Homestay for Families


  • Our homestay manager visits and does a thorough interview with each family to determine suitability for our program.
  • Has regular inspections
  • All participating homestay families have a recent Police Criminal Record Check with the Medicine Hat Police Department/Child Welfare Check 

Once a student arrives and is placed in their home, the International Education Supervisor provides support and is readily available if any questions or concerns should arise.

  • 24/7 support for our families and students
  • Continuous  social activities for the students and their host families.

Homestay Guidelines

  • Students must let the homestay parents know where they are at all times.
  • Students are not allowed to smoke or drink alcohol even if they are over 18 and in high school.
  • Students are expected to perform some light chores or assist with some duties in the house. 
  • Students must ask ahead of time if they need rides to special events, have friends stay overnight, or other non-essential needs. 
  • Homestay parents can limit the number of overnight stays, both in their home or if the student goes to other homes.
  • Students must not be left alone overnight. Adult supervision in the home must be arranged if homestay parents are away. 
  • Students must attend school every day unless they are ill. Homestay parents must inform the school if the student is not able to attend school.
  • Immigration Canada does not permit students to hold jobs while in Canada.
  • Students must not leave the community overnight or on weekends unless the Homestay parents know where the student is going and permission was given by the natural parents.


Curfews should be fair and reasonable. Make sure the student has access to proper transportation when traveling home at night. Ensuring the safety of the international student is the homestay's responsibility.



Think about the families schedule and routine then decide how the student might fit in.

  • What time does the family get up and what time does the family go to bed?
  • Is there a specific study time in the home?
  • What time is allotted for shower/bath?
  • When are meals times?

Bathroom Door and Shower/Bathtub

In many other countries, the bathroom door is left closed when not in use. What is the procedure in the house? Also, can showers (or baths) be taken at any time or are there times you do not wish showers to be taken? What is the maximum amount of time that a shower should last? What is the family schedule? 

Household Duties

The student is not a houseguest, but rather considered a member of the family unit. As a member of your family, he/she will be expected to work with the family to make the household run efficiently. Taking part in household chores such as sweeping, vacuuming floors, dusting, cleaning the bathtub after use, cleaning bathroom counters, assisting with meal time dishes, loading dishes in the dishwasher and helping to put groceries away are just some of the ways the student can help out. Students are expected to keep their room and study area neat and tidy. Many students may not have performed any of these responsibilities before and sometimes maybe given additional instructions.


Long Distance Phone Access

Every international student is required to have their own device that works in Canada. Often, due to time change differences, students will be asked to remove their phone from their bedroom to ensure healthy sleep habits are developed during bedtime. 

Times for Earliest and Latest Phone Calls

Canadian protocol dictates that no phone calls should come in after 10:00 p.m. and no morning calls on weekends before 9:00 a.m. Students should be asked to respect these as quiet times in your household. What hours do you want incoming calls? (North American night hours tend to be earlier than most other cultures). This is especially important to verify because of the significant time differences between Alberta and many other countries.

Internet Use

Internet access must be available in the home. Student should be monitored as they use the internet so that they do not spend excessive time on the computer using the internet connections. As in all homes, the use of internet should be monitored carefully.

Cleaning Up

Students are required to clean up behind themselves (bathroom/kitchen, and whenever they use something). 

TV Watching

What are the rules and times for TV watching in the house? Students need to know this. Are there limits on the volume and the types of shows watched in the house?

Meal Times and Family Expectations

What are the common family meal times? If the student is not going to be present, how much notice is expected? If the student will be absent for a meal, should it be kept for a later time?

Preparation of Breakfast and Lunches

Are breakfasts and lunches prepared for the student or is the student to prepare his/her own? Many students from other countries have never prepared their own meals so they may not know how to prepare a breakfast or lunch. They may need to be shown how to do it. It is also a good idea to take the student grocery shopping with a homestay parent during the first week so that special foods can be purchased. Students must also be shown where all the various foods in the house are kept. Please be sure to discuss the process for breakfast and lunch during schooldays. It is the responsibility of the homestay to provide three good meals each day and suitable snacks. 


If the student is to do their own laundry, prepare to show them how (e.g. separating darks from lights, amount of detergent, etc.). The student will also have to be taught how to use the machines and told if there are any limits as to the times during which laundry can be done. Where can hand laundry be done and left to dry?


What provisions will be made for the student if the family is away from the house for more than a day? If you plan on being away from home overnight, please contact the MHCBE‐International Education Supervisor. 

Household Areas

Which areas are common and/or which areas are off limits to the student?


Is the student allowed to have food and/or drinks in the bedroom, in front of the TV, or around the computer?

Drugs, Alcohol and Driving

Even though a student may be of legal drinking age, a condition of their acceptance to study in high school requires that the student conforms to school rules that do not permit the consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs. Students are informed during orientation that the international program prohibits them from driving and the use of drugs or alcohol. Non‐compliance of this rule may result in the student being sent home. We remind you that, in Canada, it is illegal for people under 18 years to purchase cigarettes and to purchase and consume alcohol. If you notice your student engaging in illegal activity, contact the MHCBE‐International Education Supervisor as soon as possible. The MHCBE‐International Education Supervisor will inform the Office of the Superintendent.