Your Home Away From Home
When you come to Victoria to study, for either a few weeks or a few years, a big part of your educational success is determined by your living arrangements. Living with a local family is a great way to make Canadian friends, learn first-hand about Canadian culture, practice English and, maybe most importantly, provide a supportive home-away-from-home experience.
Homestay parents look after everything—from meeting you at the airport, to being a sympathetic ear during bouts of homesickness. They make you feel like one of the family. Students often find comfort in the little things, like taking the family dog out for a walk or simply knowing that their homestay parents are there to listen, empathize and respond to their feelings as they adjust to their new environment.
Tips for Homestay Success
- Communicate with your homestay family as soon as you have their contact information. It’s nice to introduce yourself and start getting to know one another.
- Find out what you have in common. Do they share your love of soccer? Are there hiking trails to explore? Dance classes to attend together? Talk about things to do.
- Use mealtimes with your homestay family to get to know each other better.
- Find out before arriving if your homestay family has any pets, and make sure you are okay with them.
- Be prepared to share your favourite food with your homestay family—you can even show them how to prepare it!
- Bring along a few condiments from home to add a familiar taste to your food.
- Offer to help with chores. Clearing dishes, walking the dog or washing the car are all part of living at a homestay and being part of a family.
- Communicate often with your own family. Let them know the new things you are learning about Canada’s culture and people.
- Take pictures and post them on your school’s Facebook or Instagram pages. Share your experiences!
Learn more about Homestay Programs
- Victoria International High School Programs
- Sooke Schools International Student Program
- Saanich International Student Program
- University of Victoria Homestay Program
- Royal Roads University Housing and Homestay
- Camosun International Student Homestay Program
Private Language Schools
Other Homestay Resources