Staying with a homestay family or individual is an excellent way of practising your English. You can choose Half-Board (including breakfasts and evening meals) or self-catering with the use of the kitchen.
When staying in an Alba English School homestay:
- Your room will have a bed and clothes storage.
- You should be able to use the washing machine once a week
- Study space will be provided (either a desk in your room or a living room/kitchen)
- Free Wi-Fi and bed line included
- You should do your best to fit into the routine of your host family
- Kitchen use may be limited (i.e. not after 9 pm)
- Your host will clean your room, but you should keep it neat and tidy
- There is usually a shared bathroom for the home. A private bathroom can be provided for an extra charge (limited availability)
Please note that we use an accommodation agency to allocate students to hosts. Please find their Terms and Conditions here
Accommodation is only provided for students who are taking part-time & full-time (from 15 hours per week) courses with us.
The minimum age to enrol in courses is 16 years old.
Homestay accommodation is not for you, find below other options available:
Book a room in a private home or apartment online
Quick booking, amazing choices
Book short term, self-catering rooms in private homes
Easy self-catering booking, the agency finds a room for you
Book studio apartments or en-suite rooms in shared apartments online
Easy booking, your own space and freedom
Book your own homestay family online
Quick booking, your own choice of family and location
Gumtree | Flatshares
Find short or long term rooms in shared flats
Usually the cheapest option
Book a room in a private home or apartment online – Quick booking, amazing choices
|Airbnb is a website where normal people rent out spare rooms in their house (or rent whole apartments). It is extremely popular in Europe, the US and over the world with around 100 million nights booked a year.|
|Location||★★★★★||Varies with price but you can choose the location you want to stay|
|Comfort||★★★★★||Check the reviews for each listing but usually excellent standards.|
|Freedom||★★★★✰||There will be “house rules” to agree to but they are usually flexible with coming and going.|
|Easy Booking||★★★★✰||It can be in your own language (probably). It takes a few minutes to set up your profile|
|Some hosts will talk a lot, other hosts you won’t see at all. Read the “interaction with guests” section.|
|Availability||★★★★✰||Usually plenty of availability (except in August). But booking early can mean a great price!|
£££ to £££££
|You could try asking for a discount if you are staying longer term. The cheapest prices are for listings out of the city centre, in low-season, with no reviews yet or book far in advance.|
When searching on Airbnb…
– use the “Filters” for your dates, home type and price
– “Private room” is usually cheaper than “Entire place”
– use the map to find somewhere close to the school. Search Homes → Causewayside, Newington Edinburgh
– read the “interaction with guests” section to find out how much you will see them
To message an Airbnb host, you could write…
I am and Italian student coming to Edinburgh to study English at Alba English School in the Newington area. Your place would be really convenient for me. Will I be able to use the kitchen?
Thank you and look forward to hearing from you!
Are you new to Airbnb? Use this link to sign up to get £25 off your first Airbnb booking and a £15 discount from your Alba English course.
Book short term, self-catering rooms in private homes – Easy self-catering booking, the agency finds a room for you
|Edlets is a local company that finds rooms or apartments in Edinburgh for short-term tourist, business or student visitors. They are friendly and helpful and often cheaper than Airbnb with excellent reviews.|
|Location||★★★★✰||Choose the approximate area you want to stay.|
|Comfort||★★★★★||Check the reviews for each listing but usually high standards. Most are in quiet areas, not far from the city centre.|
|Freedom||★★★★✰||The host will probably have some house rules.|
|Easy Booking||★★★★★||Online, email or by phone.
Tell them your details and they give you options and prices in about 24 hours.
|This varies from house to house.|
|Availability||★★★★✰||They usually have availability but book in advance for August.|
|Often cheaper than Airbnb|
Contact Edlets with…
– the dates you want to stay
– the location (say “walk or easy bus ride to Newington” to be closer to Alba English)
– your maximum price (or you can ask for the lowest cost room)
– your name, age, gender and nationality
I am coming to do an English course at Alba English School in Edinburgh. I am looking for a room from Sunday 7th April – Saturday 11th May. I want to be as close to Alba English School as possible (walk or easy bus ride to Newington) and I need to be able to use the kitchen. I would like the lowest price possible. I am a student, am 25 years old and from Spain. What options do you have?
