Hosting an international student in your home has some unique benefits for the host family. So often, people talk about the benefits of being an international student, of which there are many, but we can’t forget about everything host families get to experience too. 

In this article, we’ll share 8 benefits of hosting an international student in your home.

Gives you a new world view

Have you gotten so used to your daily routine and local life that you’ve forgotten you’re part of a much larger world? Many of our homestay families comment that hosting a student reminds them that there is more to our wide world than just work and sleep. It gives you an insight into all the wonderful cultures and places outside your four walls. Perhaps it could inspire you to travel more or get a better appreciation of other cultures in your own community. 

You can experience different cultures

An international homestay student is not a one-sided situation. Your student can also share aspects of their home and culture with you. Think of a homestay as a cultural exchange. You show your student about Canadian life and your culture, and they can teach you about theirs. 

Hosting has given us so much pleasure and enjoyment in living and learning about other cultures and their lifestyles. Trying new foods and being introduced to “their families” traditions around various holidays has been exciting!

Tarnia P.
Surrey, BC

You’ll learn more about your own culture

Hosting an International student is an opportunity to look inwards at your own culture and family traditions. This is because you’ll be sharing your culture with your student, and they may have questions. It could be an incredible opportunity to cook a traditional dish you haven’t made in ages or revive a family or cultural tradition you may have forgotten about. 

You’ll learn more about your own community

Many people don’t often take the time to fully explore and experience their own community backyard. When you have a homestay student, it might push you to explore more of the sights and sounds in your community or visit places you don’t often go to as a “local.” In Greater Vancouver, this may mean visiting Granville Island or Stanley Park.

Make new international connections and friends

Your tenure as a host family may be short-lived for each student, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never speak to or see them again. We find that many host families stay in touch with their students and their families long after they leave. Living with a new family for long periods creates a bond between the student and family, a bond that you may decide to keep over the long term. 

Perhaps one day, if you decide to visit the student’s country on your own vacation, their family might be able to show you around too. 

Our family has grown exponentially to include our students and their families…Who we still keep in touch with years later. Hearing how happy our students’ parents are with their growth during their time abroad gives us a sense of pride in what we do.

Stacey G.
Coquitlam, BC

Improves your communication skills

Language barriers may seem like a struggle for a host family and their international student. Instead, view it as a challenge to improve your own communication skills. You’ll discover new ways to communicate when you can’t rely on your native language. This may include being more purposeful in your word choice or using other non-verbal communication, such as hand signals and pointing gestures. 

You can earn money

As a host family through Harmony Homestay, you’ll earn up to $1,050 per month hosting an international student in your home. This helps cover the food, transportation, and other expenses you may have to support your student during their stay. 

Hosting an international student won’t be an income replacement but is meant to help cover the costs of adding an additional family member (the student) for a short time. 

You’ll make new memories

You can’t put a dollar value on the memories you’ll make as a host family for an international student. Through new relationships, you’ll get new perspectives and make new memories. You might just visit someplace new in your community that you’ve never visited before. 

“The relationships built with the students is my favourite part of hosting. I love the energy and perspective that each student brings to our home.“

Jennifer C.
Surrey, BC

Who makes a good host family?

If you and your family want to experience all the above benefits and more, you’ll make a perfect host family. If you’re willing to share your knowledge and community with a youth and learn about their culture, you should become a homestay family through Harmony Homestay.

Aside from a desire to host an international student, with Harmony Homestay, we ask that all families:

  • Be Canadian citizens
  • Only speak English around your homestay student
  • Be able to provide 3 meals per day, plus snacks
  • Offer a safe home with a private bedroom with a window, bed, desk, and drawers and a wireless internet connection 
  • Agree not to leave the student alone overnight 
  • Must provide a criminal record check for all adults in the home 

We’ll match you with international students looking for a short or long-term stay with an authentic Canadian family. If you have a spare bedroom available and are ready to share your home and culture with others, become a homestay host family.

Learn more and apply to be a host family today!

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