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University Language Centre


Manchester is a multicultural city with a diverse population made up of people from many different backgrounds. This diversity and multiculturalism is reflected in the wide range of people who provide homestay accommodation.

Homestay providers are from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Some live alone and some with their partner and/or children. All accommodation is provided in partnership with an agent, and all homestay providers are visited before they are accepted to host ULC students and thereafter are inspected every two years.

Homestay providers will offer the following:

  • students will be treated as a member of the family
  • bed, breakfast and evening meal Monday to Friday (no lunch included)
  • bed, breakfast, lunch and evening meal Saturday and Sunday
  • students will have their own bedroom (students who book as part of a group may be required to share with another student of the same group)
  • bed linen (student must provide their own towels/toiletries)
  • shared use of the family bathroom
  • laundry facilities or use of a washing machine (a reasonable amount of laundry once a week**)
  • shared use of living room or other communal areas
  • desk or table in own bedroom/the house for private study/homework
  • internet Access  - extra fee applicable (students will need to provide own computer/laptop/printer or alternatively use University provided computer facilities)

A limited number of homestay providers are able to cater for special dietary requirements, such as vegan, vegetarian, diabetic, celiac, halal, kosher, lactose intolerance and allergy related diets.  It is important that you let us know in advance if you need a special diet or have any allergies/medical conditions. Students with allergies/medical conditions will be required to provide written medical evidence from their doctor.

A number of hosts have family pets living with them in the home (e.g. cats and dogs). Students who have pet allergies should indicate this on their application form and provide written medical evidence from their doctor.

Please contact the ULC homestay accommodation team if you have any queries using the email address below:

Things to consider when choosing homestay accommodation

British culture and communication

Living in homestay accommodation will provide immediate contact with people from outside your course and will hopefully result in long lasting friendships; but it is also a way to practise the English language and learn more about the British culture.

Homestay providers will treat students like a member of their own family and will expect students to greet the family when they arrive home, keep their bedrooms tidy, help change bed linen weekly, clear the dinner table after a meal, wash dishes and clean bathrooms/kitchens after use by the student. Homestay providers will advise students of any house rules upon their arrival.

Homestay accommodation is not hotel accommodation - students who are not prepared to be part of the family in this respect may prefer to choose a different type of accommodation.


Most homestay providers live within 7 miles (11.3km) of the University campus. A small number live between 10 miles (16.9km) / 20 miles (32.19km) away but with good bus / rail links to the University (at peak times). Average journey times from homestays to ULC varies between 20 minutes and 60 minutes (dependant on time of travel / traffic).

Travel expenses

A weekly bus pass can be purchased for approximately £20 per week. A weekly train / tram pass can be purchased for approximately £30 per week. Some travel cards will require passport-sized photographs and therefore it may be useful for students to have photographs available on their arrival.


Homestay providers will try, wherever possible, to take account of any particular likes / dislikes when providing a well balanced diet. Dinner will usually be served at a particular time and students should, where possible, be in the home at this time. Students who cannot return home at the designated time to eat must notify the homestay at least three hours beforehand. The homestay may leave food to be heated up by the student.  Students choosing to be absent at meal times due to their own personal evening and weekend social plans, will not receive a refund of accommodation fees for any meals not taken.


Some homestay providers will be happy to wash a reasonable amount of laundry for students on a weekly basis, whilst others will allow students to use the washing machine themselves. Should the amount of laundry be excessive, students will be required to use local laundry mats / dry cleaning services in the local community. Students should not wash their own clothes in the bathroom or leave wet clothes to dry in bedrooms / on electrical heaters. Students should ask the homestay provider where clothes can be washed and left to dry.

Climate and clothing

The British climate can seem harsh to students who come from warmer climates, and the dampness and wind in winter can make it seem even colder. Students should make sure they have warm clothes which will protect from all types of weather. Students will need an umbrella and a waterproof coat for the rain as well as some strong waterproof shoes. Gloves, hats and scarves are also useful in the winter. Students should always be prepared as British weather is very changeable, especially in autumn and spring. The average daytime summer temperature in Manchester is 19°C and the average daytime winter temperature is 5°C. Hours of daylight vary from 8.30am – 4pm in midwinter to 4am – 10pm in midsummer.

Heating and electricity

It is common in British homes for heating to be turned on/off at certain times during the day/night. Generally heating will be switched off at night and switched on in the morning. For example, heating will be available between 6am - 9am and then again between 4pm - 11pm. Homestay providers will provide students with blankets/duvets - if students feel cold, they should ask the homestay provider for further blankets / duvets. Students may wish to bring/purchase a hot water bottle. Students should NOT use electrical blankets/heating pads unless they have the permission of the homestay provider to do so.

Students will be expected to turn off all electrical lights/computers/appliances between the hours of 11pm and 6am (GMT) and should NEVER leave them on when the student is not present in the room.

British electricity works on 230 volts/50 cycles and most sockets use 13 amp square pin fused plugs. If students have their own electrical equipment, they should ensure that it can be used safely on UK voltage and find out whether an adaptor is needed. Students should always ask permission of the homestay before using electrical appliances in their home.

Computers / internet access

It is not a requirement for homestay providers to offer computer/internet facilities, however the majority of homestay providers do offer internet facilities for an extra fee. Students will need to provide own computer/laptop/printer or alternatively use University provided computer facilities. Students are asked to ensure that when skyping family and friends that they do so between 6am and 11pm (GMT).


In 2007 England undertook a complete smoking ban in public places such as lecture theatres, classrooms, cinemas, trains, buses and even your accommodation. Most homes are non-smoking or have a designated room for smoking. NEVER smoke in the bedrooms unless permitted. If you do smoke, your homestay provider may require you to smoke outside the house.

How to book homestay accommodation

Homestay - academic year, September to June

Please read our information on homestay accommodation and things to consider when choosing homestay accommodation before booking.

  1. You must secure a place on an English language course before booking homestay accommodation.
  2. Read our terms and conditions of booking (below).
  3. Complete the homestay application form (below) and return it to
  4. You will receive an email containing instructions on how to pay the fees.
  5. Once you have paid the fees, we will contact you with details of your booking.

Fees for homestay accommodation (September 2018 - June 2019)

Accommodation fees per student
Homestay accommodation (standard diet): £135.00 per week
Homestay accommodation (special diet): £155.00 per week
Accommodation booking fee: £80.00 per booking period


A non-refundable deposit should be sent to ULC with a completed homestay accommodation application form. Accommodation cannot be reserved until this is received. The accommodation deposit will be sent to the homestay provider to reserve the room for the first four weeks.

£540.00 (standard diet) or

£620.00 (special diet)


£80.00 (booking fee)


£620.00 or £700.00

The weekly accommodation fee (£135.00 or £155.00) should be paid to the homestay provider in advance on a weekly / monthly basis (unless a special arrangement has been made through the University Language Centre (ULC) before the arrival of a student).


Seasonal charges
Students wishing to reside in homestay accommodation over the Christmas and New Year period are subject to additional accommodation fees (see below): 
 24 December and 25 December  £50.00
 31 December and 01 January  £50.00

Application form

Homestay accommodation application form - October 2018 - June 2019  

Homestay accommodation booking conditions - October 2018 - June 2019