UVic Homestay policies

The UVic English Language Centre offers Homestay accommodation between September and June each year. To be eligible for Homestay, you must be 18 years old by the start date of your program. Complete homestay guidelines are available here, with translations in Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Spanish

For 2024, Homestay availability is limited and exclusively reserved for ELC students. However, we are excited to share that we are actively working towards expanding our offerings. Our goal is to open up Homestay accommodations to all UVic students starting in Fall 2024/Spring 2025.

In light of the limited availability, we have updated the ELC website to reflect the current situation. Please note that as a  precautionary measure, some 2024 programs now indicate 'limited availability' for Homestay accommodations.

We want to emphasize the importance of submitting your applications for Homestay accommodation as early as possible. Early applications increase your chances of securing a placement with a welcoming local host family for your chosen program. However, please keep in mind that Homestay placements are not guaranteed.

While travel regulations have been lifted, we have received feedback from our hosts regarding their preference for vaccinated students. Therefore, we highly encourage students seeking a Homestay placement to be fully vaccinated. This means that students must have received at least two doses of a 2-dose series (e.g., AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Moderna vaccine), or it has been more than 14 days since they received a single dose of a 1-dose series (e.g., Janssen/Johnson and Johnson).

We will continue to update the ELC Fees and dates webpage as new information and options become available. Rest assured, we are diligently working towards expanding our capacity to accommodate more students with local host families. We are eager to welcome many more students to UVic Homestay once our placement availability increases.

Thank you for your understanding and patience during this transition. We appreciate your continued support and look forward to providing you with an enriching Homestay experience at the University of Victoria.

Please direct any questions to: elcinfo@uvic.ca.


As we welcome international students back to UVic and Victoria, our top priority is the health and safety of our students, host families, campus and community. The UVic Homestay Program follows the regulations and recommendations of the federal and the provincial governments, as well as the local public health authority.

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

  • be registered in a program at the University of Victoria
  • adhere to the UVic Homestay Guidelines for Students
  • pay your host 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 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

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

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.

Please note that:  

  • Your homestay host may be from different backgrounds and will have different life experiences and world views.
  • Our hosts may be couples, single adults, nuclear families, blended families, single parents and same sex couples.
  • Pets are common, and the majority of our homestay hosts have one or more pets which they consider members of their family.
  • Alcohol and marijuana are legal in Canada and some of our hosts choose to use these substances.
  • Your hosts are not able to provide specialty foods such as protein powders and bars, supplements, halal foods, etc. These will need to be purchased by the student.

Sometimes there are gaps between one registered program and the next consecutive program offered. When Homestay is the accommodation option provided for a program (September to June), UVic Homestay will place students with a host family throughout their registered programs, including any gap periods. Please note that students applying to our summer short-term programs in July and August have the option of registering for dormitory accommodation only and cannot remain in Homestay during this time.

As soon as your homestay placement is confirmed, you should contact your host to introduce yourself and to share your arrival information. This is very important, so that you can arrange for pick-up in Victoria at the airport, ferry terminal, bus station or another location you have agreed upon. To make sure your homestay family can easily pick you up, book a flight that arrives between 8:00am and 10:00pm on your program's set Arrival Date and Departure Date. Please read complete Homestay Arrival information.

Students needing to arrive earlier than the Program Arrival Date /date listed on the Hosting Dates of the Placement Contract:

Students should make other accommodation arrangements for any nights outside of the homestay contract dates listed. Hosts are advised not to accommodate early arrival requests, and students are advised to make other arrangements for nights before or after their homestay contract.

It is the student’s responsibility to arrange accommodation until the arrival date listed in the Hosting Dates of your Homestay Placement Contract. See a list of accommodation options in Victoria.

Once your accommodations have been arranged, you must contact your host family to tell them where you are staying, so arrangements for pick up can be made

You should aim to arrive on the weekends or weekday evenings, no later than 10pm (and not during the weekday work hours) so that host families can make the necessary arrangements to pick you up

If you are planning to arrive in the Homestay home after the hosting dates listed, you must contact your host with your request via email, with at least one week’s notice. We suggest that you carry your host’s cell phone number with you so you can phone or email them if there are changes or delays to your travel arrangements while you are travelling. If you have a cell phone, please provide your host with the number in case they need to call you.

Students arriving on a weekday may be required to take a taxi, at the student’s expense, to the host’s home. Students arriving early in the day on a weekday are advised to take a taxi to the University of Victoria, Continuing Studies Building, and join the day’s activities – your host will be able to pick you up after their workday from the UVic campus. Please arrange this directly with your host.

  • Vacation Notice Form

If you are going away for five or more consecutive nights, you will pay a reduced rate for Homestay.  You can obtain a Vacation Notice Form from the UVic Homestay office and will need to provide this form to your host at least one week prior to travel.

  • Two-week Notice

Please note that our general practice is to place students for the duration of their program. If you are wishing to end the hosting relationship, you may terminate the placement contract by providing a Two-Week Notice Form that has been signed by both parties (the student and the host).

Notice may only be given once a student has been living in the home for at least two weeks, so that the student completes one full month/payment period. The Two-Week Notice Form may be obtained from the UVic Homestay Office and once completed, must be submitted to the UVic Homestay office for review.  The move-out date into a new homestay placement is subject to availability within the Homestay Program. Students are responsible for paying the host for at least two weeks from the day the Two-Week Notice form is completed and signed. A Two-Week Notice Form cannot be used in combination with a Vacation Notice Form.

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 any issue or conflict they are experiencing at home.

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.