What is homestay?
Homestay is a cultural exchange between a local individual or family (called a host) and a visiting international student. The student lives as a guest in the home with the host.
As a student you would generally been provided with all your basic needs, including your own room and space to study. Although meals are not mandatory, most students would select a homestay with meals supplied. Over the period of your time together the host assists the student to become familiar with the local area and customs in a relaxed and friendly household setting. The student is also encouraged to share with the host information about their home country and culture. This interaction is what makes homestay ideal for students and hosts looking for a unique cultural experience.
What does homestay offer?
Homestay hosts should:
Provide a separate bedroom for you in an area, which meets all safety and privacy considerations of Building Codes. This will include:
- A comfortable bed and bedding
- Access to a mirror
- Access to a bathroom
- A desk
- A lamp
- Allow you full use of the household including telephone, television, and living areas, as well as help you understand appropriate use or time of use;
- Provide wireless high-speed Internet access, either in the student's bedroom, or in an area of the home suitable for study;
Provide laundry facilities:
- Cleaning supplies for you to keep your private living space clean;
- Invite you to join family activities whenever possible, and help you to feel at ease in their home;
- Assist your adjustment in the new country and encourage you to learn about local culture, lifestyle, activities, and family life;
- Orient you to the city, to their neighbourhood, buses, and banks;
- Respect the rights, privacy, and culture of yours including religious and political beliefs;
- Inform the custodian or parents of yours, when you request to stay overnight at a place different from the Homestay family;
- Set curfew time for you. Homestay families determine the curfew, and may consult the custodian of yours to determine the appropriate curfew time.
- Provide a separate bedroom for you in an area, which meets all safety and privacy considerations of Building Codes. This will include:
What is the cost to live in a homestay?
At Homadorma, we believe every homestay family is different. The living expense across Canada and the United States could result in very different homestay costs. Therefore, our homestay families have the freedom to set their own prices which results in a competitive homestay marketplace.
Please feel free to explore the price of homestays in popular cities:
What are my responsibilities?
As a member of your new home, you have responsibilities too. These are your basic responsibilities:
- You must communicate with your Homestay family. If you don't understand something, ask;
- You should participate with your Homestay family in activities and offer to help with household chores such as meal preparation and clean up, tidying up after yourself in living areas that you share with the Homestay family, etc. If you prepare food in the kitchen be sure to clean up after yourself and leave everything clean;
- You must keep your room clean and orderly. You should not leave clothes or towels lying around on the floor or under the bed. Ask before bringing food into your room;
- Clean up after yourself in the bathroom - clean the shower after you use it. Remove all hair and wipe the sink after you use it. Don't splash water on the walls or floor;
- Check with your Homestay family before taking food into your room or before putting anything up on the walls;
- You must use a phone card for making long distance phone calls - available at many convenience stores;
- You should supply your own personal toiletries: toothpaste, shampoo, and deodorant;
- Accept that you are now living in a foreign country and do your best to adapt to the local culture;
- Respect the rights, privacy and the religious and political beliefs of each of the members of your Homestay family;
- If you are coming home later than expected, be sure to phone your Homestay family as soon as possible to let them know;
- You should not borrow money from or loan money to Homestay families;
- Check with your Homestay families about their house rules. Most Homestay families do not allow smoking in their homes. Never smoke in your Homestay without asking first;
Remember: You are not staying in a hotel, and the members of the Homestay families are not your servants. Please treat them with courtesy and respect.
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