Are you thinking of opening up your home to an international homestay student? That’s amazing! There are so many benefits to Vancouver families becoming a host family. 

In this article, we’ll share the top reasons why you should apply to become a host family and share some tips so you can understand what the experience is like.

Share your culture with others

Vancouverites are often very dedicated to their cultures and roots. Being able to share these values and traditions with others is someone many of us enjoy doing. 

As a host family, you can show your culture to an international student. It’s an excellent opportunity to show an international student how diverse yet unique West Coast Canadian Culture can be. You can share typical Canadian foods and any foods your family enjoys. You can show them the freedoms (and responsibilities) and opportunities that come from living in Canada, which might differ vastly from their home country. 

As a homestay family, you get to be ambassadors for a diverse and inclusive Canada. 

Exposure to new cultures

You get to share your culture with your international student, and they will also teach you about their culture. It’s a great cultural exchange experience where you can broaden your awareness of other cultures and countries you may never have visited before. You might pick up a new tradition or cultural experience you’ll wish to keep doing after your homestay student has returned home. 

Canada, and especially Vancouver, is already a diverse community. With an international student in your home, you get a more personalized, hands-on education in other cultures that goes far beyond what you get walking down a new street or trying a new cuisine or restaurant in Vancouver. 

Have a life-changing impact on a youth

Knowing the impact you’re making on an international student is priceless. By opening up your home to a youth, you’re dedicating to creating a life-changing experience that your student will never forget. You may inspire them to one day move to Canada themselves or pursue a new passion or career path they learn more about while living in Vancouver. 

The possibilities for memories and life-long impact for an international student can’t be measured. But, as their host family, you can play a big part in providing the support these students need to explore West Coast Canadian Culture while making unforgettable memories. 

Make new memories

Making memories isn’t just for the students. The memories you and your family get from hosting an international student are just as wonderful. You never know what you can learn about another culture or yourself. 

If you have other children living in your home, imagine what they can learn from another youth in the home. You may not be able to travel extensively internationally with your own children, but you can bring a taste of that into your home with an international student. We’ve seen international students come to think of their homestay family as their family and your kids as their siblings. Watching your children play, learn, and grow with a new temporary family member can be incredibly heartwarming. 

Host family requirements aren’t difficult to have

It’s not difficult for your Vancouver family to qualify as a homestay host with Harmony Homestay. The first requirement is that you are a Canadian Citizen and can speak fluent English. Additionally, you must prove that you can provide a safe and appropriate environment for an international student in your home. You will be asked to:

  • Provide three meals per day, plus snacks 
  • Have a safe home with a private bedroom with a window, bed, desk, and drawers and a wireless internet connection 
  • not to leave the student alone overnight 
  • Pass criminal record checks for all adults in the home.

Aside from those more technical requirements, you must also have a passion for providing care and support for any student in your care. You’ll need to be ready to show them the local sights, not just limit their activities to home and school every day. 

Earn money

Host families are paid a small stipend to help support the cost of housing and feeding their international students. With Harmony Homestay, this amount is up to $1,050 per month. It can be a great supplementary income for a stay-at-home mom or any family ready to support a student in their home. 

Meet new people

Through partnering with a homestay organization like Harmony Homestay, you never know who you’ll meet. You may become close with your student’s family and visit them in their country one day. You often get connected with other local homestay families so you can support each other and plan activities to do as a larger group. 

What’s it like to be a homestay host family?

Being a homestay family is like inviting a guest into your home for a longer time than your typical houseguest. You’ll be providing their meals and helping them get to and from school. On the weekends, you can plan activities where you can take your student to see our great city’s different sights and sounds. 

Do you have a spare bedroom available in your Vancouver home? We’re looking for new homestay host families for international students that are ready and waiting to come to Vancouver. We offer both short- and long-term stays to meet your needs. 

Learn more about being a host family with Harmony Homestay, and apply to be a host family today. After sending us your application, we’ll be in touch to discuss the opportunities in more detail with you.

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