- QUESTION: What kind of connections do you make with the students you host?
RESPONSE: It varies. A lot of host parents end up visiting former students in their country and are often treated like gold while there. You can expect Birthday wishes, Christmas greetings, etc for years after from many students. Occasionally the student is not the right fit for the home but often the connection is strong.
- QUESTION: What am I responsible to provide the student as a host family?
RESPONSE: Most importantly a welcoming home. They will eat meals with you and do activities with you that they are interested in. If they do activities outside the house like going to the movies, sports, eating at a restaurant, etc., they will spend their own money on that.
- QUESTION: Do I pay for their lunch at school?
RESPONSE: No. Host families provide items for students to make their own lunch. Many students take leftovers. Some students decide to eat at school and pay for their lunch. That is at their own expense if you have provided them options from your home.
- QUESTION: My partner and I are in a same sex marriage/partnership, are we allowed to host?
RESPONSE: Absolutely. We recognize that Canadian families come in many forms. We try to place students with the best families we can. Some cultures are not as accepting so we do not want to make it uncomfortable for host parents in these situations.
- QUESTION: I am afraid of Covid and students bringing it.
RESPONSE: We are all concerned with Covid. Nova Scotia is the only program in all of Canada to not allowed students in this year because our health protocols with public health are very strict. We are quite certain that Public health is not going to permit students in without a prior vaccine or quarantine off site or if they feel it is not safe for our residents. Other provinces that ran programs this year did not have any cases of Covid happen. Students will be doing a quarantine with a clear test before coming to your house or would have had the vaccine. The latest from the Federal government is that all Canadians that wish to have a vaccine should be able to get one before September (before any students arrive).
- QUESTION: I do not have children at home, can I still host?
RESPONSE: For sure. Many of our families do not have their own children at home.
- QUESTION: Do I have a say in where my student will come from?
RESPONSE: Host parents can tell us who they are most interested in hosting and can pick which gender and which countries they prefer. We do our best to match interests with the host parents to have better success. If your family loves basketball, we can try to find you a basketball player or if you have a piano, we can try to find you someone that plays piano.
- QUESTION: I know the program manager well; can I call them when I have an issue?
RESPONSE: No, host parents should talk to their homestay coordinator about issues and when things do not get better, the homestay coordinator will connect with the program manager. We ask all families to follow this form of protocol.
- QUESTION: As a host parent, can I sign up at school for parent portal so I can monitor the students grades?
RESPONSE: No. grades are for the program to monitor and share with the student’s agent. The director of the program acts as their legal guardian in Canada and has a right to see all students’ grades. If you believe your student is not doing enough schoolwork, you can talk to your homestay coordinator. We want host families focusing on having a great experience and let the program deal with the school aspect.
- QUESTION: What if my student stays in their room all the time and I can hear them online speaking their natural language?
RESPONSE: Host parents should go over expectations when students arrive. If students are not meeting expectations, they should contact they homestay coordinator before things get out of control.
- QUESTION: What will the students call the host parents?
RESPONSE: Anything that they are comfortable with and you agree with. A host parent cannot ask a student to call them mom or dad, but a student may choose to call you this, if it is mutually agreed upon.
- QUESTION: I was once married but now divorced, can I host as a single parent?
RESPONSE: Yes, as indicated before, we recognize Canadian families come in many forms. We are looking for good people to host. The family makeup is not for us to judge.
- QUESTION: If I am a single parent, can I only take students of the same gender?
RESPONSE: No, host parents have a choice and can decide what they are most comfortable with. All host parents must complete a Criminal record check and child abuse registry check.
- QUESTION: My student wants to go out to the movies on a Friday night, do I pay their way?
RESPONSE: Students bring their own spending money for things that they choose to do with friends outside the house. If you go as a family, the host family should pay as you would your natural child.
- QUESTION: Can I host two students in one room?
RESPONSE: Unfortunately, each student needs their own room.
- QUESTION: I go to church on Sundays, can I tell my students they must go with me?
RESPONSE: No. religion is a choice so students can go if they choose but cannot be forced to go. The same thing applies to a church youth group. We often get students requests homes that go to church so if this is important, you can let your homestay Coordinator know.
- QUESTION: What do I need to do to host?
RESPONSE: All host parents must complete a Criminal record check and child abuse registry check. Parents must sign a J form showing they have a licensed and insured vehicle and parents sign homestay agreement which explains their role. A meeting then happens with a homestay coordinator to look at your home and go over the program. They will help you full out the application which includes your demographics, etc.
- QUESTION: How much do I get paid?
RESPONSE: You get reimbursed $580/month to help with expenses. Many families say that this covers everything needed and includes extra money. This is tax free money given to you. Therefore, 2 students mean you will get $1160/month. The reimbursement is for you to provide Breakfast, lunch, Supper, heat, internet, and hot water along with their own room. We expect families to be active with their students. Students that are very fussy with food or are costing too much because of big appetites or expensive tastes need to be brought to the homestay coordinator so they can discuss what Canadians typically eat. We sometimes get students with special food requirements (Vegan, Gluten free, etc.). Some of these students supply an added $100-$200/month to help cover added expenses.
- QUESTION: When do I get my reimbursement?
RESPONSE: Families get their reimbursement deposited directly into your bank account at the end of each month.
- QUESTION: How often will students shower and how long?
RESPONSE: We expect students to have good hygiene. We tell students to limit their shower time because hot water is expensive and not always unlimited with others in the house. If there are issues with any of this, host parents should reach out to the homestay coordinator so this can be monitored and improved. These are part of your family expectations that are talked about when they arrive.
- QUESTION: How do students get around?
RESPONSE: Bussing is supplied for all our students to get to school and home. If you live close to an activity, students will sometimes walk. We encourage carpooling for activities whenever possible.
RESPONSE: The program plans monthly activities as well.
- QUESTION: Chores6
- QUESTION: What are some possible cultural differences?
- QUESTION: Do students have a curfew?
- QUESTION: Are students allowed to drink or do drugs?