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Enrich your life by hosting an International Student

We have many students that would like to join us from all around the world. We would like to personally match your family with an excited, curious, and courageous International Student (Grade 8 – 12) to compliment and enrich your lifestyle. Some students stay for a semester, some for a year, and some stay to graduate.

To be eligible, it doesn’t take anything extraordinary. You require a welcoming Canadian spirit, a safe home, and room in your heart for a young world traveler. Homestay families are traditional or non-traditional, whether you are an individual, a couple, working or retired, have many or no children, we would love to hear from you! Homestays receive orientation training, a monthly honourarium, and ongoing support from our fantastic Homestay Team.

Frequently Asked Questions:

We would love to hear from you if you are at all interested in being a homestay, please email or call us!


Interested homestays need to submit an application through TrueNorth.

To be a homestay you do not need to own your own home, but need to have the ability to:

  • Provide a clean, safe, supportive home environment
  • Provide a private furnished bedroom
  • Provide three meals per day plus snacks
  • English must be the primary language spoken at home 
  • Provide support and encouragement to students
  • Include student into your family life and activities

The length of time a student lives in your home is completely up to you. We are in need of Homestays for short term “Respite” (a couple days once in a while), for one semester (5 months), as well as for the full school year (10 months).

International Students that require a homestay are in Grades 8 – 12. The majority of International Students in Nanaimo and Ladysmith are in Grades 10 – 12, ranging from 15 – 18 years old. 

Being involved in the International Student Education program offers homestays a great opportunity. Hosting an International Student is a very fulfilling experience where Homestays and their families get the opportunity to learn about other cultures, connect and build strong and lasting relationships, and positively impact a youth’s life.

Homestays receive a monthly honorarium for each student they host. 

By hosting, families become connected with other local Homestays, gaining a sense of community within Nanaimo and Ladysmith. 

The ISE program also provides on going support to International Students and their Homestays for any challenges or concerns that may arise.

Please use the following link to complete a Criminal Record Check online. This CRC completes an international check and requires you to use a BC services card. If you require support for this process, please do not hesitate to email or call the ISE staff.

Criminal Record Check – Access Code: UQ4T7XXBHE

If a criminal record check is needed for respite we do accept a RCMP CRC.

In the case of an emergency requiring police, fire/rescue, or ambulance please call 911. 

For urgent matters that can not wait until the next school day, please call the ISE urgent matters phone: 250-714-2252

An ISE team member can be reached at this number 24/7 365 days a year. 

If your needs are not urgent, please email, call or text your Homestay Coordinator.

If your International Student is absent from school due to sickness, injury or any other other excused reason, please call the office of the school your International Student attends to inform them of the absence.

International Students who study with us for 6 months or less will be covered by private medical insurance through Students who study with us for longer than 6 months also be covered by the Medical Services Plan of British Columbia (MSP).

Homestay Coordinators make every effort to match students with families who have similar interests and a family structure that we think best suits the student’s needs based on their application profile. Homestay placements are also based on student needs, school placement and homestay availability. 

Although our Homestay Coordinators try to find the best matches possible for students and Homestays challenges can arise. Concerns are addressed immediately by the Homestay Coordinator through consultation with the student and the family. If all issues cannot be resolved, the Homestay Coordinator will find a new Homestay for the International Student.

If you would like more information about the Nanaimo Ladysmith International Student Education Homestay program please call us or send us an email.