What you need to know before hiring a Homestay
Homestay is a type of accommodation where an international student lives with a local family. You can hire this service through an English school, in its accommodation department, directly with a homestay family or a third-party accommodation service provider.
Homestay is one of the most affordable and popular options for students, of all ages when they are studying abroad.
If you are considering this type of accommodation, here are some important tips we would like to share.
Educational institutions have their own accommodation department and their responsibility is to carefully select families to accommodate students.
Studying in a multicultural country such as Canada, you might have a multicultural family hosting you as well.
Including accommodation on your study abroad program is optional.
On the application form, it will be asked about the student’s health and special needs so the school can select a family that fits their needs and proceed with the booking.
Two weeks prior to students’ arrival he/she will receive all family information.
TIP: Book your accommodation as soon as possible. Especially if you plan to travel during summertime.
For security reasons, in a homestay, the student won’t be allowed to cook.
For that, the meals will be provided by the host family. Some families offer only breakfast while others also provide lunch and dinner.
TIP: Keep your mind open to new types of food according to the country you are travelling to. In Canada, for example, a typical lunch could be a sandwich once dinner is considered the main meal of the day and happens around 7 pm.
You can book a single or double room, in case you are not travelling alone. Some homestays also offer in-suite rooms, but in most homestays, you will probably share a washroom with another student.
It’s your responsibility to keep your room clean and organized.
You will probably live around 40 to 50 minutes from your school by public transportation. The distance and travelling time might vary according to the city you are travelling to.
Language schools are always located in the downtown area close to the subway or bus stop and big colleges are usually located in the suburb providing more space and large infrastructure to the students.
Unlike language programs where the weekly price is proportionally lower according to the number of weeks you buy, in the accommodation, you can buy 4 or 24 weeks and the price per week will be the same and today this price varies from $225 to $300 per week.
We advise you to book 4 weeks of homestay, so you have a place to stay and a local family to host you once you arrive in a new country.
If you like the family, the house location and the food you can extend your stay purchasing extra weeks.
Regardless of your language level try to always communicate with your host family.
Remember they use to receive students from different backgrounds who are travelling to learn or improve their knowledge of a new language.
Keep all your value objects, documents and extra money locked in your luggage.
Unless previously authorized by your host family do not invite or bring your friends to your homestay.
You are now a member of a new family and must do your part to maintain a good and safe environment for yourself and the others