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Student Handbook


Learning in a second language can often require more time and support for some students.  Should a student need tutoring support, the parents in the home country need to agree to this support as there is a fee assessed outside of the tuition fees already paid.  If a student needs a tutor, the process is as follows:

  • Recommendation comes from the parent through the agent to the program administrator.
  • Recommendations can also come from the school or classroom teacher.
  • Program administrator contacts the homestay contractor to notify the family.
  • The program administrator contacts the tutor with student and homestay information.
  • The tutor contacts the student to set up a weekly schedule.
  • Invoice will be sent to parents.

Mental health

The majority of students who come to Canada have an amazing experience and thrive in their new environment with us.  However, sometimes students come to our program in the hopes that some of their personal struggles back home will be fixed. Sometimes this is the case, but sometimes instead, an abroad experience may make their struggles worse due to a lack of ability to communicate effectively in English or direct support from family.

Even students without prior issues may feel overwhelmed or stressed out. Whenever a student is struggling with adjustment to a new culture, culture shock, depression, anxiety, gaming or substance addiction they should visit the school counselor for support. This free and non-judgemental support is available at each school. 

At any time that a school counselor feels the student needs extra support, the student may be directed to seek outside counselling services. The BC government has 24 hour support services for students. 

Additionally, our insurance provider StudyInsured™ offers counselling support through their Stay Healthy at School program's mental health phone line. You can reach counsellors 24/7 in more than 180 languages at 1-833-646-1524. Resources are also available at and

You can download an app and access additional resources by registering here using the access code: simschools


All of our short- and long-term students are covered by StudyInsured™ and BC's Medical Service Plan (MSP).  The homestay contractor will provide student (or their family, depending on their age/maturity) with a card and procedures to follow if they feel unwell. It's important for students to share their health concerns with homestay family or Contractor, so they can access medical care when it is needed.

Visit to learn more about the health insurance coverage offered by StudyInsured™ . You can also call the StudyInsured™ Assistance team, day or night, if you have questions about the insurance coverage at 1.866.883.9787


Where will I live?

Kootenay Lake International students may reside in Nelson & Area OR over the mountain pass in Creston. This depends on the program and/or school chosen. Each community offers something special to the students who study there, whether it's rugged mountains with access to the slopes or pastural agricultural scenery with accessible nature experiences. 

Regardless of which community, students enjoy the homestay experience because if feels like 'home.' Some families enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle, while others enjoy quiet activities like reading and movies. Each of our families shares their profile - information about their family home, family members and their interests - so that students can be matched with a family with similar interests. 

Within each community are regions with their own flavour - the Nelson area has downtown, the North Shore, Rosemont, Fairview, Taghum, Beasley, Blewett, Bonnington...or a little further out, Salmo and Kaslo. Creston has downtown, Erickson, Canyon/Lister, Wyndell and more. Depending where the students live, they will either take the bus or walk to school. Some students may request rides from their homestays, take the transit or even ride a bicycle! 

Standards of Care

Our district is committed to following 'best practice' and the standards of our province with regard to homestay placements:

BC Provincial Government Homestay Guidelines for Students 

The homestay Contractor plays an important role in homestay. Every student is supported by their Contractor - there are scheduled monthly meetings, held away from the home. These meetings allow students the freedom to review their homestay arrangements and solve any issues that may arise. 

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration, for the Government of Canada requires all students to have an assigned custodian while they are studying in Canada. While the homestay family provides a home, Jann Schmidt, the program Administrator, assumes the legal role of custodian. The Custodian document must be completed, as part of each application. When students wish to travel on extracurricular trips or with their homestay families, permission must be granted through the international program office. The Contractor will support the homestay family and student in gaining permission. 

If an International student wishes to stay in Canada, outside of the timeline of their program end date, a Termination of Custodianship document is required. International students should consult with their homestay contractor if they are hoping to remain in Canada past their end date. 

For students requiring bus transportation to school, please review the On-line Registration Memo. Homestay families should be able to assist with registration. Bus registration is required for all students who require bussing to school.