The “CELTA” and the “DELTA” are two popular teaching qualifications within the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) sector. In the UK, many aspiring EFL teachers choose to take these courses to (i) get into the EFL sector for the first time, or (ii) as a means of professional development in teaching.
CELTA & DELTA Courses
So, what are the CELTA and DELTA students qualifications?
The CELTA is the “Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults”. It is the a highly regarded English teaching certification and recognised internationally. It’s awarded by the University of Cambridge’s English Language Assessment. Each year, more than 10,000 people the world over complete a CELTA course.
The DELTA is the “Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages”. It is an advanced EFL qualification which can be taken after a few years of EFL teaching experience. Many people choose the DELTA to advance their qualifications.
London accommodation – The challenge!
Many CELTA/DELTA students choose to take these courses in London. These students might be UK nationals looking to take the teaching qualifications to help them find work abroad. Likewise, there are many international English teachers who choose to travel to London to take their qualifications.
For those that are based here already, finding accommodation for their course is unlikely to be an issue. However, students that are specifically travelling to London to take these courses will come up against challenges.
The CELTA and DELTA courses are usually weeks in duration, and not months. This means that accommodation options will more restricted; much more so than for students who are here to study longer courses (6 months +).
For visiting CELTA or DELTA students therefore, Homestay can provide an excellent, and affordable, short-term accommodation solution.
What is Homestay accommodation?
Homestay accommodation is short-term accommodation with a “host family” or “homestay host”. Hosts can be typical families (mum/dad & children), single people or retired couples, so they can be from very varied backgrounds. The common theme is that the host(s) choose to open up their own homes to visiting international guests, on a short-term basis.
The typical homestay guest is an international student here to take a language course, or sometimes an internship, in London. That said many visiting CELTA or DELTA students choose to stay in homestay accommodation for the same reasons as international language students.
Choosing to stay with a Host Family
There are numerous reasons to choose this accommodation option:
- “Find your Feet” – guests will have a point of support in the form of their Homestay hosts. This can be especially helpful if you are new to London and need some help to find your feet here.
- Live local – living with a host family can give the guest an authentic “local” experience of London life
- Affordability – Homestay is a much more affordable short-term accommodation option than say Airbnb’s, Hotels, Halls of Residence or Serviced Apartments.
- No damage deposit – many other forms of accommodation require an upfront damage/security deposit. This can be the equivalent of between 4 to 6 weeks rent. There are no damage deposits required when booking homestay.
- Practise your English – living with a native English speaker gives you the opportunity to speak more English!
- Add meals to your accommodation –guests can choose to add meals (breakfast and/or dinner) to their homestay package.
Is Homestay right for everyone?
If you are willing to be flexible, then booking a homestay for your CELTA or DELTA course has many advantages.
However, the key to making it work is flexibility. For you, as the guest, this might mean that there are ground rules around things like:
- Times to use the shower or kitchen
- Over-night guests (unless by agreement with your hosts)
- Opening a bank account using the homestay address (unless by agreement with your hosts)
- Noise levels (at particular times of the day)
Flexibility is important as you will essentially be sharing someone else’s home. Your hosts will want to make it a “home from home” experience for you, but homestay works well when both host and student are prepared to be flexible. If, really, you want a more independent form of accommodation, then homestay is perhaps not right.
If you can be flexible enough to integrate into somebody else’s home, then homestay can provide an authentic London experience that cannot be gained in a hotel, or other accommodation.