Homestay OR Hosting Guidelines

Homestay or Hosting Guidelines for caretakers:   When you host a student or a visitor, you, the homestay host, become a homestay ambassador of your country. Therefore, hosts need to be kind, hospitable and responsible. Consequently, 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 must 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 tolerate the student’s foreign customs and habits. Remember to be understanding, have patience with the student, and be mindful of their language barriers and cultural differences.
  2. As a homestay host, you would provide the student or guest with:
    1. A private furnished bedroom with a window and a door
    2. A bed with linen, duvet cover, blanket, and two pillows
    3. Night table, if possible, with a lamp, power outlet, and a closet.
    4. Desk with chair with sufficient lighting
    5. Access to a shared or private bathroom
    6. Access to a shared kitchen and space in the fridge if you did not include meals.
    7. Access to in-house laundry; if not available, a nearby laundromat
    8. Wireless Internet access.
  3. When you include meals for students, the primary host must provide nutritious meals, mostly homemade when possible. The meals, especially dinner, should be served around home gatherings. The student or visitor must always feel welcome at the table, except during mandatory self-isolation or quarantine time or unless the student or guest wishes to eat alone or arrive late. The student meal must be kept aside in a safe location or the fridge until the student’s arrival.
  4. Ensure that the student or guest can read food, understand food labels and expiry dates, or regularly remove expired food from your fridge.
  5. When you include snacks, the host should offer healthy snacks such as yogurt, fresh fruits, milk, juice, tea, coffee, etc., which should be easily accessible to the student or guest.
  6. You must not offer alcohol, cigarettes, and illegal drugs to minors, students and guests or allow any guests to consume them at your home. Should you accept a student to smoke outside, ask the student or guest to smoke in a designated area and use an ashtray with some water when dry outside conditions.
  7. 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 a wireless internet username and password.
  8. Ensure your new student has your home address and phone number when they start going out. Then, if the student cannot return home or gets lost in the city, they could call you to get help or find directions.
  9. 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.
  10. Only one student or visitor is allowed per room unless the homestay applicant has a special request for shared accommodation with their companion. 
  11. 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.
  12. In the student’s or guest’s presence, the host family must speak English, or the official language, i.e., French in French-speaking provinces, states, or territories. 
  13. When hosting students and guests 17 years old and younger and their guardians on behalf of minors, they must agree to follow typical homestay curfew hours of return to homestay before 9 pm on weekdays and 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. In addition, Sleepovers and the absence from the homestay, such as school trips, must be pre-approved in writing by the student guardians, representative, or local custodian with the host family. While there are no pre-set curfew hours for older students and guests, students and guests must be mindful of regular sleeping hours, noise reduction during the night hours, and rest times for house members. 
  14. No alcohol drinking, smoking indoors, and consumption or keeping of recreational drugs allowed for students and guests at the homestay.
  15. Under no circumstances should the hosts ask for favours from students or guests like shopping for the household, moving or lifting heavy items, gardening, babysitting, house or pet sitting, driving, and alike, except for sharing house chores like cleaning the student or guest’s private living space, such as student bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. The primary host must ensure that the student can clean and utilize the correct cleaning tools and materials. Any damage in the cleaning process will not become the student’s responsibility. The host must clean guestrooms between moved-out and new students and provide clean, fresh linens and towels during and between stays.
  16. The host(s) must not lend a vehicle to the student or visitor, especially without a valid local driver’s license and comprehensive coverage for the driver, occupants, third party and vehicle. Nevertheless, the host must not ask the student or guest to operate heavy machinery or powered tools that may injure anyone.
  17. It is the hosts’ responsibility to purchase sufficient home and renters’ insurance. Please review your home insurance policy or consult your insurance provider for additional information and coverages.
  18. The homestay host must comply with and adhere to the lease or rental agreements, municipality and strata rules and bylaws if any.
  19. The agency does not assume any responsibility for any injuries the student or guest suffered while in the host family’s care. In case of abuse and harassment, physical, sexual, or otherwise, the agency does not tolerate such actions. The agency will report the incident to local authorities to investigate AND attempt to remove or relocate the student. (this guideline applies to all the household members, students and guests alike).
  20. Homestay families must neither keep the student or guest waiting outside the home nor leave minors overnight at home alone without supervision.
  21. Should the host family of minors be asked to accept more students at the same home, students must be of a similar age group and gender and not operate a business-like Airbnb or offer vacation rentals.
  22. 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 guest must pay for a bus fare, 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. The primary host must obtain written travel authorization from the custodian or guardian of minors.
  23. Please direct the students or guests to purchase their long-distance prepaid cards or use included free Wi-Fi access on their mobile devices or laptops. The agency will not assume any responsibility regarding telephone, mobile, long-distance or data charges. Talk to your landline service provider for more details regarding password-protected access to long-distance calls. You must not be a guarantor for the student or guest to purchase any monthly phone plan or authorize direct billing. 
  24. 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 using the laundry equipment to do the laundry once a week.
  25. The host must explain to the student or guest how to evacuate the home in an emergency. You are responsible for ensuring that your home has functioning fire smoke, carbon monoxide, and natural gas detectors, obtaining the necessary occupancy permits, and meeting building codes from your city, municipality, and fire department.
  26. All family members must accept and host a student or travelling youth. Would you please ensure that all members of your family and household agree with the idea of hosting another student? It is a beautiful experience, but the student or guest needs to be welcomed by everyone in your home, including your friendly house pets.
  27. The hosts should not pressure a student or guest to attend their ceremonies, church, or 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. 
  28. The host family must promote multiculturalism, equality, human and animal rights, and environmental preservation to international students and newcomers. The agency does not condone and accept any discrimination and verbal abuse towards anyone. Please always encourage a happy and friendly atmosphere at home.
  29. The agency reserves the right to move the student to another homestay. The host family must immediately refund the balance of any unused portion of homestay fees to the agency or the student upon the agency’s request. 
  30. The agency neither guarantees nor promises occupancy, safety, or security to host families or homestay providers.
  31. As a user of this website and our agency services, all users automatically agree to the terms and conditions, guidelines, the privacy policy and the following disclaimer.
  32. Users of our agency services must comply and adhere to the program’s guidelines, terms and conditions.