Homestay Information

Host families provide essentially what they would normally provide for their own family:
• Private bedroom. Three wholesome meals a day and snacks as required
• Quiet, well-lit and heated study space
• Bathing/showering facilities
• Laundry
• Emotional support if the student is suffering from homesickness, difficulties at school, etc
• Access to the common living areas of the house
• Interaction with family members and participation in family activities

Much consideration is given to matching a student with a host family.

The Homestay Services Co-Ordinator takes great care in reviewing the student’s application and determining: their likes/dislikes; if there are any allergies; if they are musical; if they are from a large family, etc.
The Homestay Services Co-Ordinator then seeks to place the student in a family with similar interests and experiences. The first few days are the hardest. Students can expect that the host family will do the following
during these exciting days:
• Teach student how to use the phone, what the host family phone number is and emergency numbers, how to use the phone directory, and rules for making calls.
• Help student arrange for a personal phone, if requested (see above).
•Go with student to open a bank account. Stress not to carry large amounts of money or leave it at
home. Show student how to use his/her ATM card and explain the importance of keeping the PIN number secret.
• Go over school information with student.
• Discuss schedules for breakfast, showering, school, supper, etc.
• Show student the route to and from school, or where to get on/off the bus.
• Visit some local points of interest.
• Establish a pattern of daily conversation. Have student help make a list of conversation topics to get through the first few weeks.
• Relax and make the student feel comfortable.

Host families are encouraged to take an active interest in their student’s school work and performance.
They do so by encouraging the timely completion of homework and checking on progress and attending
meetings and parent/teacher conferences when needed. We believe that showing an interest in student’s progress contributes positively to his/her Canadian education experience.

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.

Home

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

Become a host parent

How to Apply to Become a Host Parent

Homestay Duration:
3 weeks to 10 months

Homestay Requirements:

As a home-stay parent you are expected to provide the support that you would normally provide for your own family:

  • a private bedroom furnished with the following:
    • a bed with a proper mattress and bedding
    • a desk with a lamp and adequate lighting
    • a window that opens
    • a closet and set of drawers
  • three wholesome meals a day and snacks as required
  • a quiet, adequately lit and heated study space
  • hot water and facilities for daily bathing
  • basic toiletries, such as soap, shampoo, etc.
  • laundry (you may expect a student to do their own laundry if you wish)
  • emotional support if the student suffers from homesickness, difficulties at school, etc.
  • academic support (help with homework if possible, communication with teachers, attendance at parent-teacher-student interview, etc.)
  • inclusion of the student in family outings, trips to restaurants, special occasions, recreational activities
  • access to the common living areas of the house
  • house key
  • pickup and drop-off to the airport or ferry
  • transportation to and from student activities (host families living in remote areas will be required to provide more transportation)

Homestay Application Process:

  1. Read the Host-Family-Agreement.pdf
  2. Read the Host Family Guide
  3. Fill out and submit the online application
    Once you submit the online application it will be sent to our Homestay Coordinators.  They will review your application and contact you by email.
  4. Schedule a home visit and interview with a Homestay Coordinator.

Upon acceptance as a Host Family we require the following:

  • Criminal Record Checks for all residents of the home 18 years and older
  • Signed Host Family Agreement
  • Direct Deposit Form with a void cheque or printout from your banking institution
  • 1 digital photograph of the whole family
  • 1 digital photograph of the family home
  • 1 digital photograph of the student room

Return the Direct Deposit form to us and attach a void cheque or print out from your bank.

You can return the forms by scanning and emailing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Claremont) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Stelly's) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Parkland).

You can fax the form and void cheque to 250-655-2735

You can send the form and void cheque in the mail to:

SISP
10640 MacDonald Park Rd.
Sidney, BC V8L 5S7

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