Your Oxford Host Family


Most CIE students stay in host family accommodation. This provides you with the unique opportunity to share the daily life of a British family.


During the week you will have breakfast and dinner with your host family and at the weekend all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) will be provided. As CIE is situated in the centre of Oxford, an excellent bus service is available to and from the homes of all our host families. A host family will not accommodate more than four guests.


CIE’s accommodation officer inspects the homes of all host families regularly to ensure that they meet our high standards as well as those of the British Council.


Our Families

All of our host families are British families who speak English in the home and will help you practise your English outside of your lessons at school.


The United Kingdom is a multicultural nation with a diverse population, and our host families represent a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Our families mirror the United Kingdom as a whole and the various kinds of families that are found here. Some of our host families have two parents, and some are single-parent families. Some families have children living in the home, and others have no children. Some of our families are fairly young, and some are older and more mature.


If you would like to ask a question of our accommodation team, they can be contacted directly on [email protected].


Living with a Host Family

What you can expect from homestay accommodation organised by CIE:


  • Inclusion in family as full member of the household
  • An appropriate, well-lit and heated, clean room in good repair
  • A room located in clean, reasonably-sized house or flat
  • A bed and storage in the bedroom
  • Breakfast and dinner every day
  • Use of family rooms for recreation
  • Use of bathroom and available shower daily
  • Meals eaten together with family, for English-speaking practice
  • Bed linen and towels changed weekly and washing facilities for clothes made available
  • No more than 4 international students residing in the house at any time
  • Host family selected will be appropriate for the age, background and religion of the student
  • Host families will cater for any dietary requirements of the student, wherever possible, and a balanced diet will be provided
  • Accommodation checked every 2 years to ensure suitability
  • For students under 18, host families will have been police-checked and a responsible adult will always be present at night

We will make every effort to accommodate your wishes regarding family arrangements, i.e. number and age of children in house, pets, and smoking.

It is important to note that due to the diverse nature of British society our host families may be families with none or many children, only one parent or retired couples whose children have left home.

If you choose not to use our host family accommodation, it is important to remember that outside lesson time, it may be difficult to obtain English-speaking practice in a real-life environment. You are also obliged to inform us of any change of address during your stay with CIE Oxford, while in the UK.


If you have any problems arise during your stay, please do not hesitate to contact the Accommodation team who will try to resolve the problem or will help you find alternative accommodation.


Before you arrive in the UK we will send you your host family’s profile.


On your first day we will again help you with information about how to get from the centre of town to your accommodation, including any relevant bus timetables.




We have a small number of Private Homes; these families are able to accommodate more than 4 paying guests. However, we use these Private Homes only when requested by the paying guest(s). In all cases we send an accommodation profile before your arrival which will be confirmation of what has been agreed in the enrolment communication.


For students over 18 wishing to have greater independence, CIE can offer self-catering student apartments, which are suitable for one person or a couple. We can also offer advice on accommodation in a guesthouse or hotel, or for long-term students, renting a flat or a private room.


Please contact the accommodation team at [email protected] for more information.


During University holidays, CIE is occasionally able to arrange residential accommodation in a University college for groups upon request (and for a higher fee than host family accommodation).

See for more details.


*It is absolutely essential that you inform CIE Oxford of all details (and changes) about your accommodation!