Become a Host Family!

About IH Belfast and our students

We are International House Belfast – Northern Ireland’s premier English language school! International students have been booking English language courses with us since 2007, and we are proud to offer welcoming homestays as an option for their accommodation.

Our students come from all over the world – the majority are from European countries but we also welcome students from South America, China, Korea, Saudi Arabia, etc.

We welcome adult students year-round, who can join our language courses on any Monday and stay for as long as they want. Some students come for two weeks and others for six months.

We also welcome young learners to our summer programmes every July.

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Why do we need homestay providers?

Students choose this form of accommodation for the sake of home comforts, a family atmosphere and a chance to practise their English and generally learn about the local way of life. They are not simply renting a room but expect to be treated as one of the family, however students’ expectations will vary.

Why do households decide to host?

  • To meet new people and learn about different cultures
  • To have a full house with a lot of new energy and be an ambassador for Belfast!
  • To stimulate your family’s interests in other languages and cultures
  • To earn extra income

What are hosts expected to provide?

  • Half-Board accommodation to include a simple breakfast and a sit-down evening dinner.
  • A private bedroom with access to a shared or private bathroom.
  • Basic laundry facilities and a change of bed linen and towels weekly.
  • To provide the student with a door key, so they can let themselves in and out.
  • To help students fit in and find their way to school on their first day.
  • As a general rule and to avoid potential complaints about distance, we generally guarantee students that hosts will be located no more than 30-40 minutes door-to-door from the school by public transport

How does it work?

After successful application, you will be added to our host database.  As we receive bookings for homestay, we will work to ‘match’ students with hosts. We email the host with the details of students requesting homestay accommodation, providing as much detail as we have. The host can decide whether  to host that particular student or wait for another enrolment, perhaps for a shorter stay or different dates that are more convenient. Once a homestay is agreed between the school and the host, the school will send the student a booking confirmation which includes a short summary of the host, the address and contact details. The student will make their own way to the accommodation upon arrival in Belfast and will normally stay from the Sunday before their course until the Saturday after their course ends. We will notify the  host of the student’s arrival times in advance so you know when to expect them. If you have any problems during a stay, IH Belfast is here to help!!

How to get started

Anyone can apply to be a host family!

  1. Download and read the information pack for a clearer idea of what hosting entails
  2. Download the application form, complete it and return it to study@ihbelfast.local
  3. Once we receive your completed application form we will arrange a visit to meet you and see your home, and take it from there!

Alternatively, email study@ihbelfast.local to enquire and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

How do hosts cover costs?

Homestay providers are paid weekly to compensate for costs and time:

Standard Half-Board (access to shared bathroom)  – £125 per week

Executive Half-Board (access to private bathroom)  – £165 per week