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Become a Homestay Family

SCE has a long running homestay program for both adult and underage students. Homestay offers students the opportunity to live in a safe and caring environment while they can learn the local lifestyle and culture, make friends, and continuously practice and improve their English skills. On the other hand, homestay offers the host family the opportunity to learn about other cultures, act as ambassadors of Sydney, and develop international, long-lasting friendships.

The basics provisions a homestay family provides to their students are:

  • Private and comfortable bedroom with a solid bed, desk, chair, and wardrobe/drawers
  • Sufficient lighting, heating, and cooling
  • Breakfast and dinner everyday as well as lunch on the weekends/non-school days
  • Wireless internet access
  • Bed linen and towels, changed regularly
  • Access to common areas of the house including kitchen, bathroom, and laundry facilities
  • First Day Practice – travelling with the student on the weekend or their first day of school from home to SCE and back to teach them the public transport route
  • Plenty of time spent together in the afternoons and evenings, especially over dinner, and on the weekends
  • A clean and tidy home
  • A house key for access to the home

Qualities required in homestay families include:

  • Cultural sensitivity e.g. Considering different bathroom habits
  • Flexibility e.g. Accounting for different food preferences
  • Caring and friendly nature e.g. Showing the student different places around Sydney
  • Helpful and proactive eg. Helping students with SIM cards, Opal cards, English homework
  • Patience e.g. Understanding the students can struggle to communicate as they are just learning English
  • Communicative e.g. Discussing any concerns about a student with SCE
  • Responsible e.g. Knowing the whereabouts of the student if out with friends or exploring Sydney

Homestay families can elect to host males only/females only, adults only/kids only, or happy with anyone. Our students study for all different purposes and with different goals so there can be short-term students learning some English while on holidays and also long-term students preparing to move into an Australian high school or tertiary course. Students arrive with varying English levels and come from all different countries and cultural backgrounds.

Joining the SCE Homestay Program offers security in your homestay placements as SCE is an intermediary between students and families, dealing with all bookings, payments, and changes, and helping to mediate any concerns that should arise.

Important points:

  • Students must be able to travel to and from SCE within 60 minutes and the closer, the better.
  • Teenage girls are not placed into homes with teenage boys.
  • There are highs and lows in the demand of homestay throughout the year so you should expect breaks from hosting.
  • Some placements are long-term, but many students are just here for a short period of time.
  • Hosting a student is not like renting out a spare room. Homestay families agree to take students into their day-to-day family life.
  • All adults in the home must have a Working with Children Check.
  • All household members must speak fluent English, no matter if not born in Australia, and speak English at home.

A weekly fee is paid by SCE to cover the student’s stay including all food, utilities, and laundry use.

If you are interested in becoming a homestay family for Sydney College of English, please fill out this application and our Accommodation Manager, Georgia, will contact you. If you have any questions first, please contact Georgia on

Your Family and Home

Include all family/household members' names, birthdays, occupations, countries of birth (and years in Aus if applicable)
Are you located close to shops, parks, transport, restaurants, beach etc.? Are there any amenities available to the students at your home eg. pool, gym?
Please note that charging is strongly discouraged, but the maximum is $10 per week and it's up to you to ask the student for this from their arrival.
To check if you are easily compatible with any students' specific dietary requirements.

Your Students

Unless in extenuating circumstances approved by SCE, the maximum number of students per household is 3
Note: teenage girls will not be placed in a home with teenage boys (family members nor students)
Students are asked to provide dietary requirements upon enrolment
Outside only

Homestay History

If yes, please give details
If yes, please give details


SCE requires two personal references from members of the community to attest to the good reputation and character of potential Host Families. Please ensure these people are prepared to be contacted.

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Online Brochure

We are sad to announce that due to the impact of COVID-19, Sydney College of English is no longer delivering classes. As of Monday 1st June 2020, all current students transferred to IH Sydney where they will continue in the same course of study. SCE staff are still available to assist with any queries until Friday 26th June 2020. Please do not hesitate to contact our team at


As a proud member of the ELICOS community in Sydney since 1987, SCE has been an influential place in the lives of the many staff and students who have been a part of the school over the years. As a place of education and growth, SCE strove to fulfil its mission: “to provide an environment in which students of any age are given the support to become capable, confident communicators who flourish and have successful lives as they continue to learn and develop their skills.” We have been touched by the heartfelt comments that we have received from past students and staff about their time at SCE and would like to acknowledge everyone who has contributed to the life of the college over the years. Quality, experience, success and personalised care have been at the heart of SCE and we are confident that these values will live on in the students and staff. We are proud of everything we have achieved and wish everyone who has been a part of this journey, the very best for the future.