Students questions and answers

Here is a list of the common questions for students:

1)  What is Homestay?
2)  Do students and newcomers who stay in homestays learn the language faster?
3)  What is the minimum age to apply to your homestay agency?
4)  What is the minimum stay?
5)  What kind of housing is available in a homestay?
6)  What items will be in my room?
7)  Are utilities included?
8)  Is Internet access included?
9)  Will I have my bathroom?
10) Does homestay include transportation?
11) Will there be any other students in the Homestay?
12) Do I have to get and pay for all the meals?
13) When I request meals, does the family cook for me all the time?
14) Can I request to increase the number of meals or decrease them after the first month?
15) May I make my food?
16) May I apply for a specific Homestay?
17) Can I ask my homestay coordinator to suggest a homestay for me?
18) Do I get to accept a homestay or request another option?
19) Will I receive a key to the house to come in out?
20) Will I be able to watch television?
21) Can I use the host family’s telephone?
22) May I use the family computer?
23) May I smoke in the house?
24) Can I do laundry in the Homestay?
25) Will I be able to go shopping?
26) Will I be able to go sightseeing with my host?
27) Will I have a curfew (time that I need to return to the Homestay each night)?
28) Can I have a guest come to my Homestay?
29) Can I stay at a friend’s house during my visit?
30) Can I be picked up at the airport?
31) Do you provide airport drop-off? 
32) What is a “List of House Rules”?
33) How can I get Student Health and Travel Insurance?
34) How much is the application or registration fee?
35) Is the registration or application fee refundable?
36) Is there a deadline for applying?
37) Can I apply early?
38) How much are the monthly homestay fees?
39) Is it possible to bring a relative or a friend “as a companion” to stay with me?
40) How long does it take before I get to know information about my host?
41) How much must I pay in advance to book the homestay room?
42) When I request airport pick up, how do I know who will meet me at the airport?
43) If I were to book a flight ticket now, which days or time are ideal to arrive at the host family?
44) What if I experience delays from the airline or miss my flight?
45) If my homestay room won’t be available for days or weeks, can you provide me with assistance regarding finding an alternative homestay?

1) What is Homestay?

– It is a unique accommodation arrangement to stay with local host families and individual hosts in their fully furnished homes while attending school, internship, or just relocating from another city or country. Homestay is ideal for guests who would appreciate being in a supportive environment that offers lots of guidance. Following is a list of typical individuals who would like homestay:

      • Students are from other cities or countries.
      • New Comers with “ working holiday visa, permanent residence, and temporary employment permit.”
      • Visitors who would like to discover and enjoy the land’s beauty and culture and meet new friends.
      • Relocating individuals or couples in search of temporary accommodation for a few weeks or months.

2) Do students and newcomers who stay in homestays learn the language faster?

– Yes, when students and newcomers spend time with those who speak the language at the homestay, they can learn it faster and acquire more confidence.

3) What is the minimum age to apply to your homestay agency?

– Our minimum age is 15 years old; however, you also need to be 18 of age or older to complete a homestay application with us.
4) What is the minimum stay?

– The minimum stay is two weeks, and our daily rates will apply instead of monthly rates for those stays that are less than one month. Review the homestay rates/costs page for more details.

5) What kind of housing is available in a homestay?

-Housing is accessible in the form of a single room in apartments, townhouses, or houses.

6) What items will be in my room?

– Each homestay guest room contains a bed and bed linens, a desk/study area and chair, and a dresser/closet.

7) Are utilities included?

– Yes, electricity/hydro, heat and hot water.

8) Is Internet access included?

– Yes, Internet access is included if you have your own computer or laptop with a wireless connection.

9) Will I have my own bathroom?

– Some homestays may offer the visitor a private bathroom. It is subject to scarce availability. Most families and household members need to share common rooms; therefore, a bathroom could be easily shared by a family member or two or another student or two. Please note that your bathroom supplies are not included, like your own shampoo, soap, towels, toothpaste, brush, shaving gel, raiser, and toilet paper.

10) Does homestay include transportation?

– No. You are expected to be independent and be able to use public transportation. Most hosts will assist you with information and show you how to travel around the city, especially in the first week after arrival. Some hosts will also offer you free or paid rides with them, like carpool, if convenient in terms of time and daily route.

11) Will there be any other students in the Homestay?

If a host family has more than one private guest room available, several students may be in the same Homestay.

