General Tips for Hosting Groups

Please Avoid Nuts!

Due to the possibility of severe allergies, we are asking all hosts to avoid putting any nut products in their student’s lunches. Your cooperation with this is appreciated.

Note: most group programs include three meals per day. If your student is given lunch at school, this reminder may not apply to you.

Medical Emergencies:

If you need to bring your student to a hospital, it is important to understand their insurance. All of these students will have insurance. Please make sure they bring their insurance card and I.D. with them to the hospital.

Hospitals in Canada and some private clinics should be able to bill the insurance provider directly. Please explain to hospital/clinic staff that this is an international student with private insurance. For more information about their insurance, or if you need to submit a claim, please contact your local Relationship Manager.

See below for our Emergency Protocol document.

Traveling With Your Student:

Bringing your student with you is a wonderful way to enrich their experience in Canada. However, it is important to notify their natural parents anytime you take your student overnight or require a financial contribution for a trip. Please download, complete, and submit the “Travel Permission Form” to CHI for any such trips (available below).

For sleepovers in town, please refer to our sleepover section on the Host Wiki. If your student has the opportunity to travel independently or with friends aside from group excursions, the trip is subject to the approval of you as a host, their natural parents, and their chaperone teachers. Please complete the Travel Permission Form.

Welcoming your Student

Every family has their own ideas on welcoming international students into their home and to Canada.Here are some suggestions that we feel work and that you may wish to consider in making your visitor feel at home:

  • Make a WELCOME banner with your students name;
  • Have a WELCOME card with a small Canadian souvenir, gift or treat basket in their bedroom;
  • Allow the student to get settled in and comfortable in his/her surroundings;
  • Be sure to explain how even the simplest household items and equipment work and any other details about your home;
  • Thinking and living in a foreign language in a new country can be a very exhausting experience.Please allow for some down time;
  • Canadians often like visitors to feel at home and to help themselves to snack in the kitchen.Some visitors will need to be reminded of such invitations regularly;
  • Involve your visitor in daily activities and be patient in explaining new vocabulary to them while preparing dinner, tidying up, and so on;
  • Consider outings, family games, walks, and other social activities that make the student feel comfortable;
  • Please show your student the bus routes and give them a bus schedule;
  • Keep a little message board handy with simple messages when you are out.Even notes stating: Have a wonderful day at school! can make a difference to your visitor!!

It is also important to discuss what is expected of your student in your home. Some hosts will type out a list of house rules, but if you prefer to approach it more informally, thats ok too!Remember to introduce the student to all the parts of your home first before going into too many house rules.

Homestay Expectations and Guidelines Document

This document is a great place to start with any new student. Help them adjust by filling it out together to outline the rules and expectations you have of them while they are staying in your home: “Homestay Expectations and Guidelines” (see below).

The following questions can serve as guidelines for discussion on the rules of the house.

  • What should your student call you?
  • What is your student expected to do other than make the bed, keep the room tidy and keep the bathroom clean after using it?
  • When and where can your student wash and iron clothes?
  • When is the most convenient time to use the bathroom?
  • What is the average length of time s/he can take a shower, or use the bathroom?
  • What time are meals?Who will prepare breakfast and lunch?
  • Can the student help him/herself to food and drinks at any time, or should s/he ask?
  • Will you invite the student to join you when you do the grocery shopping, or is there another way for him/her to let you know what they like?
  • Where is the students space for shampoo, toothpaste, soap etc.?
  • Where can the student store his/her luggage?
  • If you are entertaining in the home, please explain if the student is welcome.
  • Please explain your expectations around making long distance calls;
  • Should the student take his/her shoes off inside the house?
  • Are there any other house rules that the student should be aware of?