Policies and procedures may change during COVID-19. For up-to-date information, please view Homestay requirements during COVID-19.
Share what it means to be Canadian!
As a UVic Homestay Host, you’ll have a unique opportunity to share your perspective on a Canadian lifestyle with young people from other countries. Make new friends, learn about other cultures, and join a very special group of people who want to make a difference in the world. Our award-winning program staff support you every step of the way and qualifying hosts can receive up to $950/month.
About UVic Homestay
UVic Homestay strives to provide quality homestay experiences for our hosts and students. Our program has been operating for over 30 years, and we enjoy the privilege of working with many wonderful families in Victoria.
Our staff are dedicated professionals who work hard to ensure that our local host families and international students enjoy cultural exchanges. UVic Homestay matches over 1,600 students per year with local families in our program.
UVic Homestay provides our hosts with support and guidance before and during each placement.
Reasons to become a host
- to learn about other cultures and share their own
- to establish lasting friendships with people from other countries
- to share their favourite parts of Victoria and the West Coast
- to help students improve their English and learn about life in Canada
Eligibility to host
There are many different types of hosts in the UVic Homestay Program: single adults, families with children, same-sex couples, single parents, and empty nesters. Our hosts speak English fluently and have diverse backgrounds, life experiences and world views. UVic Homestay hosts must have a genuine desire and willingness to open their homes, along with sharing their family lives and customs with the students.
All UVic Homestay hosts must live within our catchment area, a reasonable 60 minute* commute from the university by public transit.
*Hosts living in the 50 to 60-minute commute range will likely be offered student placements during peak times: February, March, August and September. Homes must be located close to convenient and regular bus routes with bus stops accessible by approximately a 10-minute walk.
Role of host
Homestay hosts welcome students into their home and provide students with care and support as they experience a new culture and language. Hosts provide a safe, comfortable place to live, all food, language practice, and the sharing of family life and customs.
Hosts also create an opportunity for international students to learn about Canadian culture and life firsthand, and to practice their English in a casual, comfortable setting.
For our students, it’s the little things that make their stay in your home special: walking the dog, helping with dinner, going to local events with the family, hiking, shopping, spending time together. Hosting a student doesn’t take anything extraordinary – you can provide them with what they need just by being yourself!
Read about Joanne and Mike's experience hosting Homestay students.
As a host, you are required to:
- Provide students with a safe, comfortable and friendly home
- Provide students with a private, furnished bedroom (maximum 3 students per home)
- Provide students with food for all meals and snacks
- Help students adjust to living in a new culture
- Involve students in family activities
- Pick up students when they arrive in Victoria and drop them off at their departure location when they leave Victoria
- Speak English at all times
- Encourage students to practice their English conversation skills at home
- Live within a 60-minute* bus ride of the University of Victoria
- Provide students with basic wireless internet (wifi)
- Adhere to the UVic Homestay Guidelines for Hosts
How are hosts compensated?
- $950 CAD per student enrolled in the Monthly English program
- $950 CAD per student (per month) enrolled in programs longer than one month, and $32 per night for extra nights or partial month
How do I apply to become a UVic Homestay host family?
If you speak English fluently, live within our catchment, and can make the commitment to host students, we encourage you to join our community of homestay hosts!
- Prospective homestay hosts must complete a detailed application form, provide two reference letters, and have Police Information Checks (with the Vulnerable Sector Check) completed.
- Once the completed application package has been submitted, a member of the UVic Homestay Program will conduct a home visit. Staff will meet and interview the family, tour the home to ensure it is a safe environment that meets our requirements, and answer any questions. The home visit takes approximately one hour.