12) Do I have to get and pay for all the meals?

– No. You select the daily meals that you want at the time of the application. Our meal plans are as following: No meals, Breakfast only, Breakfast and dinner, and Three meals.

13) When I request meals, does the family cook for me all the time?

– No. The host family will shop for groceries for an extra person shopping. In most cases, they will provide you with food items to prepare your own breakfast, lunch or dinner. Some families prefer to offer you a cooked meal for lunch and dinner.

14) Can I request to increase the number of meals or decrease them after the first month?

– Yes. If you ask to reduce your meals, hosts will understand when you may have a late hour schedule or wish to eat outside at your leisure, or simply homesick to your home country meals and want to prepare your meals. If you request additional meals, you should ask your host if it is possible. Some hosts may not be able to offer additional meals due to work schedules or other personal reasons.

15) May I make my own food?

– Yes. Most host families will allow you to prepare or cook your food when you are careful and follow their kitchen hygiene and safety habits of doing things. You can take the time with your host to go over using kitchen equipment and utensils after arrival. Same with laundry facilities, and a security system is available…

16) May I request a particular Homestay?

– Yes, review our list of homestay hosts on our website. If you are interested in a specific homestay, please provide the host ID number from the host list to your homestay coordinator.  We will approach the host family for you and find out your availability. If the requested host family is not available, we will contact others in the same city.

17) Can I ask my homestay coordinator to suggest a homestay for me?

– Yes, indeed. Your homestay coordinator has many years of experience and may become a great resource for information and options when available.

18) Do I get to accept a homestay or request another option?

– Yes, you do. Options are only subject to available host families with vacant rooms in the required city or neighbourhood.

19) Will I receive a key to the house to come in out?

– Yes, note that a key is responsibility and point of trust to you by your host. Ensure that you ask your host when you wish to invite a stranger, your friend, or schoolmate to the house.

20) Will I be able to watch television?

– Yes, only at suitable hours. TV is usually shared TV in a common area or living room. If you want your own private television, you should consider the expensive type option at application time.

21) Can I use the host family’s telephone line?

– You may make local phone calls from the Homestay if local calls are free. All long-distance calls must be made using a calling card. Please ask your host if you will receive calls and the best times for people to call you. Consider your own prepaid cell phone number since the telephone line is not usually in your homestay rate, and it could be more convenient for you.

22) May I use the family computer?

– Yes, but you need to ask your host. Make sure you use a local access number when you log on to the internet to avoid long-distance charges. Do not open any file attachments or junk mail that may put your host’s computer at risk. Your host may not have the proper protection on his or her computer and may lose many important files or suffer lots of damages. Kindly ask your host how long you can use the computer since they may have regular work to do on it. Hosts are not required to offer computers; therefore, we urge you to be careful or best bring your laptop with you.

23) May I smoke in the house?

– No. The majority of hosts refuse that anyone would smoke inside their home. Some also do not like the smell or cause them a healthy reaction to an allergy. The majority of hosts will ask that you smoke outside the house in a designated area using an ashtray. You are kindly required to respect their request for the sake of good health and well-being of all. Few hosts will allow you to smoke inside if they do. Please note that in most cities and towns in Canada, the USA, New Zealand, and Australia, smoking is banned by laws inside buildings, restaurants, airports, hospitals, or public areas.

24) Can I do laundry in the Homestay?

– Yes. The host family will show you where the laundry facilities are and how to use the washing machines without damaging your clothing.

25) Will I be able to go shopping?

– Yes. Your host will show you where to go shopping after your arrival, but you could ask your host to go out shopping with them if you wish. It could save you time, effort, money to accompany your host. Most hosts know where to buy things cheap or have memberships that can save you money.

26) Will I be able to go sightseeing with my host?

– Yes. When hosts have free time, however, your admission ticket to the attraction is your own cost. If you do trips or excursions with your host family, usually hotels and restaurant costs are omitted. Please inquire with your host in advance about such costs before.

27) Will I have a curfew (time that I need to return to the Homestay each night)?

– You do not have a curfew. However, it is customary that you tell your host family if you will miss dinner or will return to the house after midnight. Hosts usually worry about their guests and students if all of a sudden they do not come back home as usual. It is commonly so in the major cities where the crime rate could be high. In general, hosts want your safety and may give you valuable tips.

28) Can I have a guest come to my Homestay?

