ISP Q & A

How can we become a host family?
Please fill out an application form and return to our office. We will then contact by email once your application has been approved.
What are the requirements of hosting an International Student?

Homestays are available to most homes, the application, home visit and CRC are the basis to establishing a qualified home stay.

 

Some criteria for homestay consideration:

  • a valid drivers licence and vehicle
  • a clean tidy single family dwelling/home (strata properties or mobile home parks due to strata rules are subject to consideration)
  • 1 bathroom homes are subject to consideration, 2 or more bathrooms are preferred
  • near bus services or walking distance to school
  • homes near bus services but over 30 min bus ride are subject to consideration
  • communities with several homestay families and out of the city limits are subject to consideration
  • remote homes although not desirable are subject to consideration if desired by an international student
  • foster homes or homes caring for several people are subject to consideration

 

Basically, selected homestays are required to provide students with the following:

  • 3 meals a day and snacks also provided
  • a private bedroom with a closet, door, window, desk, bed, lamp dresser. 
  • internet access and use
  • airport pick up and drop off, and possibly the odd drop off or pick up during their stay with you
  • working with and overseeing students at home and during after school hours
  • a warm and welcoming Canadian family

 

The homestay team assists the homestay family with helpful information to make the experience even more enjoyable.

I am a single Mom or Dad or same sex couple, can I still host a student?
 The application process is open to anyone that wishes to apply.

What is the monthly stipend?

 Compensation for providing homestay to a student is $825.00 month as of September 2018.
What if there is a problem or concern?
 Please contact our office as soon as possible so we may assist in a solution.
Can I choose to have a female student or male student only?
 Yes, we encourage host families to match up their children to same gender students if there is any concern.
When do the students arrive?
Arrival dates and times are not set in stone. Students typically arrive in late August for Sept school, late Jan or early Feb for 2nd semester start. Some students arrive in July for summer school prior to their Public school start in Sept.
How long will the student stay with us?
It depends on the student and host family. Depending on the program the student is signed up for, they could be with the host family from 1 month to 3 years.

This is discussed in advance with the host family, the homestay program works with the family if a short term student requests to stay longer.

Should we give the student house rules?

Yes, we encourage families to provide reasonable written house rules. This should be done during students' moving-in-period. A sample rules sheet can be found under as a host family.

What if the student damages something in our home?

This seldom happens, but if it should; we would mediate with the host family and the student to resolve the problem. Typically, the student is responsible for damage however everyday wear and tear is not considered damage.
Do we have to provide internet access?
Yes, students need internet access. Most students require internet access for school assignments and to keep in touch with their family and friends in their home country.

Please make sure your internet plan is unlimited or talk to your provider to put parental locks or scheduled times for internet use. You don't want your students up all night when they should be sleeping.

Please make sure you have installed anti-virus software for all your computers.

You can download http://windows.microsoft.com/mse for free.

Is it okay to have students share a room?
No, each student needs their own private room. Please provide a room to each student. The only exception is for short term group programs.
Is it okay to host boys and girls in the same house?
Although we do not promote this and quite often will say no, our homestay manager at their discretion and consultation with the ISP team may at times allow homes to host both genders.
We have a female student, and not sure how we should approach the menstruation question.

Female students will most likely not say anything to you about their monthly friend, however it is important that the host mother helps them feel comfortable about themselves.

She should talk with the student, letting them know how to dispose of their used products; where to purchase products if they need and for them to talk with her if they have any concerns or problems.

Do I have to pay for their bus pass or phone?
No, the student is responsible to buy a Kamloops bus pass and to purchase a phone plan through one of the local phone companies or a prepaid plan at Walmart or Best Buy.

It is appreciated if you can get them to a Safeway, Shoppers Drug Mart or business that sells passes to purchase their bus pass; these businesses sell student bus passes; either a month or 4 month passes. 4 months is the better option if the student is here for a semester, the year or longer. These passes are $100.00 while the month passes are $34.00.

Cell phone plans can be purchased through a service provider such Telus, Bell or Rogers. Students can purchase prepaid cards from Walmart, (Walmart has some great monthly prepaid cards providing data for what's app use, texting and calling) Superstore or some corner stores. Check to see if their phone is unlocked to determine first what your options are for them.

Your student must be able to communicate with you at all times without Wi-Fi.

What about medical? Do we have to put the student on our plan?
No, International students arrange their medical coverage prior to coming. You will be advised of this and requested to record their medical insurance plan number should you find the need to use it. If your student needs to seek medical attention there are a few options to limit the costs that could be charged. 
Can we take our student camping? Or on vacation?
Yes, as your students’ guardian, you can. If your student wished to go on a trip with another family to Vancouver, or the lake for the weekend or any other excursion that was not with you or with the School District then your student would be required to complete a travel consent form which can be found under as a host family.
Am I required to pay for extra-curricular activities for my student.
No, your student will be responsible to pay for his/her fees associated with being a part of a team, club or a membership to a gym, or if your student was going to the movies or bowling with friends or if your student was to buy a ski pass. These are all the responsibility of your student.
My student does not have any winter clothing or ski/snowboard equipment. Am I responsible to buy this for them?
No, this again is your student’s responsibility, however we appreciate if you can assist your student with shopping or finding the items they need.
My student is requesting me to buy more meat products and/or supplements for his/her meals. What are our responsibilities?

