Become a Host Family

The Holloway family

Is your family interested in hosting international students? We'd love to hear from you!

Host families provide a safe and supportive family environment for international students, including:

  • A private bedroom, with closet space, desk, bed, window
  • 3 meals a day plus snacks (sit down family meals most evenings)
  • Orientation to the bus system and Victoria
  • Communication and cultural exchange

Families hosting for Sterling College need to be located no more than 30 minutes away from downtown Victoria by bus, and criminal record checks are required for adults in the family.

We receive a lot of requests from students for homestay with families who have kids and/or teens at home.

What makes a good host family?

From Doug Ronson, who presented on this topic at the 2015 CAPS-I conference, here are some of the characteristics that were shared by the conference participants:

  • Open-minded and adaptable: Hosts should want to share North American culture but also appreciate the fact that other cultures may take a different approach
  • Problem solver: Great hosts should be able to resolve minor conflicts with their student without running to the Homestay Coordinator
  • Like to cook: Microwave meals don't cut it as a dinner
  • Ability to follow rules: for the safety of the student, it is important that the program have standards and that hosts abide by them
  • Active: Hosts should be involved in the community and interested in sharing activities with students
  • Committed: Families need to be eager to help students adjust and improve their English

How to apply

If you’re interested in hosting international students for Sterling College, please follow the steps below!

  1. Read the following background information:

    Information Guide for Host Families
    Sample House Rules

  2. Fill out the Host Family Application Form
  3. Valid criminal record checks (CRCs) are required for all residents of your home who are over the age of 18. Print out this letter and give it to the police station when applying for your CRCs.
  4. Print and fill out one Homestay Resident Suitability Declaration for each resident of your home over the age of 18
  5. Compile the following items for submission with your application:
    • Proof that you have applied for CRCs (or the CRCs themselves) and completed Homestay Resident Suitability Declarations for all residents over 18 years old
    • A floorplan of your home (hand drawn is fine)
    • Photos of the outside of your home, common rooms in the house, the student's room, your pets and your family
    • A copy of any family rules that apply within your home
  6. Submit your application to Sterling College by one of the following methods:
  7. Your homestay application will be evaluated by our Homestay Coordinator and you may be contacted to arrange a home visit and interview
  8. If accepted, you will be matched with a suitable student as the need arises. Please note that acceptance is not guaranteed. Students may seek homestay accommodation for as little as one or two weeks or as long as one year. Some wish to be placed with a family with children and/or pets, others do not. In all cases, we will endeavor to find the best match between student needs and homestay family preferences.
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