March 2019
Save time with phone screening of potential hosts/
Seattle, San Diego and Toronto workshops


My apologies. Earlier today I sent out a newsletter with an incorrect link to the Toronto Homestay Manager Professional Development Workshop on Nov. 28-29. Here is the correct link.

The rest of the newsletter: 

A show of hands among attendees at the Vancouver Homestay Manager Professional Development Workshop this month indicated that only a small percentage of programs use phone calls to screen host applicants. 

In this issue of the Homestay Times, two experienced homestay managers explain how phone screening is a valuable tool that helps weed out unsuitable people as hosts. 

The feedback about the Vancouver workshop was outstanding, with the average evaluation being 4.4 out of 5. Here's what one attendee had to say:  

"The workshop in Vancouver was wonderful, such a great resource of homestay professionals. The presenters were insightful and got me excited to make improvements to our program, so great to be part of this community. Thank you for organizing such a great workshop."

Our next workshop is on building your Cultural Intelligence capabilities. See below for details. 

We have set the dates and begun taking registrations for our fall conferences: 
  • Seattle Nov. 7-8: This workshop is being extended to 1.5 days. Early bird registration is now available. 
  • San Diego Dec. 10-11. Early bird available now. 
  • Toronto Nov. 28-29: Early bird registration is open 
As always, please get in touch if you have any comments or questions. 
(613) 888-9560         

Boost your
Cultural Intelligence
at our Toronto workshop

You can increase your own Cultural Intelligence and help homestay hosts to be prepared for cultural differences when they welcome international students. Be sure to attend our Toronto Cultural Intelligence workshop on May 9, 2019. 

Malvina Rapko, a certified Cultural Intelligence (CQ) trainer, will present this full-day workshop, which is ideal for homestay staff and all international educators. It's perfect for anyone who works with students, parents and agents. 

Here are just a few of the outcomes you will achieve: 
  •   Understand the capabilities behind increasing one's cultural intelligence (CQ)
  •   Receive a personalized feedback report
  •   Compare your CQ with worldwide norms
  •   Participate in reflection exercises that demonstrate interpretations of the feedback
  •   Create an action and development plan
Take a look at the Toronto agenda

Here's a link to register for the event. Space is limited so register now! 

Please get in touch if you have any questions!

Spring Savings
on Homestay Guides

You can save $1 per book when you order by April 30. Student guide is available in Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, English, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish. 
The host guide is available in English. 

Order today and save!
Job openings in international education in Canada
Take a look at our job board to see the latest career opportunities across Canada. Some of the openings include: Student Accommodations Assistant, Director of Studies and Associate Registrar.   

The International Education Careers job board is the ideal place to search for your next position in the international education sector. 

Need to fill a job opening with a top candidate? 
Advertise your position on 
Contact us for details!
Phone screening saves you time!

Karen Luther of St. Mary's University in Halifax is such a strong believer in screening potential hosts by phone that she does not even have them complete an application form prior to the call. 

"Looking at a paper or online application doesn't give me the same kind of feeling that I can get over the phone," says Luther, the accommodations coordinator with the Language Centre at St. Mary's. 

A 15-minute phone conversation can save homestay coordinators from having to conduct a two-hour home visit (plus travel time) to a host that may not be suitable for the program. 

There are many issues that can be addressed on a short call:
  • Whether the home is on a bus route with a reasonable commute to the school
  • The potential host's English proficiency
  • The reason they want to host a student
  • If the host will be at home most evenings and on weekends to make dinner and socialize with the student
In addition, the call gives Luther a stronger sense of personal security rather than going directly to visit the home of someone she has never spoken with. 

At Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington, Lynnette Berry does require potential hosts to complete an application form first. Then she conducts a 10-30 minute phone conversation to provide information about the program and answer any questions prospective hosts may have. 

"Often, people will drop out when they realize that they have to provide three meals a day out of the homestay fee," Berry says. 

"Each call that I have is a little bit different," Berry notes. She tries to get a sense of why they want to host, whether they have hosted before and their experiences overseas (if any). 

One-hour info session

After the call, Berry invites them to a one-hour group info session where she provides details about the program and host responsibilities. Again, some will fall off by simply not showing up for the info session. 

"Once they have completed the info session, they have demonstrated their commitment to the program and it's pretty much a done deal," Berry notes. "The home visit is just to confirm that their house is suitable and that they will be good hosts." 

At St. Mary's, Luther also focuses on the types of questions that potential hosts ask. "Do they ask student focused or cultural questions or do they only ask questions concerning the monetary aspects of hosting?"
One prospective host responded to the question, "What do you hope to gain from hosting?" with the answer: "$700 for my downstairs bedroom." 

"If they ask a lot of questions about the program, it's a sign that they are quite keen," Luther says. 

Both Berry and Luther feel that the time spent on a call - whether it lasts 15 minutes or 40 - is a great investment in screening hosts and to determine whether they are hosting for the right reasons.