Homestay Information for Students

Schools in the Saanich district are located in beautiful neighbourhoods. Families from these neighbourhoods are carefully screened to host international students before they qualify. We understand the importance of a quality placement for every student.  The Program ensures that students are placed in clean, caring homes and is responsible for on-going monitoring of the family and of the student.

Information for students

In many cases, one of the family’s children attends school in this district. In fact, your host siblings may actually attend the same school you will attend. In addition, we try to house the student in a neighbourhood near the school.  Please note that the schools are located not far from downtown Victoria, and the city transportation service is safe and efficient.

Homestay Families – A Friendly Environment

Our host families have been screened and deemed able to provide an appropriate and healthy environment for an International Student. Families undergo a criminal background check. Families are also interviewed and their homes visited by our Homestay Coordinators on staff to assess interest, friendliness, and concern for the growth and development of the student. The emphasis is on a home that provides the student with comfortable surroundings and a place for practicing and developing English Language Skills and an appreciation for the culture in B.C. The Program works hard to ensure that International Students are placed with families that best match the needs of the student including:

  • Dietary needs
  • Pets
  • Siblings
  • Smoking, non smoking

Despite the International Student Program’s best efforts, perfect matches may not always be available.


The International Student shall expect the following from the Homestay Family:

1. A private room

  • with window, near by smoke detector – fire drill procedures to be explained
  • Bed and bedding, dresser, desk, chair, lamp, closet
  • Adequate heat, light and ventilation
  • Your Homestay family will discuss with you what can be put on bedroom walls and how to attach items.

2. Access to bathroom and bathing facilities

3. Three meals daily and other reasonable incidental foodstuffs. Your Homestay family will discuss with you as to who is responsible for what meal preparations

4. Access to laundry facilities and procedures / routines

5. If you have access to Internet, you will be asked to follow the rules of the house. It won’t be possible to be on Internet for hours and hours and it is easy to understand why. We want you to share moments with your family and to practice the English language as often as possible. We do understand that you want to be in touch with your family and friends on a regular basis … but that does not require hours of Internet every evening.

The Homestay Family will also meet reasonable transportation needs, however this does not include daily transportation to and from school.
The Homestay Family does not cover the extra-curricular school costs and extra costs for family outings, though Homestay Families will often pay for some activities.

Your Role – A Member Of The Family

It has been determined that the Homestay environment provides the greatest opportunities for the learning and acquisition of the English Language. It is also the ideal setting for learning new skills and experiencing ordinary English Canadian life. The Homestay Coordinators aim to integrate you as a regular family member as much as possible. Do not expect to be treated as an “honoured guest”, instead you will be included in family life and activities like a regular member of the family. As such, you will be expected to complete your share of household chores. For instance, you will be responsible to keep your room clean, in addition to maintaining tidiness in other areas of the house. You should also be prepared to help with meal preparation, cleaning of dishes, and even doing your own laundry. All forms of household chores and work are in fact excellent learning opportunities and sharing moments between family members.

Read more: Homestay Information for Students