Tips for a Great Homestay Experience

It’s up to you whether you expect your homestay to be just a place to eat and sleep or whether you want it to be part of your English education, part of your cultural experience, and the start of a meaningful friendship for life. If the latter is what you want, here are some tips to help you succeed:

  • Spend some time conversing with your host parents every day (even if it is hard at first when you don’t speak much English).
  • Set conversation topics with them so that you can learn about life in Canada.
  • Tell them about your country and your life there. Share photos and stories with them.
  • Help out with chores in the home. Ask what you can do to help so that you become part of the family and not just a guest.
  • Go with them to the things that they do (try their church, their clubs, visits to their family friends).
  • Ask them to help you with your English. Invite them to teach you a new word every day.
  • Teach them some of your language too so the learning goes both ways.
  • Ask them questions about festivals, special holidays and family traditions. Tell them about yours.
  • Ask questions about things you don’t understand. Find out why they do things the way they do.
  • Share your feelings. Tell them if you are lonely or homesick. Ask them to help you.
  • Be honest. Say when there are problems and work with them to solve the problems. Solving difficult situations together makes for a stronger relationship.
The Canadian Advantage

The Canadian Advantage

The two countries that receive the most applications from international students are the USA and Great Britain, but both are expensive compared to Canada. You should compare tuition fees and cost of living, work in the currency exchange rate, and then start calculating value. British Columbia consistently serves up the best value – affordable education, an excellent system known the world over, safe and beautiful environment, and plenty of choice. And becoming an international student is often easier in Canada than in other English-speaking countries.

Study Permits, needed for many international students, are obtainable from Canadian consular offices in almost every major country. The process is simple and applications are generally processed quickly. Once you are living in Canada as an international student you can renew your Study Permit to complete your high school studies and also your post-secondary education. College and University student visa holders are often allowed to work while they study and also may stay in Canada to work after completion of their degree.