The School District 72 international student program needs more host families for visiting students.
Students come from all over the world to study in Campbell River, and they need a place to live while they’re here.
Together with SD72, Adept Arrangements helps find families who are willing to host these students during their time in our area, and they are hosting an information session Nov. 23 for anyone who may be interested in becoming a host family.
B.C. already hosts more than one third of all international students studying in Canada, according to the Ministry of Education, and the provincial government has set a target to increase the number of international students studying in the province by 50 per cent by next September.
“We placed 50 high school students with families this past September and we are expecting another 10 to 15 students for February,” says Mercedes Hayduk of Adept Arrangements.
“Next fall we could very well see that number grow.”
Hayduk says many families form life-long bonds with the international students they host, because they try to “custom fit,” the placement of their students to give them the best chance of success.
“The more families that we have in our Homestay Program the better we can do at matching students to families,” Hayduk says.
“We need all types of families to host international students as our families are as diverse as the students who come here to study.
“Sometimes our students need a quiet home and are well suited to a retired couple, while some students want to be surrounded by activity and will enjoy a busy family with kids or teenagers,” Hayduk adds.
“Every student and situation is different, so we are looking for all types of families to apply.”
While these students are typically very independent and as such don’t need to be watched constantly, they still require a supportive home environment to help them adapt to Canadian culture, Hayduk says.
“While we have these students in our care, we need to ensure their safety as well as their mental and physical well-being, and we ask our host parents to monitor that for us,” Hayduk says.
“We work as a team with host parents to offer them whatever support they need and equally whatever supports the students need.
“The International Program’s success is largely dependant on our host families – they are critical to the program,” Hayduk adds.
Host families in Campbell River, besides possibly making a lifelong friend from somewhere across the world, also receive $700 per month for room and board expenses incurred while hosting an international student.
Anyone interested in learning more about the school district’s Homestay Program, or hosting an international student, can contact Hayduk at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 250-895-5946 to RSVP for the information session on Nov. 23, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the North Island College/Timberline Secondary School library.