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-minute commute to UVic, on convenient bus routes
- provides you with affordable accommodations in a city where housing can be hard to find
Why participate in Homestay?
- 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
What are my responsibilities as a homestay student?
- follow the UVic Homestay Guidelines for Students
- 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.
Is Homestay available for my program?
See the Fees and dates page for the list of programs and accommodation options.
What can I expect from my host family?
Your host family will:
- pick you up when you arrive in Victoria and drop you off at your departure location when you leave Victoria
- 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-minute bus ride of the University of Victoria
How much does Homestay cost?
- Monthly English programs: The homestay fee is $950 CAD per program.
- The homestay fee for consecutive programs or programs longer than a full month is $950 CAD per month and $32 CAD per night for extra nights or partial months.
- Please see the Detailed Fee Payment Schedules for specific fee information.
How do I register for Homestay?
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.
Please review the UVic Homestay Student Guidelines for your program to ensure that Homestay is the best accommodation choice for you.
“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.”