Homestay Program Information
If you are looking for a true Canadian cultural experience filled with new activities, new foods and a welcoming Canadian family then a Comox Valley International Student Program homestay is for you. Homestay families are an important part of your international student experience. Learn English in your home every day with English speaking parents, brothers and sisters.
The Comox Valley International Student Program homestay program is an internally run program which has operated since the inception of the international program. It is designed to maximize an international students experience and provide the required support for success. Our internally employed homestay coordinators, recruit, screen and orient homestay families ensuring a warm and supportive home setting. Take a read of our homestay orientation package and homestay family agreement to learn about being a homestay parent and family.
The British Columbia (BC) Ministry of Education has provided homestay guidelines to all international student programs in British Columbia. Comox Valley Schools and the Comox Valley International Student Program is a homestay provider adhering to and exceeding the BC Ministry of Education homestay guidelines.
Custodian Declaration (CD)
The Canadian federal government requires all international students under the age of nineteen (19) studying in Canada to have a legal custodian in the Comox Valley. Legal custodianship is provided by the Comox Valley International Student Program at no charge when an international student resides in a Comox Valley International Student Program homestay family.
If you would like to have a different custodian than the Comox Valley International Student Program (Comox Valley Schools), complete the form found on the Canadian Federal Government website: Custodial Declaration – Custodian for Minor Studying in Canada.
The CVISP requires a copy of page 1 and 2 of your Custodial Declaration (CD) on file at all times. Also note that page 2 of the must be completed by your natural parents/guardian and notarized and sent to the CVISP before arrival.
Homestay Family FAQ
Can I apply to be a homestay family?
Anyone who resides in the Comox Valley can apply to be a Comox Valley International Student Program homestay. Not all applicants are selected to receive an international student. A private bedroom study area, WiFi internet access, three meals per day and a healthy snack are required. Additionally, English should be the language spoken at home and parental support and acceptance of an international student as part of the family is required.
What are the responsibilities of a homestay family?
As a homestay parent you are expected to provide essentially what you would normally provide for your own family:
- a private bedroom
- three wholesome meals a day and snacks as required
- a quiet, adequately lit and heated study space
- hot water and facilities for daily bathing
- laundry (you may expect a student to do their own laundry if you wish)
- emotional support if the student suffers from homesickness, difficulties at school, etc.
- academic support (help with homework if possible, communication with teachers, attendance at parent-teacher-student interview, etc.)
- inclusion of the student in family outings, trips to restaurants, special occasions, recreational activities
- access to the common living areas of the house
How long will a student live with me?
An international student can study in the Comox Valley International Student Program from one (1) week to twelve (12) months. The majority of students student for a full school year which is ten (10) months; September to June. You can also have students stay with you for one (1) or two (2) months during the Comox Valley International Summer Program in July and August.
How old will the student I host be?
International students are eligible for homestay from grade six (6) to grade twelve (12). Grade six (6) students will be carefully screened by the District Principal of International Education or designate to show they have the academic and social potential/maturity to be successful. Students below grade six (6) may enroll in the Comox Valley International Student Program provided he or she lives with a natural parent or another adult family member.
What do I receive for hosting an international student?
You will receive a monthly honorarium, homestay orientation session once per year, a detailed homestay manual and the on-going support of the Comox Valley International Student Program homestay staff.
How do I obtain a driver’s abstract?
Your driving record, also called a driver’s abstract, is a record of your basic driving history. It lists when your driver’s licence was first issued, plus any driving tickets or other offences you’ve received in the last five years. All driver’s abstracts are provided free of charge. Go to the ICBC driver licensing website for detailed information about getting your driver’s abstract.
- Visit any ICBC driver licensing office
- Bring your driver’s licence and one other piece of required ID
- Call ICBC at 1-800-663-3051 Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. or Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
When should I get criminal record check (CRC)?
The CVISP requires a current criminal record check (CRC) (within the last three (3) years) on file for all homestay family household members age 19 and older. This includes any adult who subsequently takes up residence in your household. You should apply for a CRC after you have had a home visit from a CVISP homestay coordinator.
How do I obtain a criminal record check (CRC)?
To obtain your CRC and submit it to the CVISP follow these steps:
- Go to the BC Government Ministry of Justice website https://justice.gov.bc.ca/eCRC/home.htm
- Read the instructions provided at this website
- Enter the access code 3PMYSBDFL2 where prompted
- Enter the characters shown and requested
- Click “Request a New Criminal Record Check” if you have never requested one before, or click “Share the result of a Completed Criminal Record Check” if you have requested one before.
- Your CRC will then be automatically sent to a CVISP program worker for processing.
Should you be asked to have a more in depth check completed, including fingerprints, you will need to complete this process at your own cost.