Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Families
Am I required to provide meals to students?
Usually yes. However some students prefer to have either no meals or just one or 2 meals daily. A typical day within a homestay providing meals is as follows: Breakfast can be prepared by the student, as it does not require cooking skills. The host or student will pack a lunch to take to school or work upon mutual agreement. Dinner will be prepared by the host family. The student will eat with the rest of the family. Some students may want to be included in compiling the shopping list and/or visiting the supermarket with you.
How long does the average student/guest stay?
Summer students generally come for one to three months. Students arriving in autumn generally stay between three and six months. High school age students can stay much longer than this.
Do you check out the student?
Yes, we obtain home address information, identiﬁcation, and more. International students go through a screening process in their home country in order to be granted student visas by our embassies.
Do the Homestay rates include utilities, and which utilities?
YES, all homestays include all basic utilities; such as water, cable, internet, electricity, heat and hot water. Local telephone is also included, but most students use their own laptop or mobile devices.
What areas of my home should the student have access to?
The student should have access to common areas of the house; living room, bathroom, garden, etc. You may need to teach the student how to use laundry machines and kitchen appliances. For laundry, use of the machines, soap and fabric softener are included.
If I have a furnished one bedroom or two bedroom suite in the house, is this suitable?
YES, it must be fully furnished, have good heating for the winter and ventilation in the summer. Furniture should include a bed with adequate sheets, pillows and blankets, a dresser, closet and desk.
If the student would like to leave earlier than the agreed upon time period, what should be the arrangement?
The student/guest should give at least one week notice upon ﬁnding alternative accommodations, unless it is an emergency, in which case any notice is waived.
How will the student pay me?
The student/guest is expected to pay the monthly Homestay fee to HSH directly. Never discuss money or payments with your homestay student. If you have any questions of a financial nature, please contact HSH.
What do I do when the student arrives?
To a student/guest, ﬁrst impression is very important; therefore, we highly recommend that you take the time out of your busy schedule to show your new student/guest around your neighborhood and show them where to catch the bus, how get to school, etc. Some students would also like to open a bank account at a bank branch nearby or get to know how to do their basic shopping. As host, you also need to show your guest or student around your home and let them know how to use your kitchen equipment (toaster, microwave, kettle, etc.), laundry machine, and give them tips on how to stay safe in and outside your home and what to do in case of any emergency. Students normally get very busy later on when they start school, so the ﬁrst week is a great time to bond and get know each other.
Can I be a Homestay host even though I am a single person/have a non-traditional home?
Yes, Canadian families come in all shapes and sizes.
I don’t live next to campus; am I still eligible to be a host?
Yes. Many students prefer to live within walking distance of their school, but this is not realistic. As long as you live within 45 minutes commute by public transit to the downtown core, you are eligible to apply.
This is something my family would like to do - what should I do next?