Homestay FAQ

Yes. All students coming to UVic from outside Canada are eligible for Homestay, even if they are native English speakers.

Homestay provides a great accommodation alternative for those new to Victoria. The ideal Homestay student is flexible, a good communicator and someone that can appreciate differences. Every family in our Homestay Program is different. Ideally, our students choose Homestay to learn about and experience life in a different culture.

Homestay also provides a great “soft-landing” for our students:

  • you get picked up at the airport
  • you get a private room with a bed, desk, dresser and linens
  • the program fee includes use of laundry, access to Wi-Fi/Internet, meals and snacks
  • your host family will help you integrate and learn about life in Victoria
  • your host family will offer cultural guidance and emotional support
  • the Homestay Program will support you with any problem solving and dispute resolution.

As an adult international student living in a Canadian family home, you are required to:

  • adhere to the UVic Homestay Guidelines for Students
  • pay your hosts on the first day of your arrival (unless otherwise specified)
  • prepare your own breakfast
  • keep your bedroom clean and tidy
  • clean up after yourself in a shared or private bathroom, or in the kitchen after preparing food
  • bring your dirty dishes to the kitchen after you are finished eating or drinking
  • wash your clothes and bed linens in the laundry machines
  • call your host family if you will be late for dinner, or if your evening plans change while you are away from home
  • keep your emergency contact card with you at all times
  • always be respectful and polite with all members of your host family
  • be aware and respectful of the manner in which your hosts manage their home

UVic Homestay strives to provide quality Homestay experiences for students enrolled in UVic programs. Our award-winning program has been operating for over 30 years, and we enjoy the privilege of working with many wonderful families in Victoria.

  • families must live within our catchment area, generally a 10km radius, or about a 45-minute commute from the university
  • families must complete a detailed application form and provide Police Information Checks
  • families that host for our program are required to adhere to the UVic Homestay Guidelines for Hosts.

Once the completed application form and criminal records checks are received, the UVic Homestay Program sends staff to meet with and interview the family in their home. Staff tour the home to ensure it is a safe environment that meets our requirements.

The UVic Homestay Program will place students in Homestay families that, given the information known at the time and provided in the application form, best match the needs of the student and the homestay family. Health concerns or issues will be prioritized for matches. While our program does its best to match a student's preferences, we cannot guarantee that these will be met.

Please note: The Homestay Program adheres to the University of Victoria's Policy on Human Rights, Equity and Fairness (GV0200):

  • The University promotes a safe, respectful and supportive learning and working environment for all members of the university community.
  • The University fosters an environment characterized by fairness, openness, equity, and respect for the dignity and diversity of its members.
  • The University strives to be a place that is free of discrimination and harassment, injustice and violence. The strength and vibrancy of the University is found in the diverse life experiences, backgrounds and worldviews of all its members.
  • The University endeavours to provide the best possible educational experience for all of its students. The academic excellence for which the University strives is unattainable without human rights, equity, fairness and diversity.
  • These values are a foundation for achieving excellence.

Once matched, a Placement Contract is sent to the student and host.

Students have a financial obligation to their hosts for the duration of the Placement Contract dates. Students shall pay their hosts on the first day of their arrival in the home, and on the corresponding day of each following month for the duration of their stay.

If hosts and/or students decide to terminate the hosting relationship during the placement contract, a Two Week Notice Form must be completed by the host and the student. The form must be submitted to the UVic Homestay office. Students are required to pay hosts for at least two weeks from the day the Two Week Notice Form is signed. Move out date is subject to availability within the Homestay Program. A Two Week Notice Form can also be obtained by contacting the UVic Homestay office.

The more effort you put into your Homestay experience, the more reward you will gain from the experience. If you have a problem with your host family, please make sure that you talk to your host family in a positive and constructive manner so that you can solve the problem together. If a resolution to the problem cannot be found, students are encouraged to talk to the UVic Homestay staff about the situation.

We always keep the students' welfare in mind, and strive to support our students and hosts should a problem arise. Students are encouraged to come and speak to a Homestay Coordinator to explore ways to resolve the issue or conflict.

In case of emergency, the services of a translator will be secured by the Homestay Program to ensure the matter is resolved. This allows students to express themselves freely, without the language barrier. We have a roster of translator agencies in Victoria, which we have used in the past.

Additional services offered include:

  • meetings with personal safety officers
  • counselling services
  • mental health services
  • chaplains, etc.

These services are offered as part of the University of Victoria's student services, and bear no additional charge to students.


  • Monthly English programs: The homestay fee is $950 CAD per program.
  • The homestay fee for programs longer than a full month is $950 CAD per month and $32 CAD per night for extra nights or partial months. 
  • Homestay fees are paid directly to the host family.
  • Students have a financial obligation to their hosts for the duration of the Placement Contract dates.
  • The student is responsible for the full homestay fee, based on the Homestay Placement dates, even if they arrive after their placement start date.
  • Students shall pay their hosts on the first day of their arrival in the home, and on the corresponding day of each following month for the duration of their placement contract, based on the placement start date.

ELC Students:

UVic Visiting, Certificate, Diploma and Degree Students:

If you have any questions regarding payment, please contact the Homestay Program.

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