Family Accommodation Opportunities for Foreign Students in Canada

Family Accommodation Opportunities for Foreign Students in Canada: A Comprehensive Guide

Canada is known globally for offering quality education in a multicultural environment. Every year, thousands of international students flock to Canada to study in various institutions of learning. Accommodation is one of the essential things to consider for students who are studying away from their families. To cater to the accommodation needs of international students, Canadian universities and colleges have collaborated with families to provide home-stay and homestay alternatives. In this article, we will discuss the family accommodation opportunities available for foreign students in Canada.

What is Family Accommodation?

Family accommodation is a type of lodging where international students live with a host family in their home. Host families are usually local families who choose to take in an international student to live with them, providing them with a safe, comfortable, and welcoming place to stay. This type of accommodation allows international students to live with Canadians in a family-like setting, learn about Canadian culture and customs, and ultimately improve their language skills.

Benefits of Family Accommodation for International Students

Living with Canadian families in a homestay arrangement offers numerous benefits for international students. Some of these benefits include:

1. Comfort: Family accommodation gives international students a sense of warmth and comfort that can make them feel at home while studying abroad.

2. Cultural Immersion: Living with a host family allows international students to learn about Canadian culture and customs. They can experience Canadian traditions, values and ways of life that they may not have had the chance to encounter in their home country, giving them a broader perspective of the world and promoting cultural awareness.

3. Language Practice: Homestay accommodation offers international students the opportunity to practice and improve their English (or French) language skills by speaking with their host families.

4. Safety: Living with a host family offers international students safety and peace of mind, particularly for those students who are not familiar with Canada and its culture.

5. Development of Long-lasting Relationships: Family accommodation provides international students with the opportunity to develop long-lasting relationships with the host family members, especially if they remain in contact after the students’ departure from Canada.

Types of Family Accommodations

Homestay and home-stay are two of the most popular types of family accommodations available for international students in Canada. Below is an overview of each type.

1. Homestay

A homestay is a program that matches international students with host families. Homestay agencies offer a range of homestay options, including full-board (meals included), half-board, and room-only (no meals included) arrangements. Homestay agencies conduct background checks on prospective host families, provide training and support for host families, and regularly monitor and evaluate homestay programs to ensure high-quality experiences for both students and host families.

2. Home-stay

Home-stay is an accommodation type that is usually arranged by the student independently. Home-stay offers international students the chance to rent space in a Canadian home, either with or without the supervision of the homeowner. This type of accommodation provides more independence for students, but it requires higher responsibility and requires more effort in finding a local host family.

How to Find an Ideal Family Accommodation

Finding the right family accommodation can be challenging for international students, especially for those who are not familiar with the Canadian culture and traditions. Below are some tips on how to find the ideal family accommodation in Canada:

1. Research

Do thorough research online and offline to find available homestay and home-stay programs. Check out reviews from previous customers and ask for recommendations from friends or acquaintances who have lived in Canada.

2. Communication

Effective communication with the host family is key to finding the right accommodations. Ask questions about their lifestyle, their expectations, and their house rules, to ensure that you will have a comfortable and friendly environment to study in.

3. Affordability

Carefully consider the cost of the accommodation to ensure it fits into your budget. Remember that the cost of living in Canada can be high, especially in big cities like Toronto and Vancouver.

4. Location

Choose a homestay or home-stay accommodation in a location that is convenient for you in terms of the distance from your place of study and proximity to public transportation and basic necessities such as grocery stores or medical facilities.


1. Is family accommodation expensive?

Family accommodation can be cheaper than other types of accommodation such as hotels or hostels. The cost of homestay accommodations generally includes meals, making it cost-effective. However, prices vary depending on the length of stay, location, board arrangement, and host family.

2. How long can I stay with the host family?

International students can stay with the host family as long as the terms and agreements are met. The duration can vary from a minimum of one week to a maximum of one year or more.

3. What kind of access will I have to my host family’s home?

The host family will provide you with a furnished room and access to common areas of the house, including the washroom, kitchen, and living room facilities.

4. What are the responsibilities of the host family?

The host family is responsible for providing a safe, friendly, and supportive environment for the international student. This includes providing meals agreed in the agreement, laundry service and offering sightseeing tips, sharing the culture of Canada, and general support within their capacity.


Family accommodation is a great way for international students to learn about Canada’s culture while studying abroad. Homestay and home-stay accommodations offer students a chance to live with local families and experience Canadian life. By following the tips provided in this article, finding the ideal family accommodation becomes easy. With family accommodation, international students get to focus on their studies while enjoying the warmth and comfort of a Canadian home.

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