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‘The only downside is the genuine sadness when they go!’

These repeat-hosts say you’ll love welcoming an international high school student this fall
The Saanich International Student Program has started their search for this fall’s host families — will you answer the call? (Photo: Howard Short)

The Saanich International Student Program is searching for this fall’s host families. Want to know what it’s like?

“Getting to know students from around the world and see them grow up before our eyes has been the best part. The only downside is the genuine sadness when they go!” write Stuart and Tanja H., host parents for Claremont students. “They become a part of your life. For our family the kids who have stayed with us have truly become our worldwide ‘extended family.’ The program is very well run, and we look forward to continuing next year and almost certainly beyond. Can definitely recommend!”

Students attend Claremont Secondary in Cordova Bay, Stelly’s Secondary in Saanichton and Parkland Secondary in North Saanich, and the program is looking for more host families living in School District 63, north of Broadmead Village.

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. Many host families love the experience so much they decide to do it again.

FURTHER READING: Host an international high school student this fall!

They have filled a big void

“During the past four years my husband and I have had the pleasure of hosting ten international students in total. As our family is now grown up, they have filled a big void, lots of fun,” writes Yvonne Evans, host mother for Parkland students. “We’ve had no trouble with any of them, and the office staff are always there to offer advice. If you haven’t done this before I recommend you give it a try — it will change your life.”

Host families are welcomed in all shapes, ages and sizes. 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 an international student in our home has been a humbling but also joyful and incredible experience for our family. As a young couple, we get to be both parents and a guide for new international students who want to learn more about living in Canada while learning from them about their cultures,” writes Caitlin B. and Daniel P., host parents for Parkland students. “The program is well set up, and the coordinators offer lots of support for host families to help them be successful. You will not regret being homestay parents!”

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 or reach out online at To see what students and host families have accomplished in previous years, follow the Saanich International Student Program on Facebook and Instagram.

Reach out for a no-commitment consultation to find out if your family would be a good fit to host an international student this fall. (Photo: Howard Short)