February 2019
Here's a unique way of thanking hosts /
Vancouver workshop is this month!


Lynnette Berry is the international housing manager at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA, near the Canadian border. She has a unique and fun way of thanking homestay hosts that builds community, attracts prospective hosts - and is just downright fun. Read our feature story below. 

Our Vancouver Homestay Manager Professional Development workshop is this month! There's still time to register for this 1.5 days of informative presentations, networking and sharing of ideas. Visit our website for details. 

In case you missed it last month, send me an email to order your free copy of The Homestay Times, a 49-page compilation of our articles over the past five years. It's chock full of ideas for homestay coordinators, including tips about communicating with parents, cooking, safety and much more. 

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

Expert speakers at Vancouver homestay conference

We're excited to welcome two outstanding speakers at the Vancouver Homestay Manager Professional Development Conference on Feb. 28 and March 1. 

Malvina Rapko, Cultural Trainer

Malvina, a certified Cultural Intelligence (CQ) trainer, will present on Cultural Journeys: Helping International Students to Accept and Adapt. She will discuss how homestay coordinators and host parents can help students to integrate into Canadian society. 

In addition, Malvina will be speaking on Retaining Hosts and Rekindling Enthusiasm. She is the former homestay coordinator at the Saskatoon International High School Program, where one of her key roles was to ensure that great hosts were recognized and supported. 
John Boon, Education Lawyer
In his session, John will assist international education institutions and homestay staff in understanding the range of statute laws, common law provisions and contracts relevant to homestay. That will help them to minimize risk, maximize rights protections and fulfill obligations. John will discuss key elements of relevant contracts - including contracts between institutions and host families.
John is a practicing member of the British Columbia law society. He has decades of experience working with education institutions and corporations in BC, across Canada and globally.

There are only a few spaces left - register now!

The Vancouver Homestay Conference is almost sold out. This is the only workshop in Vancouver this year so don't miss this opportunity for professional learning, sharing best practices and networking. There will be plenty of opportunities to informally discuss ideas during coffee breaks, lunch and the Thursday evening reception.  

Wide range of International Education job openings
Employers are gearing up for 2019 and looking to fill positions like Accommodations Manager, Host Interviewer and International Recruitment Manager.  

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 IntEdCareers.ca 
Contact us for details!
Fans with Whatcom and Bells mascots
Take your hosts out to the ball game!

Summer is coming soon and with it the umpire's cry: "Play ball." For Whatcom Community College, it's also a unique opportunity to thank its host families by sponsoring a Bellingham Bells game and providing everyone with free tickets. 

It's a lot of fun and spreads the word to potential hosts, says Lynnette Berry, International Housing Manager at the college in Bellingham, Washington, a town of 89,000 near the Canadian border. 

The Bells are a summer collegiate team in the West Coast League and play a 57-game season against squads in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. 

For $2,750 to sponsor a game, the homestay program receives:
  • 400 tickets for the game to share with hosts, prospective hosts and staff
  • Selection of someone to throw out the first pitch. One year, Whatcom chose a host who had been with the program for 20 years and whose dream was always to deliver the first pitch at a game
  • Selection of a national anthem singer. One host played the Star Spangled Banner on his saxophone
  • A chance for an international student to dress up as the college's orca mascot to hang out with the team mascot. (A student tried to throw out the first pitch one year but it turns out it's very hard to throw a pitch with a whale flipper)
  • During the game, the announcer reads three ads about the Whatcom hosting program and the contact info is displayed on the stadium's video screen
In addition, the team provides Whatcom with two season tickets, allowing the program to thank hosts throughout the season from June to August. 

"I like to spend our advertising money where I know it is supporting the community directly," says Berry. She notes that an ad in the local newspaper seeking new families would cost a similar amount - minus the fun for students and hosts. 

"Over the past 10 years our baseball team has really brought our community together, growing in popularity each year. Many families attend and local small businesses support the team." 

In addition, the homestay program sets up a booth at the game to give information to prospective families and chat with existing hosts. "They tell us what's happening with their students and it gets a lot of problems solved in one night," Berry says. 

"We have so many great hosts that I don't need to do a lot of recruiting/marketing these days. A good program tends to sell itself and we get many hosts through word of mouth." 

At Whatcom, hosts, faculty and staff are already looking forward to the upcoming ball season.