FAQs about Homestay Accommodation

Wondering what homestay accommodation is? Read our blog post on the FAQs about homestay here and find out what it is, and what's included and not included in your weekly stay.

Homestay Accommodation UCT English Language Centre
Homestay accommodation is a popular option for students who wish to experience Cape Town like a local, by living with people from Cape Town. You will get to share in some real local life, the Cape Town way, and practice your English daily. In addition, with breakfast and dinner included, this is also the preferred option for those students who do not like to cook or don’t do it very well 🙂

1. What is homestay accommodation?

Homestay accommodation means staying in a home (apartment or house) with a local South African host mother or family.

2. Will I have my own room or will I be sharing a room?

This depends on the option you choose. You can choose to share a bedroom with another student, or you can choose your own bedroom. We generally put ELC students in their own rooms. The various options are price dependent.

3. Will I have my own bathroom or will I share a bathroom?

Again, this will depend on what you would like. There are more expensive options which will include a private bathroom, while the more standard options will generally mean sharing a bathroom either with the family or with others.

4. What is included in the price when I stay with a host family?

Use of all common areas and television, electricity, water, light breakfast and dinner with the family/ host mother daily, fresh linen on a weekly basis and your own key to the house.

5. Are there are other students staying in the same homestay or will I be the only student?

Yes, in some houses / large apartments there are other international students and sometimes other language schools. If you do not wish to share with other students, then this is something you can specifically request.

6. Are the homestays located close to the school?

Some homes will be closer to the school than others. Those situated in the colourful and historical Bokaap are located in the city centre and about 15 minutes walking distance to the school. Homes situated closer to the sea and waterfront are about 10-15km away and students will need to take a short bus ride to school and back home every day.

7. Where will I be able to do my laundry?

Some hosts will do a load of washing a week for you. Other hosts will direct you to a laundromat nearby.

8. What transport options are available if I don’t stay within walking distance to the school?

You can either catch the MyCiti bus, Uber (which is very cheap in South Africa) or, depending on where you are located, you may even be able to use the University’s free bus service which drives between university campuses.

9. Will I have access to the internet?

Yes, hosts provide WIFI. However, please note that wifi speed and connection in South Africa is not as fast as you may be accustomed to in other countries. 

10. What if I don’t feel at home with my host family?

Your comfort is our priority and in the first week we check that you are happy with your Homestay or we arrange a new host for you to stay with.

11. Will my room be cleaned for me?

You need to keep your room tidy. The host will keep the house clean and may have a cleaner working once or twice a week. You can give permission for the cleaner to clean your room or not.

If you would prefer to live more independently, or if you are coming as a couple or family, the UCT English Language Centre can arrange the booking of private apartments for the duration of your stay in Cape Town.

For  more information on homestay accommodation, please contact our accommodation officer, Catherine via email on catherine.scott@uct.ac.za.


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