Vanmates   |   August 3, 2020

Looking for a homestay? Discover the process of finding one through Vanmates

What is a homestay?

There is nothing more useful than interacting with residents and learning about the ‘slangs’ and learning about Canadian culture. With a homestay, this is possible because it promotes friendship, language learning, and cultural exchange opportunities between Canadians and international students.

Residents open their homes to students and can experience a friendship between cultures. Many lifelong friendships have developed from these family accommodation experiences. Many host families have travelled to their student’s countries for weddings and visits.

Homestay with Vanmates

Pairing a host family and a student is done with great care and consideration. We consider the availability of the host, activities/hobbies, and interests of the host and student, if there are any medical concerns (allergies), if there are children in the home, or if smoking is a problem. The more accurate the information provided in the student profile, the better the match between host and student.

Our top priority is to have reliable families who can provide a fun and comfortable environment for students. Once we receive a request from families who want to host, we arrange an interview and make sure they provide everything a student needs.

Once you apply to be a homestay guest, we will send you at least two homestay options for you to choose based on your needs.

Language in the home

Canada is a multicultural society that values ​​and respects the diversity of all Canadians. Many different types of Canadian families participate in the homestay program. Many Canadians speak other languages ​​and are immigrants, but English must be the primary language spoken at home.

Many host families in Canada speak languages ​​other than English. It is policy and practice for host families to speak ENGLISH ONLY to students. It is our policy that families should use English as their primary language at home.

Here is Nicolas, an international student from Colombia with his homestay, Jean-Ann enjoying a beautiful afternoon.

Student Responsabilities

Upon arrival, we recommend that you have a conversation with your host family about the house rules. Please note that rules such as closing the door, not having sleepovers, showing consideration and respect for privacy and the host family’s belongings, and being clean must be followed during your stay.

Adjusting in the homestay

Living with a Canadian family has many challenges. When you arrive, everything will be new: food, school, friends, family, social expectations, gender roles, communication styles, lifestyle and much more.

You will feel good, bad, nostalgic, frustrated, angry, sad and then happy again. This stressful situation is called “culture shock.” Some students find this extremely difficult. But hey! You don’t need to worry. These feelings will pass. These feelings are normal, so you can expect them at different intensities. Everyone experiences a different culture shock.

Most importantly, talk to someone about how you feel and stay active. Talk about how you feel about your host family, your teacher (s), any staff member or you can also visit our office. We have all had these same experiences and can help.


The first fee you will have to pay as a requirement to apply for a homestay is a $ 250 placement fee (non-refundable) that will be guaranteed by a host family. Almost 90% of our host families offer 2 to 3 meals. Usually for two meals it is $ 1050cad per month, and for three meals it is $ 1,100. It all depends on the host family.

However, some hosts from host families do not provide meals, which means that the student needs to provide food or meals. For this option, the private room generally costs $ 1,000cad per month.

Do you have any questions? We would love to hear from you!