Homestay is one of many housing alternatives available to Queen’s School of English students. Generally, students who choose homestay do so because they want to establish a close relationship with their host, to learn about the Canadian way of life, and to increase their opportunities to practise speaking English. The homestay host-student relationship is different from a shared-accommodation situation in that homestay students are included as members of the family. It is expected that hosts will engage the student in conversation every day, and will invite the student to participate in family activities.
Hosts are expected to be physically present and available to the student from the day the student arrives until the last day of the session. It is expected that hosts will plan holidays and weekends away between sessions rather than during the session. If an emergency requires the host to be absent during the session, the host is expected to a) notify the homestay coordinator of the date and duration of their absence, and b) make arrangements for a responsible adult to stay in their home and prepare and eat the evening meal with the student during their absence.
Ample, nutritious food should be available for students to have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Hosts are expected to encourage students to eat as much as they want (within reason) at meals and any other time they are hungry. Any food that is available for other family members is also available to the student. Unless other arrangements have been discussed prior to the student’s arrival, it is expected that hosts will be available to eat the evening meal with the student at least 5 times a week, and that food will be available at times when the host cannot be there.
Students should be allowed to use the washing machine/dryer to do a few loads of laundry at least once a week. If laundry facilities are not available or if the host prefers that students not use the washing machine/dryer, the host is expected to do the student’s laundry or have it done at least once a week.
Students should have the use of a telephone to make local calls at no extra charge. In other words, students should not be asked to pay for their own telephone installation or monthly service charges. Several alternatives exist regarding long-distance calls.
Indoor daytime temperature should be reasonable (20 to 22 degrees) when the students are home.
Hosts are expected to request feedback from the student about the student’s experience in their home and to compromise in areas of difficulty or explain why things are the way they are.
Hosts are expected to follow the fee structure outlined by the School of English, with respect to both the amount and the procedure. It is the obligation of homestay hosts to provide the student with a receipt for the deposit and the homestay fee, and to explain to the student that it is important to keep the receipt in a safe place. The School of English will expect that in any discussion about payment the student will be able to show a receipt indicating how much they paid and for what time period.
Hosts are asked to notify the homestay coordinator if any change occurs in their living situation (e.g. change of address, change in who is living in the home, pets, etc.).
Hosts are expected to require any School of English student who wishes to stay with them to discuss their homestay request with the homestay coordinator before making any definite commitment to the student.