COVID-19 Notice

Policies and procedures may change during COVID-19. For up-to-date information, please view Homestay requirements during COVID-19

Information for students in English Language Centre programs

Welcome to the University of Victoria's award-winning Homestay Program! Our staff are dedicated professionals who work hard to ensure that international students and Canadian host families enjoy cultural exchanges.

What is Homestay?

UVic Homestay provides an opportunity for you to live with a local family while enrolled in classes at the University of Victoria. Homestay families will welcome you into their home and provide you with a safe, comfortable and friendly place to live within easy travelling distance of the university. You will eat meals with your host family, participate in their weekend activities and become part of their daily lives.

The benefits of Homestay

  • gives students who speak English as an additional language an opportunity to use their English language skills in an informal setting
  • provides you with an automatic base of support in Canada
  • places you with a family that will provide all your meals and snacks
  • ensures that you will live within a 60-85-minute commute to UVic, on convenient bus routes
  • provides you with affordable accommodations in a city where housing can be hard to find
  • provides you with a Homestay placement for your program dates


  • Homestay students improve their English skills quicker than students who live alone
  • you will have a “home away from home” in Victoria, and the chance to participate in daily Canadian life
  • your host family will help you learn about Victoria
  • your host family will provide all your food and cook dinner for you every night
  • your host family will provide a safe, respectful and supportive living environment
  • follow the UVic Homestay Guidelines for Students
  • arrange arrival in Victoria and communicate with your homestay host regarding your travel itinerary
  • pay your hosts on the first day of your arrival
  • prepare your own breakfast and lunch from food your hosts provide
  • keep your bedroom clean and tidy
  • clean up after yourself, especially in bathrooms, the kitchen, and common areas
  • bring your dirty dishes to the kitchen after you are finished eating or drinking
  • wash your own clothes, sheets, and towels
  • call your host family if you will be late for dinner or if your evening plans change
  • keep your emergency contact card with you at all times
  • be respectful and polite with all members of your host family
  • be aware and respectful of how your hosts manage their home.

Homestay is available for all programs from September until June as well as the University Pathway Program and the ELPI Summer (ELPI-I).

See the Fees and dates page for the list of programs and accommodation options. Homestay placements are for the duration of the program dates.

Your host family will:

  • follow the UVic Homestay Guidelines for Hosts
  • pick you up when you arrive in Victoria and drop you off at your departure location when you leave Victoria (on the program's set arrival and departure dates)
  • speak English at all times
  • encourage you to practice English conversation skills at home
  • provide you with a safe, comfortable and friendly home
  • provide you with a private, furnished bedroom (maximum three students per home)
  • provide you with food for all meals and snacks
  • provide you with Wi-Fi/Internet access in the home
  • help you adjust to living in a new city or culture
  • encourage you to join in their family activities
  • introduce you to Victoria and the local neighbourhood
  • live within a 60-85-minute bus ride of the University of Victoria
  • Monthly English programs: The homestay fee is $1095 CAD per program. As of January 1, 2023, the fee will be $1260 CAD.
  • The homestay fee for programs longer than a full month is $1095 CAD per month and $36.50 CAD per night for extra nights or partial months. As of January 1, 2023, the homestay fee will be $1260 CAD per month for programs longer than a full month, and $42 CAD per night for extra nights or partial months.
  • Please see the Detailed Fee Payment Schedules for specific fee information.

Complete and sign the Homestay Application, and then submit it with your $300 CAD application fee.

After we receive your application, we will match you with a Canadian host family. You will receive a detailed Homestay Information Package by email three weeks before your program begins, and your host family will pick you up when you arrive in Victoria.


Review the UVic Homestay Student Guidelines for your program to ensure that Homestay is the best accommodation choice for you.

Please note that students are placed in UVic Homestay on a first come first served basis as completed applications are received by our office. Homestay is limited and spaces may fill before the deadline. In cases where UVic Homestay cannot accommodate students, students will need to arrange their own homestay privately.

Questions? Please contact us or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.


“I like that my host family lives very close to the campus and to the bus stop. I like my host family, it's really nice to find a family that I can share with and talk with other people. They are really nice and their children are so cute. They really tried to put me at ease and I feel very comfortable with them. My room and the house in general are really clean and comfortable.”

Sandrine Vedda France