Welcome to the Homestay Program of Dewey College.

We are happy that you have chosen to stay with a Canadian family while you are studying at Dewey College. You are about to embark on an exciting adventure. You will have the chance to learn about Canadian culture, see your new country in a new light, and make new friends. This program provides the greatest opportunities for you to learn Canadian life in a very personalize set up. It is also the ideal setting to learn English, develop internal personal skills and experience Canadian hospitality. This handbook contains information designed to prepare you to stay with a family in a culture different from your own. This guide will help you during your stay so please keep this handbook and refer to it whenever you have questions.

About Homestay Program

How do we choose families to be in the homestay program?

Families that are interested in becoming homestay families are required to understand and comply with this program thoroughly by going through the details with our Student Services Department.  Interested families should carefully complete the application form and agree with all conditions stipulated in the application form. The Student Services Department then reviews each application. After the application is approved, the school schedules a visit to the home. When we visit the home, we ask to see the house and meet the members of the family, and discuss about the homestay program. We want to be sure that the environment will be comfortable for the students. We also ensure that the family meets all of our requirements. Our requirements include providing a bed, desk, place to put your clothing (closet and dresser), and generally a good environment in which students can live. The family must meet all of our requirements and provide a Criminal Record Check (CRC) for every adult above 18 years living in the household. When final approval is received and the agreement is signed, the family is eligible to host students.

Why was I placed with this host family in particular?

The Student Services Department tries to match students and families as best as possible so that the experience will be enjoyable for both parties. As a student, you filled out an application, which states your needs and preferences in a homestay. For example, you were asked if you smoke, have any allergies or physical disabilities, and if you prefer to stay with a family that has children and/or pets. Host families indicate their preferences as well. For example, they indicate a preference for a student for a particular period such as fall, winter, spring, or summer and tell us whether they would like short-term or long-term students. When our staff matches students with families, the student profiles and family profiles are compared. Students are then matched with the family that most closely suits them. Perfect matches, however, are not always possible. The more limitations that you place upon your family, the more difficult it is to find a family for you.

Food

Who provides my food?

Your host family will provide your food for every meal.

Who prepares my meals?

Your contract indicates that your host family will prepare your meals. If you want to prepare any meal for yourself, you must seek permission. Your host family will show you where they keep all of the utensils and ingredients you need.

What if I go to a restaurant?

If you go to a restaurant with your host family, they will pay for your meal. However, if you go without your host family, you must pay for your own meal.

What if I am hungry?

When you arrive at your homestay, your host family will show you where they keep their snacks. Many families will allow you to prepare your own snacks. You may feel uncomfortable at first, but remember that this is your home. If you ever feel that you are not getting enough food to eat, tell your host family first. If you still have the same problem after you tell the host family, contact school staff.

What if I have dinner plans with my friends?

If you make plans to have dinner with friends instead of eating with your family, tell your host parents in advance. This will help them plan their meals.

Will my family prepare dinner for me every night?

Your family will prepare dinner for you every evening. Occasionally, your family may find that they must be away from home at dinner time. They will leave a prepared meal for you. Also, on some occasions, your family may take you to a restaurant for dinner. They will pay for your meal when you are eating with them.

Will I like the food that my host family prepares?

Eating Canadian food is an important part of your cultural experience. If you are served food that you do not like or you cannot eat for religious or health reasons, tell your host parents immediately. They will appreciate your honesty. Otherwise, try to keep an open mind and try new things.

Illness & Emergency

What should I do if I get sick?

If you feel sick during school hours, come to the Student Services Department. We can provide a ride to the clinic. If you feel sick while you are at home, your host family will take you to their family physician, an urgent care center, the hospital, or a doctor recommended by our office.. If you are seeking any medical treatment, remember to take your health insurance card and Student ID card with you.

What should I do if I have an emergency?

If you are involved in an accident, or some other serious incident, and you need to get assistance after hours, please use the 24 hours emergency numbers in your Homestay Program Booklet:

Money Matters

What if I need to go to the bank?

If you need to go to the bank, you can ask your homestay family several days in advance if they can drive you there. However, remember that they are not obligated to drive you. There are several banks nearby and you can take public transit.  If it is an urgent matter, ask the staff at school to drive you.

When do I pay my homestay fees?

You must pay your homestay fee to school as per invoice issued terms.

How do I calculate my homestay fees?

