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Homestay Information for Students

Homestay Information for Students

Your home away from home

Future Student Homestay Information

Homestay families in Saanich Schools are carefully screened and deemed able to provide an appropriate and healthy environment for an international student. Families undergo a criminal record check and are interviewed by a Homestay Coordinator in their home. An emphasis is placed on matching student with homestay families that best match their needs. This includes, dietary needs, pets, siblings, interests and hobbies. Despite SISPs best efforts, perfect matches may not always be available. Your homestay will provide a great setting for English language learning and ordinary Canadian life. As a valued member of your Canadian "home away from home", you will be expected to complete household chores, such as cleaning your room, helping with meal preparation, cleaning dishes and doing your own laundry. This is typical of all youth in a Canadian home.

Respecting homestay family and program rules

SISP and your host family have rules in place to keep you safe while studying in Saanich. You are required to respect and follow these rules as a member of SISP. In return, your Host Family should also treat you with kindness and respect. For more guidelines on what healthy relationships with your host family look like, please read the SISP Guide to Healthy Relationships.  

A detailed student legal agreement is signed by you and your parents when you apply and a student participation agreement is signed once you arrive. The following is a summary of rules and expectations you can expect when living with a host family. You can find more detailed information in the SISP Student Arrival Guide.

  • Making Social Plans - Extracurricular clubs, activities and socializing outside of school is encouraged. Ensure your homestay family is always included in your planning. They are your "parents" while in Saanich.  
  • Curfews - You must follow the curfew set by your homestay and SISP. School night vs. weekend, your age and other factors contribute to curfews.
    • Friday- Saturday Curfews
      • Grade 9 - 9:00pm
      • Grade 10 - 10:00pm
      • Grade 11 - 11:00pm
      • Grade 12 - 12:00am
    • Students should be home by 8:00pm on weeknights (Sunday-Thursday) and are expected home most nights for dinner. 
  • Showers - Keeping the length of showers reasonable and at appropriate times of the day are expected.
  • Phone/cell phone - There may be a time change from Saanich to your home country. Respect the home you are in and stay off the phone late at night. Cell phone and long distance charges are covered by you and your natural parents.   
  • Smoking, alcohol & illicit drugs - The legal drinking age in BC is 19. There is zero tolerance for drinking alcohol, smoking and illicit drug use. Just do not do it. SISP does not want to send you home early.  
  • Spending money - Canada is a "card based" Country. Use a debit card whenever possible and carry little cash. The cost of living in Saanich is reasonable. A debit card with a monthly allowance from your natural parents is important to have. 
  • Traveling - Whenever possible, limit travel that has you miss school days. Travel outside the Greater Victoria Area is possible after October 1 annually. You must complete an online out of district travel form to go on a day trip, over night trip and any trip that includes air travel.

Frequently Asked Questions

You should contact your school based International Program Advisor.

You should contact your school Homestay Coordinator.

For trips outside of Greater Victoria that are not supervised by your homestay or natural parents, complete the online travel application form.

In a situation where you and or your homestay family have a conflict, you and or your homestay should contact your assigned Homestay Coordinator. The Homestay Coordinator will assess the situation and together with you and your homestay, determine a reasonable solution.

If you have a Guard.Me Insurance card, go to the Guard.Me website and follow the instructions or contact the SISP office at If you have a Medical Insurance Plan (MSP) card, contact for assistant.

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