Hosting a Student


As we know families come in many different shapes and sizes. Here are the criteria that is used to select host families:

A “family” can consist of a single host mother or father, older retired couple, couples without children, or a traditional family with children

English must be the language spoken in the home when students are present

Once the above conditions have been met, what do we expect from our host families? Physically, the prospective home should provide the full year student with:

  • their own bedroom with the appropriate privacy;
  • a room which has adequate light, a comfortable bed, chest of drawers, closet and a desk (if a desk is not provided in the room, a study area must be available). Pillows, bed linen, towels, toilet paper, bath mats and shower curtains should be provided;
  • three nutritious meals a day plus reasonable snacks and beverages… Breakfast is either prepared for the student (if that is the custom of the family) or breakfast foods must be available for the student to prepare their own, a bag lunch (either made by the student or the host parent), and dinner. The family can ask that a student help with the dinner, either setting the table, helping with the preparation, or clearing the table after, but only if other members of the family contribute also.
  • a safe environment


Ideally, we would like our host parents to treat the student as though they were a member of the family. Once we place a student in a homestay, the following is expected from the host families:

*Ensure that house insurance is sufficient to cover potential liability, property or accident claims. Many insurance companies have special clauses or riders for boarders.

  • no more than two international students will reside in a homestay; in the case of short term students this may be three or four students with shared bedrooms. Occasionally, 3 students may be in the same home under special arrangement.
  • if there are two students, they must be of different nationalities – i.e., Mexican and Japanese; Japanese and Taiwanese. This forces the use of English between the students. The occasional exception to this may be for short-term students or emergency homestay placements, but only when approved by the program;
  • students are to be included in any family-related activities (holiday celebrations, family dinners, family outings to a park, skating, McDonalds). However, entertainment costs are not part of the “contract”. For example, if the family is going skiing and the student accepts an invitation to join them, the host family is not responsible for paying ski lift costs;
  • supply a house key and explain appropriate security procedures.
  • charge only the homestay fee set by the Powell River School District. No advance rent, damage, and/or telephone deposits may be charged. If there are specific charges related to internet connection,  please notify the Homestay Coordinator.
  • the host family must ensure adult supervision of the host student at all times. Students attending high school programs cannot be left alone overnight. Arrangements must be made by the host family to have an adult over the age of 25 living in the home if they are planning to go away or other alternative arrangement in place so that adult supervision of the student is maintained. Contact the homestay coordinator if assistance is required.
  • students should be treated in an appropriate manner and reasonable house rules be visible – written rules are often a good idea.

Host Families should not:

  • accommodate anyone of the same nationality or language as the Powell River School District student residing in your home unless approved by the International office;
  • ask homestay students to provide babysitting services or undertake major housecleaning chores.
  • assume any legal or financial responsibility for a student (such as signing for phone services, internet services, or loans, etc.).
  • allow another guest or family member to share the student’s bedroom.
  • accept student placement if house renovations or construction projects are planned or underway.

If all does not go well:

If the relationship between the student and the family does break down, the following applies:

  • host families are given the right to sufficient notice if a student chooses to leave the homestay. Generally, two weeks notice must be given as a minimum.
  • similarly, the host family must give the student sufficient notice if they wish to have a student leave their home for whatever reason. Generally, two weeks notice should be given as a minimum.
  • the homestay program has the right to remove a student from a family if there are violations of the homestay rules. If we feel that a family is not living up to the required expectations or if the homestay environment is deemed, in any way, to be unsafe, we have the right to move the student immediately without the usual notice.
  • a student will be removed from the homestay if they are abusing the family’s rules; a student may be dismissed from the International Student Program if he/she violates homestay rules.
  • the homestay family must notify the homestay coordinator immediately if there are any problems or concerns.

Finally, we hope this is a very positive experience for you and your family and we thank you for your involvement in our program.