Old Town Hall in downtown Boston.


During their studies at OISE, most students stay in the home of a local host family. This is called a "homestay." Students will have their own private bedroom in the house and share meals and evening time with their host families. This is an excellent opportunity to gain insight into the American way of life and practice using English in an authentic environment. For students who prefer a more private living space, OISE can help book a hotel room or private apartment.


Doing a homestay in Boston is different from living in one's own home, but it is a rewarding way for students to improve their English while experiencing daily life in the US.

OISE host “families” do not always consist of two parents with children. For example, a widow or widower, a single person or a couple whose children are grown up can also make excellent hosts. Students should try to fit in with the everyday life of the household. If there are any minor difficulties or misunderstandings, most of these can be cleared up quickly with a little goodwill and good humor.

  1. Room: Hosts usually give students a house key, but often not a key to the student's room. The room should have a bed, lighting, a table or desk, a chair, and enough storage space for clothes.
  2. Meals: Students normally eat with other members of the household. If they cannot eat any particular food for health, religious, or other reasons, they must tell the host. Students should be on time for meals and remember to tell someone if they are going to be late or if they do not require a meal.
  3. Home Life: Students are expected to make their own bed. They may like to help with small jobs such as clearing the table after a meal, but they will not be asked to do housework. Sheets and towels are provided. The host will give access to laundry facilities or may be willing to wash students' clothes for them. Hosts will probably let students borrow their ironing board and iron, if required.
  4. Visitors: If the homestay family has invited their own friends to the house, students should try to be sensitive to their need for occasional privacy and not expect always to be included. Students must always ask for permission to invite friends and confirm where they should entertain their company and the time that they should arrive and leave.
A student residence hall in Boston.

Private Accommodation & Hotels

OISE staff can also help with private accommodation options. The staff have relationships with several hotels and companies that offer short-term rentals of studio and one-bedroom apartments.

Need more help? Contact OISE