The Homestay program is an opportunity for cultural exchange between Canadians and International students. Host families learn about other countries and cultures and help students adjust to living in Canada. Students have more opportunities to practice their English and learn about Canadian lifestyles, values and customs.
Living with a homestay family is a good way to learn and practice English. The home may be a house, an apartment, or a townhouse. Homes are normally located within 30 minutes or less of the campus by bus. Host families are chosen for their interest in other cultures and their willingness to help students adjust to the Canadian lifestyle. The host family may be a family with children, a family without children or a single person. The student is expected to stay with the homestay for at least two months.
The host family will meet the student upon arrival at the airport and welcome him/her to their family. The host family will familiarize the student with the home and the local community and transportation.
The host family will make the student feel welcome in Canada. Host families are usually interested in learning more about students from other cultures. They probably will not speak the student’s language, so English will be the language of communication.
Rent and Fees
The Homestay Placement fee is $250. A payment of two months' rent, $1,500, ($1,600 beginning Sept. 2017) is required in advance to Okanagan College. This is forwarded directly to the host family. Rent for following months is paid directly by the student to the host family on the first of the month at the rate of $750 a month ($800 beginning Sept. 2017). If the student arrives before the first of the month, the rent will be prorated from the date of arrival.
A $375 damage deposit ($400 beginning Sept. 2017) is also payable in advance. This will be refunded when the student leaves, provided all bills and expenses are paid, proper notice has been given, and no damage has been caused to the home.
All fees are subject to change.
One month's notice, from the first day of the month, is required. Example: If the student wants to move out May 1st, the student is required to inform the host family before April 1st.
The student’s privacy is valued in the Okanagan College homestay program. Each student will get his/her own bedroom. Student Settlement & Support checks each homestay to ensure cleanliness and friendliness. The student will have a private bedroom with a bed, dresser, desk or table, chair and lamp.
Three meals a day are provided. Often food is available for students to make their own breakfast and lunch, and dinner is usually a hot meal shared with the family.
If the student misses his/her home cooking, the student will often be able to find foreign food at the local supermarket, The student will be provided with three meals a day, and is also encouraged to cook food from his/her own country and introduce it to his/her hosts.
As part of the family, the student will be expected to do his/her share of the housework, as agreed upon between the student and his/her host family. The student’s share may be only to keep his/her room tidy, or as much help around the house that he/she wants to do.
Student Settlement & Support
Contact Mame McCrea Silva, Student Settlement & Support by email: MSilva@okanagan.bc.ca
If you have applied for homestay, please download and fill out the Kelowna Campus - Student Profile Form and email to