International Student Program
School District 47 - Powell River
Hosting a Student

Click here to view the Homestay Participation Agreement

 

 

 


A homestay with a Canadian Family can be an enriching cultural experience and is an important component of our program. Canadian families share their homes with students and students participate in the everyday activities of their host family. This is an excellent opportunity for students to improve their English and to establish many close friendships. Powell River School District has many fine homes and families interested in hosting our International Students.

The way to make the most of your Canadian living experience is to come with an open mind. Come prepared to participate in family life and share in the responsibilities of being a family member. The homestay experience you will have will largely depend on you and your attitude and your friendliness.

The first few weeks living in a new country with a new family will, at times, be difficult. You may feel homesick and frustrated with your new environment and the language. This is natural. Give yourself time to adjust to your new surroundings.

If you choose to participate in family holidays and/or travel where costs are incurred, you are expected to assist in bearing the costs. Where you choose not to participate in the activity, then you and the homestay parents must make alternate arrangements that are acceptable to everyone, including the international program expectations. The International Program staff should be notified if students are not staying at or with their host parents.

Homestay Policy

Policy: When a parent/agent enrolls a student in our Homestay Program  the expectation is that the student will stay in our homestay program for the duration of the enrolled academic program UNLESS At the time of application it was specifically requested that the homestay placement be for a limited period (eg for September only or from September until January). 

Note: This option will ONLY be approved if we are certain that the future privately-arranged homestay provides the necessary supervision requirements (ie an adult over 25 years of age living in the home)

Rationale: We are seeing more and more students trying to leave our homestay program and wanting to move into a private home where their native language and customs are the same as the student’s. Our website describes the homestay experience:

A homestay with a Canadian Family can be an enriching cultural experience and is an important component of our program. Canadian families share their homes with students and students participate in the everyday activities of their host family. This is an excellent opportunity for students to improve their English and to establish many close friendships. Powell River School District has many fine homes and families interested in hosting our International Students.

It is our belief that the Canadian Family experience is why the natural parents enroll their child in our Homestay Program. Sometimes soon after the student arrives they provide their parent’s with a skewed version of their homestay experience. The website goes on to say:

The first few weeks living in a new country with a new family will, at times, be difficult. You may feel homesick and frustrated with your new environment and the language. This is natural. Give yourself time to adjust to your new surroundings.

Advantages of our Homestay Program:

When a parent enrolls their student into our homestay program they can have confidence that their child will be in a safe, caring environment. Our homestays:

    • Have criminal record checks done regularly and they are kept on file in our office

    • Have been visited by our staff at least once and re-visited as time goes along

    • Are regularly in communication with our office (and vice versa)

    • Are provided with a network of homestays to help and support each other

    • Have access to our International District Principal’s coordinator's emergency cell phone number

    • Are not allowed to collect more than the approved monthly fee for room and board

    • Must meet a standard as described on our website (Homestay Expectations)

As a result we get to know our families and if they do not provide what we require in a homestay they are removed from our program.

Changing Homestays:

When we match a student with a homestay we rely a great deal on the student’s completed homestay application. If there is minimal information on the application, it increases the chance of a mis-match. However, even in cases where the student has given us a good indication of their interests, dislikes, allergies, etc, sometimes the personalities just don’t work. The process is the students (or the homestays) are to come to me and let me know what is happening. If I can give them advice to try to improve the situation, I will. Oftentimes it is just basic miscommunication and things are quickly resolved. If, after a good, honest effort and after some time has gone by, it’s still not working, a new homestay within our homestay program will be arranged. We require that the student (or the homestay, if they are requesting the change) give 2 week’s notice. If they are not willing/able to stay the 2 week’s then it is expected that there will be payment in lieu.

Opting Out of our Homestay Program:

If a student wishes to continue their education in our school district and they are accepted, they may choose to move into a private-arranged homestay. They will have demonstrated that they can be successful in school and in our community; they will have better English skills; and they will be more familiar with our community and our school system. Our only condition is that the privately-arranged homestay meets the necessary supervision requirements (ie an adult over 25 years of age living in the home).

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