News for Homestay Coordinators and Managers Across North America / January 2020
Get your free copy of the 55-page
Homestay Times compilation

Happy New Year! 

Every year, the Homestay Times publishes stories for homestay coordinators, discussing student mental health, food, host recruitment and a variety of other issues. Since 2013 we have been compiling the articles into a single publication and making it available to homestay staff across the United States, Canada and other countries. 

The publication has grown so large that it is now 55 pages. However, it's still easy to navigate, with a table of contents that lists every topic covered. 

Best of all it's free! Simply send me an email and I will reply with a PDF of the Homestay Times publication. 

Many thanks to the homestay staff and program directors who contributed articles, quotes and feedback to the publication over the past 12 months. 

In this issue, we report on the comments we received about December's article about a university that was proposing to offer both "basic" homestay and a more costly "plus" homestay. 

We have two workshops coming up soon! The Seattle Homestay Professional Development Workshop in being held Jan. 28-29. The Vancouver workshop is on Feb. 27-28. These are great opportunities for professional learning, sharing ideas and networking. See below for details. 

We hope you can attend! 

As always, please get in touch if you have any questions. 
(613) 888-9560     

Vancouver workshop 50% sold out
Register now before it's full!

The Vancouver 2020 Homestay Staff Professional Development Workshop is being held on Feb. 27-28. Here are just some of the topics we will be covering: 
  • Supporting and retaining hosts for the long term
  • Ensuring student mental health and identifying those at risk
  • Protecting your program with solid legal contracts
Take a look at the Preliminary Agenda. Visit the website for complete information. 


Seattle Homestay Workshop Jan. 28-29

We've expanded this workshop and added more opportunities for networking. The agenda includes: 
  • Cross-cultural communications for homestay programs
  • Great student/host matches keep everyone happy and prevent moves
  • Helping international students with mental health challenges
  • Host appreciation: How to retain your top hosts

For details and to view the complete agenda, please visit our website.

International education programs doubtful that homestay "plus" would work in their communities
In our December newsletter, we discussed how one university is planning to offer both regular homestay and a "plus" version in which hosts take students to a range of activities. The "plus" hosts would receive higher compensation and be expected to do more for their students. 

We received a number of comments on this idea - and no one was in favour. One program that places 1,000 students annually stated that it would be logistically impossible to manage two different tiers of homestay. 


Another commented that all hosts should be expected to meet high standards. "A host family has to be prepared to meet the standard and they can exceed it if they would like but not because they would like to be rewarded." 


Several homestay coordinators pointed out that it would cause a rift among host families if some hosts are paid more than others. In small towns, the homestay community can be insular and word would spread quickly. Programs risk losing hosts to competing educational institutions if hosts feel they are not being treated fairly. 


One homestay coordinator suggested that if programs want to diversify their offerings to students they could offer a "no meals" option. Hosts who are not interested in cooking for their students could be matched with students who prefer to purchase and make their own food.