Homestay Support

  1. How do you select the host family I will be staying with?
  2. When will I know who my host family is?
  3. Can I communicate with my host family before I leave home?
  4. What if I don’t like the food or do not agree with the host family rules?
  5. What happens if I am not comfortable with my host family?
  6. How much does staying in homestay cost?
  7. What if I have to cancel or return home earlier than expected?
  8. What if I want to extend my stay?
  9. What do Canadians eat?
  10. What if I have special dietary needs?
  11. Am I able to use the phone at my homestay family’s house?
  12. Am I able to use a computer or internet in my homestay family’s house?
  13. What do Canadian families usually do in their free time?

How do you select the host family I will be staying with?

We try to get as much information about you from the application as possible to help us match you with a great family.  If you are attending a school program, we will look for a host family that is within reasonable distance of your school location, accessible by transportation and has similar interests to you.  We have a database of host families that we search through to find the best match possible for your stay in the community of your choice. 

When will I know who my host family is?

Once an application is received we will begin to look for your host family match.  Once we have made a match, we will prepare a Host Family Profile that will tell you about the home, the members of the family, and their interests and preferred activities.  We will send this to you via email at minimum 2 weeks prior to your arrival.   

Can I communicate with my host family before I leave home?

Yes, the Host Family Profile that is sent to you will also include the telephone numbers and email addresses of the host family.  The host family is looking forward to hearing from you and being able to connect via email or telephone prior to your arrival.  A connection prior to departure will make your first meeting more comfortable and you will definitely be feeling excited to start your adventure in Canada. 

What if I don’t like the food or do not agree with the host family rules?

While it may be difficult for you to speak with your host family about difficult topics, we do encourage sharing your feelings.  MLI Homestay Coordinators are available to help you adjust to your host family and provide you with tips on how to communicate, as well as provide feedback to the host family when you are feeling uncomfortable about discussing something with the family.  We want to be sure that you feel confident in our commitment to ensuring that the homestay experience is positive for the visitor and the host family. 

What happens if I am not comfortable with my host family?

While MLI Homestay Coordinators do their best to match host families with visitors, there may be potential for miscommunication, personality mismatches or other factors that may influence the connection between a visitor and the host family. 

MLI Homestay Coordinators are a local support for visitors and the host family.  They are there in the community to help clarify misunderstandings, mediate any difficult topics and help visitors and host families to build closer bonds.

In the case that the best choice is to move to a different host family, we are right there to help you find a new host family.  

We encourage you to connect with us to ensure that any questions or concerns that you have are addressed and resolved as soon as possible.  We want to be sure that you are happy and getting the most out of this experience. 

How much does staying in homestay cost?

Contact us today to provide you with a personalized quote based on your length of stay, time of year you will be staying and your location of choice. Click here for more information

What if I have to cancel or return home earlier than expected?

We understand that life doesn’t always go as planned and there may be a need to cut your visit short.  We ask that you contact us as soon as possible to let us know about the change in your plans so that we can communicate this to the host family on your behalf.  Based on our refund policy we will help you to determine if you can expect any of your payment to be refunded.  

What if I want to extend my stay?

This happens a lot!  We would be happy to communicate with your host family to check on their availability to extend your stay. If all is in order, we will connect with you to pay the additional fees and will be there to support you during the rest of your stay. 

What do Canadians eat?

Breakfast is usually at about 7:30am to 8:30 am on weekdays and later on the weekends. Canadians eat cereal or toast with tea/coffee, juice or milk for breakfast.  It is very typical for each member of the family to prepare their own breakfast as everyone may be leaving for work or school at different times. In Canada, it is very likely that your host family will show you where things are in the fridge and cupboards and ask you to “Help Yourself.”  It is not common that the host mom or dad will prepare breakfast for the family. 

On weekdays, Canadians usually have approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour for lunch. Your lunch break at school could be anywhere between 11:30 am to 1:00pm. On the weekend, families may have a brunch together around 11:00am or a later lunch around 1:00pm or 2:00pm.  Brunch is like a larger breakfast or a breakfast/lunch combination that may include pancakes, bacon, eggs, toast and potatoes.

An example of a typical Canadian packed lunch is a sandwich and fruit, leftover from dinner the day before like pizza, pasta, soup.  Snacks like a piece of fruit, some cookies or cut vegetables are sometimes eaten between meals and may be packed in your lunch bag or you can “Help Yourself” if you are at home.

Canadian supper/dinner time is usually between 5:00pm and 6:30 pm. Meals often consist of meat, potatoes and vegetables. Of course, every family has different likes and dislikes, so you may find your family enjoys foods like pizza, fish, spaghetti, or pasta. Also, sweet desserts like cookies, cakes, and ice cream are a favourite among Canadians.  

What if I have special dietary needs?

If you have a special dietary need such as an allergy to specific foods, or you are a vegetarian, please indicate this on your application form. This is important for us to know when we are trying to place you in a homestay.  We will advise the family of your dietary needs to be sure that your stay is as comfortable as possible.  

Your homestay family may ask you to help with supper, such as setting the table before supper or clearing away the dishes after supper. It is good manners to offer to help if you see that the family is busy with preparations. This is also a good time to practise English! Take time to talk to your family about food likes and dislikes.

Am I able to use the phone at my homestay family’s house?

You should ask your homestay family about using the phone. Local calls are free; however, some families will tell you if they have house rules about the length of time you should talk on the phone. If you are making long distance calls, we suggest that you buy a calling card in order to pay for the call. Also, most families prefer that you do not receive calls really late at night or really early in the morning. Ask your homestay family what is OK in their house. 

Am I able to use a computer or internet in my homestay family’s house?

Many families have personal computers now. You should ask if it is OK to use the computer, if there is one in your homestay. Please be respectful and do not download programs, videos, photos, etc on to your host family's computer.  Do not change language settings, admin settings or passwords. 

If you have your own laptop or mobile device and would like to use the internet, please discuss with your family what the internet usage rules are. Unlimited internet packages are not common in all areas in Canada and most home internet will have a monthly limit.  Please speak with your host family about this before downloading large files, streaming videos or games, etc.  You may be responsible to pay for charges if the internet use goes past the limit based on your activity. 

What do Canadian families usually do in their free time?

Some activities families like to do are visiting friends and family, having BBQs or inviting friends and family for dinner, playing sports, using computers, going for walks, crafts, etc. Being a new member of your Canadian family, you will be invited to do things with the family. We encourage you to join in and enjoy the fun times with your family. Your English will improve if you get out and are active. Of course, you need quiet time too, and it is OK to say, “I need some quiet time.”