– Yes, but only with the host family’s agreement.

29) Can I stay at a friend’s house during my visit?

– Yes. Let your host family that you will be staying outside and how they could contact you for any reason.

30) Can I be picked up at the airport?
– Yes. Please include that request in your application and complete flight details. You can still add the flight information at a later stage by updating your online application profile. Or you could contact your homestay coordinator if you wish to request the airport pick-up arrangement.

31) Do you provide airport drop-off?

– No, Please contact your host family well in advance; they may be able to assist you or direct you to the best possible way to travel to the airport.

32) What is a “List of House Rules”?

– House Rules are the rules of the particular host family with whom you are staying. These rules may include requests by your host to lock the doors of the home when you leave, turn off the lights of your room or bathroom before you leave, or avoid receiving phone calls after a certain time at night. These rules usually apply to members of the family and guests. Homestays that accommodate more than one student at once find it easy to make such a list and leave it in the guest room.

33) How can I get Student Health and Travel Insurance?

– Contact your homestay coordinator or school admission department for the particular group or student rates and benefits offered by traditional insurance providers. Consider that medical attention and emergency healthcare costs can be prohibitive beyond most International students’ and guests’ comprehension who come from developing nations. You better be prepared for the unexpected. Usually, insurance cost less than a cup of coffee per day but may save you thousands of dollars. For international guests, please consult with your insurance broker or travel agent in your country of origin before the trip.

34) How much is the registration or application fee?

– The registration fee is USD 150, about CAD 190, or AUD 200 per applicant. You could pay this application fee online with a Visa or Mastercard or contact the homestay coordinator to help you pay it via bank or wire transfer. Upon receipt of your registration fee, the agency would review your application and communicate with homestays to send you their available vacancies and offers.

35) Is the registration or application fee refundable? Yes, only when your homestay coordinator regrets not providing you with a homestay offer due to high occupancies in the city. However, it is non-refundable should you volunteer to cancel your application.

36) Is there a deadline for applying?

– No. We accept applications at all times. Kindly allow 3 to 7 business days for best results while contacting hosts for you and tentatively reserving a homestay room for you to book online.

37) Can I apply or book early?

– Yes, please. You may indeed book anytime up to a year in advance.

38) How much are the monthly homestay fees?

– The homestay fees vary according to the level of accommodation and the number of meals required. We have put together a table of rates based on going homestay market prices on our website. Review the homestay rates/costs page for more details.

39) Is it possible to bring a relative or a friend “as a companion or partner” to stay with me?

– Yes. It would be best if you accounted for additional homestay rates, at least one and have the time of the regular homestay rate when your relative or friend will share the same room with you. You need to submit your companion request in advance with your application. Provide some additional information about the friend or companion on the Companions section of your application form.

40) How long does it take before I get to know information about my host?

– It all depends on when you are arriving, your requirements, availability of homestay, and city occupancies. There is no estimated time, but it could be a minimum of three days before you get it. Please check your email inbox regularly and reply to your homestay coordinator immediately. You are always welcome to check on the status of your application at any time.

41) How much must I pay in advance to book the homestay room?

– A minimum of 10% advance payment at the booking time, plus homestay booking service charge. You will be required to pay the balance of the homestay fees, regularly/monthly on time after arrival, directly to your host family. If you or your guardians wish to pay the agency directly, we could assist you. Write to your homestay coordinator for more details.

42) When I request airport pick up, how do I know who will meet me at the airport?

– At the final stage of homestay placement, your host will direct or assist you regarding the best and most economical ways to arrive at their home. Some hosts can pick up for a small charge to cover gas and parking at the airport.

43) If I were to book a flight ticket now, which days or time are ideal to arrive at the host family?

– It is best to consider arriving at your homestay in the afternoons and evenings, or anytime all day on Saturday on Monday. Avoid late-night arrival if you can, but most host families are accommodating if you experienced any delays. Please ensure that you stay in contact with your host if you are late.

44) What if I experience delays from the airline or miss my flight?

– Please communicate with the host family by telephone and your airport pick person or service that will be waiting for you.

45) If my homestay room won’t be available for days or weeks, can you provide me with assistance regarding finding an alternative homestay?

– Yes, we would be happy to assist you. Ask your homestay coordinator regarding possible temporary homestay, or provide you with a list of hotels, B&B, or hostels that offer reduced rates for our clients.