If you are an international A student, and want to apply to the Homestay Program NOW, click on the link Application Process.
What is Homestay?
Homestay is a program designed to promote friendship, language learning and provide opportunities for cultural exchange between Canadians and international students who attend Vancouver Island University or the High School at VIU. Local residents open their homes to students, so they may experience friendship across cultures. Many life-long friendships have developed from these homestay experiences. In fact, many host families have traveled to their students' countries for weddings and visits.
Important: Please consider living with a Canadian family only if you are serious about wanting to challenge yourself in this way. Canada is country of immigrants from other countries, who bring their cultures and experiences with them. Host families are from a variety of racial and religious backgrounds.
Do not expect hosts to only be Caucasian. It is common for Canadians to speak English with an ‘accent’. English should be the language of daily use in the home.
Benefits of living in Homestay with a Canadian family
Living with a Canadian family means you have a support system to help you adjust to your new environment. Hosts will be happy to help you get a bank account (in your name only), show you how to use the bus system and community centers, and treat you like part of the family. Use the opportunity to practice your English, ask questions about homework, do activities with your host family. Living with a homestay family means that you will have to put effort into the relationship, but like all relationships, the more you put in, the more reward you receive. Many students find that their Canadian host family becomes like a second family, their life-long, "Canadian family".