We don’t typically eat this much meat or buy supplements and it is becoming very costly. Is this my responsibility to change my meal plans in my home to suit the student?

Students may have some dietary needs which we typically are made aware of, such as gluten free, vegetarian etc.

When a student is asking for more or a different meal plan then what your family typically provides; it is a suggestion that you take your student shopping so they may purchase these specific food items for themselves. This includes more meat, or protein products, specialty products that only the student will be consuming is also something they are responsible to pay for.

Can I ask my student to help around the house?

Your student has become part of your family, so it is okay to request them to keep their bedroom clean and neat, change their bed sheets, put out their garbage, do their laundry, and to keep the bathroom they use neat and clean as well. 

Some homestays rather just do the work rather than ask the student to help; however, this is not always a great habit to get into. We suggest inviting the student to help prepare meals, set and unset the table, assist loading the dishwasher but not to force them with this.

Some students are very timid and have never done this kind of chores before so it may feel awkward. Always take baby steps and work with your student to get the best results.

Should we be making sure our student do their homework, and set up teacher appointments as well?

Your students should be able to manage their course load on their own.

As you would with your own kids, you can ask if they have homework or how school is going or if they need help with anything but you don’t have to watch over them and make sure school work is done.

As well, you don’t need to book appointment to visit teachers regarding your student’s courses unless your student requests this.

Our International Counselor is aware of student’s performance at school and addresses any short comings with the students.

My student has become a bit withdrawn, and spending all his/her time in their bedroom or out with friends. What should we do?

If your student has become a bit withdrawn or out more with friends. There could be a couple reasons for this. They may not be adjusting to the food that your home is providing. Suggestion is to ask them what kind of foods they like to eat and see if you can implement some basics into your menu.

They may be feeling a bit homesick and are more comfortable with friends than they are with their homestay. Suggestion; try to include them more into your daily routine but don’t be pushy.

They may be feeling a bit homesick and are more comfortable with friends than they are with their homestay. Suggestion; try to include them more into your daily routine but don’t be pushy.

My student says that he/she is allowed to drink alcohol or smoke in their home city, and they would like to here.

Our zero tolerance rule prohibits students engaging in the use of alcohol, drugs or even cigarettes (regular or vapor cigarettes).

If a student breaks this rule which also includes no driving, then they risk the likelihood of being sent home to their parents.

We also, ask that homestay families do their part to not promote any of these acts which also include sexual activity. This means that no student may spend the night at a boyfriend or girlfriends home; as well as a host family you need to know where your student is spending their free time.

Showing an interest and helping them make good decisions is a part of being the host parent.

My student seems not interested in school as much as the fun aspect of being here in Kamloops. Should I be concerned?

Being aware is of more importance than being concerned. Some student’s main objective is to experience Canadian culture and not so much Canadian education. Your student may have more interest in shopping, snowboarding or just hanging with friends at the mall or gym.

This is okay, we ask that you be aware and ask the right questions to ensure that your student is safe and not putting themselves or others in a bad situation.

I think my student is drinking with friends after school or smoking pot. What should I do?

If you have any suspicions of inappropriate behaviour with your student, it is important to make ISP aware immediately so our team can work with you to find out more and keep a closer eye on what is going on in your student’s life, and at school.

I have a family emergency or a planned vacation and will be away for a period of time. What do I do with my student (s)?

The International Program can provide you assistance with emergency contact families for respite while you are away. You can contact these families to arrange respite for your students. Students should only be placed in one home while you are away. It is not advised to seek have your students moved from home to home during respite. ISP should be made aware of homestay vacations and respite placements.

Your first choice should be to have a approved family member or family friend stay in your home with the students. this option keeps the routines as normal as possible. If this is not an option, then finding an alternate home for the students is necessary. You will be required to pay the family whatever the daily rate is at that time per student per day for the days they are with this host family. We ask that you make those arrangements directly with the temporary host family, if respite is planned far enough in advance with an approved ISP homestay; remuneration can be facilitated through the finance dept.

ISP will monitor respite care and remuneration to ensure the students and both families are managed efficiently and effectively.

Do you know actually where your student is? Don't always trust their word or a text.
If your student is spending a lot of time away from the home on week nights and over the weekend; it is EXTREMELY important that you know where he/she is. It is your responsibility as the homestay parent to confirm with the other family not the other student that in fact your student is at their home. Don't assume. For the safety of your student, the ISP program and any other students involved it is imperative that as a host family you know what they are up to and where they are.

Please note that students are not permitted to leave the city without proper consent, they are not permitted to operate or own a vehicle, they are not permitted to consume drugs or alcohol, carry out any acts that could be illegal or not in their best interest.

As a host family it is important that you are aware and if anything seems odd or suspicious that you are in contact with the ISP team immediately so we can assist with the concern and take immediate action.

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