Send Edlets a message or call them on +441315100020
Click here to book short term accommodation with Edlets.
Book your own homestay family online – Quick booking, your own choice of family and location
|Staying with a homestay family or local person is a great way of practising your English and on Homestay.com you can choose your own family.|
|Location||★★★★✰||Homestays are usually in quiet residential areas but on Homestay.com you can choose it.|
|Comfort||★★★★★||Check the reviews and photos but the standards are usually very high.|
|Freedom||★★★✰✰||The host will probably have some house rules.|
|Easy Booking||★★★★★||It takes a few minutes to set up your profile.|
|Speaking English||★★★★★||Homestay hosts will help you to practice your English.|
|Availability||★★★★✰||Can be limited so book early!|
|Price||£££||Can be cheaper than Airbnb|
When searching on Homestay.com…
– use the map to find homestays near Alba English School (Newington area, Edinburgh)
Here is an example of how you can introduce yourself:
I am a Korean student coming to Edinburgh to study English at Alba English School in the Newington area. Your place would be really convenient for me.
Thank you and look forward to hearing from you!
Click this link to find Edinburgh homestays close to the school on Homestay.com
Book studio apartments or en-suite rooms in shared apartments online – Easy booking, your own space and freedom
|Student Residences are modern and comfortable apartment blocks with individual en-suite rooms and a shared kitchen or studio apartments with your own small kitchen. You can usually stay for a few weeks in the summer or longer for the academic year (approximately September – June). They are usually more expensive than homestays or shared flats.|
|Location||★★★★★||They are usually in the city centre.|
|Comfort||★★★★★||There is usually a very high standard of comfort and cleanliness.|
|Freedom||★★★★★||You can usually come and go when you please.|
|Easy Booking||★★★★★||Usually online.|
|Speaking English||★★★★✰||Student Residences often have common areas where you can meet people – but you need to be proactive and start the conversation!|
|Availability||★★★✰✰||Usually up to 30 days in the summer (although you could book two places for 30 days each). From September – June you often need to stay for 9 months – but they sometimes have short term availability so contact them to ask.|
|Price||£££££||You will usually have to pay a deposit of approximately a week’s rent.|
Student Castle is closest to Alba English School (only a two-minute walk). Their studio apartments have en-suite bathrooms, kitchenettes with cooking utensils, towels and bedding. There is also a gym, common room and bicycle storage/hire. Check short-term availability at www.studentcastle-shortstay.co.uk and longer term (academic year September to June) availability at www.studentcastle.co.uk/edinburgh.
Unite Students have 5 Student Residences in the City Centre. Check short-term availability.
Find short or long term rooms in shared flats – Usually the cheapest option
|Finding a room to rent on Gumtree/Facebook can take time, but you can find a room in a flat with other young people rather than living with a family.|
|Location||★★★★★||Lots of locations to choose from.|
|Depends on where you choose.|
|Freedom||★★★★✰||There will be “house rules” to agree to.|
|Easy Booking||★★✰✰✰||You will need to email or text to arrange.|
|Speaking English||★★★★★||This depends on the flat you choose. Try to find a flat with sociable flatmates that don’t speak your language!|
|Availability||★★★✰✰||Depends on the time of year. July, August, September and October are the most difficult months (because of the summer festival and students starting their course).|
|Probably the cheapest option. Remember that you will probably need to pay a deposit (that you should get back when you leave).|
Facebook groups are a great place to look for rooms.
Gumtree is the most popular website to find a spare room.
A good idea is to set up an alert so you get an email when there is a new post.
Here are some really useful articles:
6 Best Affordable Areas to Live in Edinburgh (Alba English Blog article)
Sadly, some people will try to trick you when you are looking for a room. They will ask for money, but never give you a room. It’s really important to know how to avoid them. Check this guide for more information.
Alba English School makes no profit from accommodation except the £100 Arrangement Fee for Alba Homestay Accommodation. We have tried to be as impartial as possible but let us know if you think something on this page can be improved.