Homestay Guidelines

When you are hosting a student or a visitor, you become a homestay ambassador of your country. Hosts need to be kind, hospitable and responsible. We have set the following guidelines for all host families to adhere to, as we have set guidelines for the students to make the best homestay experience possible.

  1. The homestay family is required to avoid treating the student or visitor as a tenant by making the student or visitor feel welcome as a house guest. The host family must be tolerant of the student’s foreign customs and habits. Remember always to be understanding, have patience with the student, and be mindful that their language barriers.
  2. As a homestay host, you would provide the student or guest with:
    • A private furnished room with a window and a door.
    • A comfortable bed (including linen, duvet cover, blanket, and two pillows).
    • Night table with a lamp, power outlet, and a closet.
    • Desk with chair with sufficient lighting.
    • Access to a shared or private bathroom.
    • When a ready meal is not included, access to a shared kitchen or private kitchenette.
    • Access to in-house laundry; if not available, a nearby laundromat.
    • Wireless Internet access.
  3. When you include meals to students, the primary host must provide nutritious meals, mostly homemade when possible. The meals, especially dinner, should be served around home gatherings, and the student or visitor must feel welcome at the table at all times.
  4. When you include snacks, the host should offer healthy snacks such as yogurt, fresh fruits, milk, juice, tea and coffee etc., which need to be accessible to the student or visitor.
  5. You must not offer alcohol, cigarettes, and illegal drugs to minors or allow your guests to consume them at your home.
  6. Upon arrival ensure that your student has a list of house rules in their room, nearby public transportation schedules, a map of the city, and wireless internet username and password.
  7. Ensure that your student has your home address including your phone number in case the student become unable to return home or get lost in the city.
  8. During the student or visitor’s homestay, the host family must show the student or visitor how to get to places of interest such as schools, community centers, attractions, and public transportation.
  9. Only one student or visitor is allowed per room unless there is a special request by the homestay applicant for shared accommodation with their companion. 
  10. The host family must ensure that the student has a quiet environment to study and succeed in school and a quiet time to sleep and rest.
  11. The host family must speak English, or another language, for example, French in French-speaking states or territories, in the student’s or guest’s presence. 
  12. Under no circumstances should the host family be accepting or making requests or any favours from students or guests such as house chores, shopping, moving or heavy lifting, gardening, babysitting, and alike.
  13. The hosts must not lend any vehicle to the student or visitor without proper licensing and all-inclusive sufficient motor vehicle coverage in place.
  14. As you should have insurance for passengers in your car, you should also have good home and liability insurance coverage for your home. Host families must have a minimum of one million dollar home liability insurance. Please review your home insurance policy or consult with your insurance provider for details.
  15. The agency, VHA–Vancouver Homestay Agency Inc LLC and IHA-International Homestay Agency, do not assume any responsibilities for any injuries suffered by the student or visitor while in the host family’s care. Dial 9 1 1, in Canada and the United States, or your local emergency number to call for an ambulance and the police in case of any emergency.
  16. If any physical or verbal abuse occurs, the student or visitor will be removed from the home immediately. The police may become informed of such incidents and legal action taken. (Apply to all the household members, students and guests).
  17. When the host has any concerns that they cannot discuss directly with the student or visitor, please contact your agency representative.
  18. Homestay families must never keep the student or visitor waiting outside the home.
  19. Homestay minors must not be left behind at home without supervision.
  20. When a homestay student or visitor accompanies their host family on holidays, outings, or trips, the host family must pay for accommodation and food. The student or visitor must pay for bus ticket, admission ticket, and personal expenses. Alternate homestay arrangements must be made, paid for by the host family, and accepted by an agency representative and the student or guest.
  21. A number of international students may disabilities such as blindness or being in a wheelchair; please let us know in your homestay application or offers if you can accommodate any.
  22. Homestay families should not allow students or visitors to call long distances or dial through the Internet via a modem with a long-distance ISP (Internet service provider). Students and visitors must purchase their own long-distance pre-paid card or make collect calls. The agency will not assume any responsibility regarding long-distance charges.
  23. The host family may offer to do the laundry for a student if the student accepts. If not, the homestay needs to familiarize the student with the use of their laundry equipment, so that the student can do the laundry at least once a week.
  24. The host must explain to the student or guest how to evacuate the home in case of an emergency. The home must have functioning fire smoke detectors and approved occupancy permits from their city or municipality.
  25. All members of the family must be willing to accept and host a student or travelling youth. Please ensure that all members of your family and household agree with the idea of hosting another student. It is such a wonderful experience, but the student or guest needs to be welcomed by everyone in your home, including your friendly house pets.
  26. The hosts should not pressure a student or guest to attend their ceremonies, church, or a place of worship. The hosts should respect the student’s beliefs, upbringing, country, and culture. The hosts should direct the students to their place of worship when should a student or guest ask. 
  27. The host family must support and promote multiculturalism, equality, human and animal rights, and environmental preservation to international students and newcomers. The agency does not condone any discrimination by both hosts, students, or guests.
  28. The agency reserves the right to move the student to another homestay. The host family must immediately refund the balance of any unused homestay fees to the student or the agency. 
  29. Should a host family terminate a homestay occupancy, reservation or provider agreement, the host family must give the agency one month’s notice to make alternate homestay arrangements for the client. 
  30. Termination of the homestay provider agreement can happen if a breach of the homestay agreement or the homestay guidelines and its responsibilities.
  31. The agency neither guarantees nor promises occupancy, safety, or security to the host family or homestay providers. Kindly review the homestay agency terms and conditions.
  32. As a user of this website and our company services and as a potential host family, all the program users must agree to the privacy policy. Should you receive any information or material from us regarding homestay placement, the information and materials you provided must remain confidential and only be used to accept or declining homestay offers.