Homestay Student Guidelines

UVic Homestay is designed to provide an opportunity for cultural exchanges between international students studying at the University of Victoria and Victoria families. Homestay is designed to enhance the English language acquisition of students and to promote friendship.

Homestay student guidelines*:

*If there are differences between the student guidelines published above (PDF) and the one in English, the information written below shall be considered the most up-to-date and will take precedence.

It is the policy of UVic Homestay that:

  • all Students are 18 years of age or older
  • Students and Hosts agree in writing to abide by the UVic Homestay Guidelines for the duration of each scheduled contract
  • a maximum of four Students be placed in a home – each Student must have a private bedroom
  • all Students in the home must be of the same gender
  • two Students of any one nationality are living in the Host home at any one time, except during peak times, where a maximum of four Students of the same nationality may be placed within the Host home
  • Students are responsible for finding their own accommodation outside of the UVic Homestay dates prescribed for their particular program
  • the University reserves the right to make additions, deletions, or changes to these guidelines as required

Arrivals and departures

  1. Students are responsible for informing their Host of all of their travel details and sending them directly to their Host at least 2 weeks before the start date of their program. This information must include all flight numbers and connecting flights. Students are required to contact their Host directly with any flight changes.
  2. Students and their luggage will be picked up upon arrival and dropped off upon departure by their Host, at any of the following: the Victoria International Airport, the Victoria Bus Terminal, the University of Victoria, Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal, a hotel, or another residence in the Victoria area.


  1. Hosts will not impose curfews. Students are expected to inform their Hosts approximately what time they plan to return home.  If plans change, Students are requested to inform their Hosts. 
  2. Students are not allowed to bring friends/guests into the home without the permission of the Host. Students should not have guests in their bedroom.
  3. Hosts may keep liquor in the home for their personal use. Students should not help themselves to the Host’s alcohol.  If a Student wishes to purchase alcohol during their stay, they must discuss this with the Host. You must be 19 years old to legally purchase alcohol in British Columbia.
  4. Students are encouraged to provide a copy of their GuardMe medical insurance policy to their Host.

Your host home and room

  1. Students will be given a house key or code for use during their stay. This key is to be returned to the Host at time of departure. For everyone’s safety, Students must lock the house when leaving for the day.
  2. Students will have a private bedroom furnished with a bed, a dresser, a closet or a place to hang clothes, a desk, a desk chair, a lamp, bed linens and towels.
  3. Students are required to keep their bedroom and bathroom clean.  Cleaning supplies and instructions will be provided by the Host.
  4. Students are expected to launder their clothing and linens weekly. Hosts will provide laundry soap and instructions on using the laundry machines. Students are permitted to do laundry up to two loads per week.
  5. Students are expected to turn off the lights and heat in their bedrooms when they are not at home.
  6. Students are required to shower between 7 am and 10 pm.  Showers should be limited to 10 minutes in consideration of the need to conserve water and energy. Students should discuss a suitable shower schedule with their Hosts.
  7. Students are not permitted to smoke/vape (tobacco, marijuana or any other substance) inside their Host’s home at any time. 
  8. Hosts provide internet access to the Students in their home.
  9. Hosts are not permitted to ask Students to supervise children, do household chores or take on any other responsibilities in the home.
  10. Students are expected to tidy up after themselves.
  11. Students are expected to conduct themselves respectfully with their Hosts and at their Host’s home at all times.


  1. Students will have access to food in the Host home to prepare their own breakfasts, lunches and snacks each day.
  2. Hosts will provide dinner for Students. Students and Hosts are expected to eat dinner together. Students are required to call their Hosts by 4pm if they will not be home for dinner.
  3. Students are asked to do their food preparation between 7 am and 10 pm so as not to disturb other members of the home.  Students are expected to tidy up after themselves. Students can discuss a suitable food preparation schedule with their Hosts.

Student-host communication

  1. After receiving their Host’s contact information, Students are required to send a personal email of introduction to their Hosts describing themselves and their hobbies.
  2. Students are expected to participate in some of their Host family’s activities. This will enable Students to practice their English skills and gain a greater understanding of Canadian culture.
  3. Students are asked to speak directly to their Host if they have a homestay problem.  If a resolution to the problem cannot be found, Students are encouraged to talk to the UVic Homestay staff about the situation. The UVic Homestay office can be reached through Reception, on the 2nd floor of the Continuing Studies Building (CST)

Student orientation

  1. Students are required to attend a UVic Homestay Student Orientation during the first week of their program. Students who are unable to attend the orientation must contact the UVic Homestay office.

Fee payment

  1. Unless otherwise specified, Students are required to pay the first month’s homestay fee directly to their Hosts on the first day of arrival, and on the corresponding day of each following month for the duration of their stay with the Host.  Students are required to pay their Hosts in cash. 

Vacation policy

  1. Students that are away for 5 or more consecutive nights pay a reduced rate.  Student will give a completed Vacation Notice Form to their Host at least one week prior to travel. If the Student is away from the home for:
    • 1 – 4 consecutive nights Host and Student are not required to submit a Vacation Notice Form as the home placement fee will not be reduced.
    • 5 or more consecutive nightsStudent can keep their belongings in their room and the Host will not use their room for any other purpose while they are away. During vacations of 5+ consecutive nights the homestay fee will be reduced to half the regular per night rate.

Two-week notice

  1. If the Student and/or Host decide to terminate the Hosting relationship after a Student has been living in the home for at least two weeks during the scheduled term, a Two Week Notice Form must be completed by Host and Student.  The form must be submitted to the UVic Homestay office. Students are required to pay Hosts for not less than two weeks from the day the Two Week Notice Form is signed.  A Two Week Notice Form can be obtained by contacting the UVic Homestay office


  1. In the event that a Student causes damage to the Host’s property or causes bodily injury to a member of the Host family or persons in or about the Host family’s home, the Student is responsible for paying for all damages, repair and/or replacement costs.  The Student agrees to indemnify the University of Victoria for any losses, claims, damages, actions, causes of action, costs and expenses (“Claims”) that the University of Victoria may sustain, incur, suffer or be put to at any time, including any claim of bodily injury (including death) or damage to property which are based upon, arise out of or occur, directly or indirectly, by reason of, any act or omission by the Student in connection with this Homestay Agreement.
  2. If members of the Host family or persons in the Host’s home cause damage to Student property or bodily injury to the Student, the Student agrees that their recourse is against the Host family or other persons in or about the Host’s home, and hereby agrees to waive and release the University of Victoria from any and all claims for such damages.
  3. UVic Homestay reserves the right to relocate a Student without notice.  If UVic Homestay removes a Student from a Host’s home without notice, the Host may be required to reimburse the Student an amount of the current month’s fees proportionate to the portion of the month remaining.
  4. Any breach of UVic Homestay Policies for Students may result in the immediate removal of the Student from the Host home, and the possible withdrawal of the Student from participation in UVic Homestay.


Contact information:

UVic Homestay
English Language Centre, University of Victoria
Registration, 2nd floor Continuing Studies Building
8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday