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Student Life

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Experience Canadian culture at school, in the community, and with a homestay family.

Student Life:

  • Students are integrated into classes with Canadian students based on their personal and academic interests and their home country’s required courses. 
  • Students are able to meet and socialize with Canadian Students and other International Students from around the world.
  • Schools offer extracurricular clubs (many more than those listed in the link below) and sports teams that International Students are encouraged to join and participate in. These are wonderful opportunities to form friendships and practice their English skills.
  • Each school has a dedicated International Student Advisor to support student development and student needs at school. 

Social Life:

  • Students interact with Canadians and other International Students at school, through clubs and sports, and out in community. 
  • ISE program regularly plans activities and events for students to participate in, try new things, and meet new people. 
  • International Students also broaden their social connections through their homestay families, who may have children or extended family that socialize together.


  • Students can choose to live with an ISE Homestay, Private Homestay or family living in Nanaimo or Ladysmith.
Advantages of Living with a Homestay Family:

International students that live with a Homestay have the opportunity to get a full Canadian experience. Many Canadian families participate in recreational pastimes in the evenings and weekends. Students often have the opportunity to join the families in activities or outings as Homestays share their culture and traditions. Homestays and International Students have dinner together daily which allows for their relationship to strengthen and build communication skills.

Students in Homestays develop their English fluency very quickly due to their constant exposure to regular conversation.

Often the bonds that are made between International Students and their Homestay Families endure many years, and are maintained by messages, phone and video calls, and travel.

The ISE Homestay program has dedicated Homestay Coordinators that monitor the well-being of students in ISE Homestays. They act as a liaison between student and their host family when required and help find solutions if challenges arise.  

“I am here to cheer these kids on with their lives! I care about them and want the very best for them!”
– Joanne, Homestay Mother