight.

Where will our international student study?

EF students attend the EF International Language Center in, or close to, your community. Courses include daily English and cultural lessons in the morning and field trips, group discussions, and organized activities in the afternoon.

Our locations

There are over 40 EF International Language Centers around the globe - and each has a need to accommodate students in local homestays. While the list below features our most-popular destinations, many other cities host our students in the summer months.

United Kingdom

Our 10 International Language Centers in the United Kingdom stretch from England's southern coastal towns all the way up to the hip northern city of Manchester. If you live within one hour of any of our U.K. destinations you're eligible to be an EF host family.

  • Bournemouth
  • Brighton
  • Bristol
  • Cambridge
  • Oxford
  • Eastbourne
  • London
  • Manchester
  • Edinburgh
  • Hastings
  • Weymouth
  • Southsea
  • Torquay
  • Isle of Wight


Located in the heart of the city, our Dublin International Language Center has been welcoming students for over a decade. The school’s ideal central location make it an easy commute from host families both in and around the city.

  • Dublin


Our International Language Center is located in the heart of St. Julian’s - within reach of host families in almost every part of this island nation. We also have other Malta locations during the summer months.

  • St. Julian's
  • Sliema
  • Sr Paul's Bay

USA & Canada

Our 12 International Language Centers stretch from capital cities in the Northeast all the way to the shores of the Pacific. Whether you're living in the suburbs of Atlanta or downtown San Diego, you'll be eligible to host an international student in your home.

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Honolulu
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami Beach
  • New York
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Santa Barbara
  • Seattle
  • Victoria
  • Vancouver
  • Toronto


Australia is home to 3 unique EF Language Travel Centres along Australia's famous eastern coastline. Whether you are located in the suburbs of Sydney, the tourist hotspot of Cairns or the relaxed beach coast line of the Gold Coast you can join our international host family community.

  • Sydney
  • Cairns
  • Gold Coast
  • Brisbane

About EF

The world leader in international education

EF stands for "Education First". Founded in 1965, EF is a privately-held company with 16 divisions that offer a range of educational programs from language training, educational travel, and academic degrees to cultural exchanges. With a mission to break down barriers in language, culture and geography, EF has helped people of all ages and nationalities become citizens of the world.

From Berlin to Beijing, Moscow to Mexico City, Dubai to Denver, EF operates 400 schools and offices in over 50 countries. To date, EF has helped over 15 million people to learn a new language, discover the world, or earn an academic degree.

EF International Language Centers

We offer language courses for all ages and all levels at our fully-accredited International Language Centers, providing an easy and flexible way to study abroad. We accommodate students of all ages, as an EF host family you can benefit from special offers on all our programs.

our methodology

Living the language

Full cultural and linguistic immersion is at the core of what we do. By living in a homestay accommodation, interacting with local people and studying a personalized course, EF students don't just learn a language, they live it.

The Efekta™ System and Action Learning™ System are our blended learning method, developed over decades by our Academic Research team. See how a typical EF student spends their day:

Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas - Dead Brains
Barbatuques - CD Tum Pá - Sambalelê

Accreditations and Memberships


All EF's language courses and learning materials are checked annually by the European Council for Language Teaching. Members of the Board of Directors visit EF’s course centers, campuses and resorts each year to make sure that our teaching is of the highest quality.

ISO9001 – Quality Management

ISO 9001 is one of the standards in the family of ISO 9000 standards.

EF Pedagogical Council

Course books and other teaching materials are designed by EF Pedagogical Council. The group consists of international language researchers and specialists in language teaching. Texts and contents are revised to ensure that course material is updated and relevant from year to year.


The EF schools in the USA are members of AAIEP (American Association of Intensive English Programs).

Mentor Foundation

EF works with Mentor. Mentor is an organization working to prevent drug use among young people throughout the world.

British Council

The EF schools in London, Cambridge, Oxford, Manchester, Brighton and Bournemouth are accredited by the British Council.


This is a collaboration between organizations working with language travel.

English UK

The EF schools in London, Cambridge, Oxford, Manchester, Brighton and Bournemouth are accredited by English UK.


EF Education First is an active participant in the Comité Européen de Normalisation.

UK Border Agency

EF International Language Schools, has been licensed by the UK Border Agency to enroll international students under Tier 4 of the Points Based System