Skip to main content

Apply to be a host family                         Apply to be a Homestay Contractor


International students have been attending schools in SD8 since 1999. The acquisition of English as a second language is very important to our students. Being immersed in an English speaking environment is an ideal situation for learning an additional language.

With the rising popularity of our area, there is a growing need for hosts to welcome International Students who want to experience the beauty of Nelson and the quality education provided by our schools. These students come from all corners of the globe, seeking academic excellence and a taste of our unique culture and way of life.

Becoming a host family is a rewarding and enriching experience. By opening your homes to international students, you provide them with nurturing environments and the opportunity to be a part of a Canadian family, an invaluable experience.

Here are compelling reasons why hosting international students can be a fantastic experience for your family:

**Cultural Exchange**: Hosting international students allows you to learn about different cultures, traditions, and perspectives right in the comfort of your own home. It's a chance to share your culture while learning about theirs.

**Global Friendship**: Building lasting friendships with students who may become like family is a wonderful outcome. These bonds can extend beyond their stay, leading to lifelong connections with people from around the world.

**Personal Growth**: Hosting students challenges you to be more adaptable, patient, and empathetic. It's an opportunity to broaden your worldviews, enhance communication skills, and develop a deeper understanding of different cultures.

**Monthly Stipend**: Host families receive a monthly stipend. This financial support helps cover the costs of hosting a student, including food and accommodation.

Homestay must offer students:

  • a clean, safe and well organized living and sleeping environment
  • a private bedroom: including a comfortable bed and dresser/closet for clothes and an environment suitable to study and do homework, including desk or table and lamp
  • wi-fi, so the student can connect with their own device or laptop
  • airport pickup and delivery for arrival and departure; at the nearest airport
  • a supportive and nurturing environment
  • three substantial meals a day and nutritious snacks
  • help with transportation requests by the student, so the student can participate in some extracurricular and community activity
  • opportunities to participate in family activities
  • support in joining school or community activities, teams or clubs
  • an opportunity to engage in frequent informal conversation, to develop spoken English skills  

What can the homestay family expect from the International Program staff?

The Kootenay Lake International Program is committed to supporting our host families at every step. We provide resources, guidance, and a support network to ensure a positive hosting experience for both homestay families and the students.

Concerned about the logistics? Rest assured, we will assist you with the application process, matching you with suitable students, and offering guidance throughout the hosting period. Our goal is to make this experience as smooth and rewarding as possible for our host families.

  • a Contractor who is assigned to support the student and homestay family in establishing and building relationships and solving problems
  • Orientation and support for new students, to learn the rules and expectations of the program
  • Orientation and support for new homestay families, to prepare them for their adventure 
  • Regular communication via email and phone - policies, reminders and more
  • Planned monthly activities for the international student - activities like ziplining, rafting and more - opportunities for them to interact with other international students
  • Medical coverage for the student - with clear communication regarding procedures and documents to seek treatment

Host Family and Student Agreements (updated annually)

Our families are diverse - they may consist of a single parent, retired couple, couples without children, couple with children, working parents, or a traditional nuclear family with children and a stay-at-home parent. Contractors work with agents and families to match students. Every effort is made to meet student and family needs. Once in a while, students are moved, when it's in the best interests of either the student or family. 

Our families pass all safety screenings and their homes are visited on an annual basis to be sure that the environment is safe, friendly and suitable for an international student. Host family agreements, Criminal Record Checks and Offense Declarations are reviewed and signed each time a student is going to be placed in a home. 

Host families are paid a monthly stipend in two installments each month (payments scheduled by the International Program Coordinator). This money is not 'income,' and therefore, it can't be paid until a student is placed. As well, it is meant to support student(s) in the home, so payment is terminated when a student leaves the home. 



Homestay Handbook 

Student Handbook

Bus Transportation Registration information

Homestay Family Letter of Understanding