Homestay Guide


These notes are prepared to help hosts anticipate the expectations of their students and as a result, to help to make their homestays successful.

What Makes a Home Away From Home?

  • A family who is interested in sharing their lifestyle with others.

  • A family who is sensitive and can realize that students will need nurturing and support as it is often overwhelming to be so far away from home.

  • A family who can appreciate that each student is unique. What worked with one student may not work with another. Differences do not mean that one way is better than another.

  • A family that wants to take part in a positive and mutual learning experience. You should not take students for monetary reasons only. We know from experience that this does not work. The students feel this and it interferes with the intended Homestay experience.

  • Homestay is an opportunity for people of different languages and cultures to live together and learn together.

  • Our students are looking for a home away from home. We are not just providing room and board, - but rather a safe, secure and welcome environment. Sometimes matches with hosts and students do not work out.

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Considerations When Thinking of Hosting a Student

  • Will you be in town for the duration of the student’s stay? Hosts can be away for up to a total of 3 consecutive days during the student’s stay.
  • Are the members of your family flexible enough to accept a student with a language and cultural difference from your own?
  • If you have children do they agree with taking a student into the family and feel comfortable with the nationality?
  • Do you have the time to devote to the student? Your student may be very independent, or may need some extra time and support. We have found that even the students who are very self-assured still appreciate good quality time with their host family.
  • How many students is it reasonable to look after? Two students is a reasonable number to look after. They find consolation in being with someone else in their own situation.
  • Do you have household insurance (tenants insurance) that covers you if you host students? There may be exclusions to your insurance or limits to the number of students you can host.

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Host Responsibilities


- Each student must have a bed, a desk, a lamp, a chest of drawers or closet, clean bedding and towels, soap, toilet paper, etc.

A student’s room should be private and not shared with other family members.

- A major concern to students is the number of students in one household. Please let us know if you accept additional students from other schools, to help us keep track of how many students are in your home and avoid double booking.

Airport Pick Up

- Airport pickup arrangements are usually handled by the school or student agency. You will be advised of student approximate arrival time.

- We do not have control over the arrival dates or times, and realize that it is often very inconvenient, especially if this information has been relayed to the host at the last minute.

Communications are a two way street; you are the leader

- Most students are very caring and appreciative of their hosts

- In some cases; however, it may be necessary for you, to remind your students that you are not your students hosts, nor their servants. Your home is not a hotel.

- Having said that, as hosts, you are typically older, more settled and more sophisticated than students or visitors to our country. We are typically more tolerant of the differences among cultures and some students may not realize your interest in them.

- You are not responsible for what happens to the student when he/she is away from your home.


- Use English when speaking to the students. This enables them to reinforce what they have learned in class.


- Students should have two or three healthy, nutritional adequate meals provided for them each day.


-Please help the student to be at school on time, at least to begin their course of study! Typically, students do not get to choose their schedule. On the first day they may be interviewed and take a test that will determine placement and schedule.

Time together

- Spend as much time as possible with your students especially on the first and second weekend. This helps to establish a good relationship and gives a chance for the student to settle in.

- Invite students to join in some of your families activities and outings. Any costs involved should be explained in the beginning so the student can budget effectively. Students house not be charged for any food costs at these times.

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