For all fees, please refer to the school Fees Policies in Student Handbook.

Responsibilities

What are my responsibilities to my host family?

  • Respect house rules. One of the best ways to show respect for your host family is to abide by the family house rules and guidelines. These guidelines apply regardless of your age. For instance, if you are 18 years old and your family asks you to be home by 10:00 p.m., you must be home by 10:00 pm.
  • Respect your family’s schedule. Your family must take you to school and school-sponsored events. Your host family will have their own lives, including work, family, school, and hobbies. If you want to go somewhere, you should ask your family at least three days in advance.
  • Respect your family’s property. The school recommends you that if you do not know how to use any household items such as the microwave oven in your homestay’s house, please ask for directions before you use it. REMEMBER that you are responsible for what you damage.
  • Always tell them where you are. You must notify your homestay family of the contact number where you will be. This is for your safety. They also need to know in case there is an emergency in your country and you need to be contacted.

What are my host family’s responsibilities to me?

  • Transportation; Transportation is an important part of the host family’s responsibility. They are required to provide transportation to all school events that are listed on the school calendar as well as airport pick up or drop off.
  • Food; Your host family will provide you with three meals per day, seven days per week.
  • Housing; You will be provided with a bed, desk, and many other items to help you feel comfortable in your new home.
  • Safety; The homestay family is also responsible for providing a safe place to live. If you feel, at any time, that any of your host family’s obligations are not being met, please contact the school.

Will I get along with my family?

Here are a few guidelines to help you communicate with your family:

  • Be specific. Whenever your host parents ask you a question, be truthful and say what you really feel or what you want. Canadians expect you to do this.
  • Tell them when you do not understand. Your host family wants you to understand. If you do not understand, ask someone in your host family. At first, you may have to communicate by writing, gestures, or by using a dictionary. Soon, you will be able to communicate more fluently.
  • Talk about problems. If you have a problem, it is very important to discuss it. If, after talking with your host family, you feel you still have a problem, or if you are uncomfortable speaking to your family about the problem, contact school staff for additional assistance.
  • Speak up. Talk about yourself and your home country. Do not be afraid of making mistakes with your English.

What if I have a disagreement with my host family?

If you have a disagreement with your family, first try to talk with them yourself. If you are uncomfortable, talk to someone on staff at the school. The school will help you to resolve the issue.

What if my family speaks a language other than English at home?

The School prefers to place students with families who speak English in their homes. If your host family consistently speaks different language in their home and it makes you uncomfortable, please contact the school office.

What should I do if I’m going on vacation?

If you go on a vacation during the regular school year, you must continue to pay your homestay fees normally.

When can I take a shower or bath?

You should ask your host family what time they prefer you to take a shower or bath. Please be considerate of the water usage and keep your showers brief whenever possible.

How will I wash my clothes?

You will wash your clothes and your host family will show you how to use the washer and dryer. Also, they will provide laundry soap and any other items you need.

Where should I keep my valuables?

Even though you should feel comfortable in your new home, it is wise to keep your valuables in a safe place. You may wish to keep your travelers’ checks, extra cash, and jewelry locked in your suitcase. The school or homestay family is not responsible for money or valuables lost.

What if I have a problem that I cannot resolve?

If you have any questions or problems regarding homestay, please contact the Student Services Department. Your problem will be kept confidential, and you can speak to someone in your native language. We are here to help you.

Who provides my toiletries?

Toiletries are personal hygiene items, such as shampoo, toothpaste, soap, and any other items that you regularly use. You are responsible for purchasing your own toiletries. Your family will provide towels, blankets, sheets, and many other non-toiletry items.

Keys?

You will be given keys to your host family’s house. Please return them to your host family when you leave. If you lose your keys you must pay the cost of replacing them and potentially the cost of replacing the lock(s).

What are homestay evaluations?

Homestay evaluations are completed near the end of your program. The evaluations ask you questions regarding your homestay experience. We appreciate your honesty in the evaluations. If you are happy with your family, we need to know so that we can place more students there. Also, if you are unhappy with your family, we need to know so that we can investigate any problems with the family. Do not be worried that your host family will find out the information you disclose in your evaluation. The evaluations are confidential, and we do not tell your host family what you said, even after you leave. We will, however, give them their average score at the end of every year. The average is based on several students’ ratings of their stay at that home, averaged together.