International Education

International Housing

There are a number of different options available for housing while you are attending Okanagan College. If you are under 18 years old, you must stay with one of our approved host families until at least your 18th birthday. If you are 18 years of age or over, you may choose from:

Host an OC International Student

Being a host family for an international student is a very rewarding experience. If you are interested in Hosting OC International students, read more about the program.

Host Family Information


The Homestay program is an opportunity for cultural exchange between Canadians and International students, where students live with a host family for a period of time. 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, 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.

For pre-arranged placements, the host family will meet the student upon arrival at the airport or bus terminal and welcome the student to their family. The host will familiarize new students to the home and the local community.

Students are required to pay homestay fees in advance of placement. Payments should be made to the student’s account at Okanagan College. 

  • Placement fee is $250
  • Rent is $850 per month 
  • Early arrivals $29 per night

The first full month rent is paid to the host through OC. Rent for following months is paid directly by the student to the host family on the first day of each of the month at the rate of $850 each month.

*All fees are subject to change.

One (1) month notice is required and needs to be given in writing to both the host and OC Homestay Coordinator. For example, if the student wants to move out May 1, the student is required to give notice to move by April 1.

The homestay 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.

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, homestay students will be expected to do share household responsibilities and housework, as agreed upon between the student and the host family. For example, students are responsible to keep their bedroom clean and bathroom if it is private or shared.

The student’s privacy is valued in the homestay program. Each student will get his/her own private bedroom. Each home has been visited to ensure cleanliness and safety. The student will have a private bedroom with a bed, dresser, desk or table, chair and lamp.

Student Application For Homestay Homestay Regulations Notice to Move 

For more information - Contact the Homestay settlement team:

Become a Host Family

Homestay is a vital part of Okanagan College International Education’s commitment to delivering a Canadian living and learning experience for our students. The information below may help you with your decision to open your home to an international student.

As a homestay, the following are required:

  • RCMP record check for each member of your family over 19 years of age living at home.
  • Must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Pick up or arrange transportation for students on arrival and departure
  • Provide a private bedroom with a legal window and suitable bed, closet, dresser, night table, desk and lamp
  • Home environment that is welcoming, safe and clean
  • Three meals per day plus healthy snacks
  • Attend homestay information/orientation sessions as requested
  • Willing to attend occasional special events
  • Accepting the student as part of the family
  • English must be the primary language spoken at home
  • Support the students in their studies especially those learning English
  • Notify Okanagan College Homestay Coordinator of a change in your family situation (eg. illness, separation, new partner, moving, planning holidays)

The current homestay fee is $850 per month (starting May 2022) and it includes a private bedroom and food for three meals per day plus healthy snacks. The College will issue payment to cover the rent for the 1st (first) full month and the student will pay the host directly on the first day of the second and subsequent months.

If you are interested in being an OC homestay, please complete homestay web application. The Homestay Coordinator will contact you and as the need arises, will be contacted for a home visit prior to being placed with students.

Student Settlement & Support

Phone: 250-862-5443


Host Family Application