The Saanich International Student Program still needs a few more families to host students this fall. Welcoming a young traveller into your home is an enriching adventure with plenty of perks — just ask Chiara, an international student from Italy who studied in Saanich in the spring of 2021.
“Hosting a student means bringing the world in your house, learning about a different culture, but it is also about sharing your own culture and traditions to the student, seeing different things from new perspectives and appreciating the variety that the world offers everyday and everywhere,” she says.
Chiara is back in Italy now, but her bond with Vancouver Island and her host family is still strong.
“My experience in Canada, in the gorgeous city of Sidney in Vancouver Island, made me realize that my home is not only where I was born, my home is wherever my heart is. And I left part of it there, where I felt loved every day by my friends and by my host family.”
Hosts welcome students at the end of August, 2021, and receive $975 per month in remuneration. Students come for various stay lengths, ranging from three months to a full school year, with some staying longer to graduate. The program is looking for more host families living in School District 63, north of Broadmead Village, so students can make the commute to Claremont Secondary in Cordova Bay, Stelly’s Secondary in Saanichton or Parkland Secondary in North Saanich.
A once-in-a-lifetime experience
Host families are welcomed in all shapes, ages and sizes, from young families to retirees. The international students come from 20 countries around the world and are typically between 15 and 18 years old. Hosts are expected to support students with a private, furnished bedroom, three nutritious meals each day plus snacks, and inclusion in family life and activities.
“Hosting a student makes you realize how beautiful the world is and gives a once-in-a-lifetime experience to both the host family and the student,” Chiara says. “So people who are reading this article, yes, you should host a student and I can guarantee that you will be glad to have brought the world in your home because the world.. is such a beautiful place.”
Reach out for a no-commitment consultation to find out more, and chat with an expert to see if your family would be a good fit. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out online at studyinsaanich.ca/host-interest. To see what students and host families have accomplished in previous years, follow the Saanich International Student Program on Facebook and Instagram.