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:
Okanagan College student housing offers you furnished, non-smoking accommodations at the Kelowna campus only. The housing is located only steps away from classrooms, libraries, recreational and fitness facilities and food services. Public bus service connects you to local beaches, recreation areas, downtown, the airport and shopping districts within the city.
Upon arrival, students may wish to consider staying at a hotel/hostel while looking for a permanent accommodation. Off-campus housing is also available. Apartments and houses can be rented near the campus. Students can look for room and board accommodations, private suites or rent a place with friends. If the student chooses private accommodation, the student is responsible for all arrangements.
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
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.
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.
Your homestay family will arrange to pick you up upon your arrival for Kelowna students (other transportation arrangements may be needed for student attending other campuses).
If your flight and arrival day or time is very inconvenient for your host (eg. During the workday hours M-F or after 10pm) you may be asked to take a taxi or shuttle from the airport at your own expense).
Please communicate with your family and keep in touch with them when it comes to your itinerary changes and delays, they are the ones who will need to know about your arrival details, including the date and time and your flight number or if you are arriving by bus.
Students are required to pay all homestay fees together to the College at least 1 month before arriving to Canada. Payments should be made to the student’s account at Okanagan College, the same way tuition is paid. *All fees are subject to change and effective May 1, 2023.
Homestay placement fee is $250
1 Semester homestay fee $3,800 (4 months x $950 per month).
Move in date starting May 1, September 1, January 1.
Early arrivals before the 1st day of the month are charged at $35 per night.
No adjustments are given if you move in or arrive after the 1st of the month or depart a few days early at the end of semester.
Extending your stay past the end of the semester needs to be approved and informed in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org
Students who are planning on living in homestay longer term or for an undetermined time more than one semester (e.g. diploma/degree students) you may be asked to pay your host directly on the 1st day of each month ($950 per month).
For payments directly to hosts please only use Interac e-transfers from a Canadian Financial institution.
Move out date - Students who are place in homestay for a set term (e.g. 1,2 or 3 semester(s) must leave the homestay within 3 days after the end of the semester exam period to make room for new students.
Leaving homestay early – Students are required to give one (1) month notice to both their host and OC staff prior to moving out otherwise fees for 1 month may be forfeited.
Refund, cancellation of fees – If the student moves out from homestay, all unused homestay semester fees will be returned to the student account and can be used towards other fees such as tuition or can be refunded if the student is leaving the College.
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.
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 $950 per month (starting May 2023) 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.