Homestay Families

Welcome international students to Canada. Join our host families!

Few experiences can spark interest in the world like opening up your home and becoming a host family for an international student. Share your home with a student from another country, lear new customs, create lifelong memories and help promote our beautiful city.

As a host family you become a vital part of our students’ time abroad and their experiences. Our Homestay program makes you the students’ home away from home, and our host families provide a safe and comfortable environment for our students to ensure they get the best experience abroad as possible.

Hosting international students

All year round, Columbia College is recruiting families who are interested in hosting international students that want to experience how rewarding it is to open up their homes to a host student.

Take the opportunity and try hosting an international student with Columbia College today!

Apply to become a Host Family

About Custodianship

About Columbia College

Questions? Contact us!


Rosemary Mooney
Homestay Coordinator

[email protected]
[email protected]
Office: 333 Terminal Ave. (4th floor, room 414)
Hours: Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 3 pm


Students range from 16 years old to 19+ years old.

Approximately 85% of Columbia College students are from outside Canada, mainly from India, China, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Kenya, and Iran. Columbia College students also come from places such as Hong Kong, Russia, Malaysia, and Mexico.

The object of homestay is to provide students with a home away from home. Therefore, homestay families must provide students with a single room furnished with a bed, bedding, dresser, adequate lighting, desk, chair, adequate heating, closet space or a dresser, Internet, laundry facilities, and a window that is large enough to escape in the event of a fire. Homestay families are to provide students with three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Homestay families must provide Columbia College with a recent (within 5 years) Criminal Record Check for all family members living in the home who are older than 19.

Our homestay families take on custodianship responsibilities after the first month of homestay. This allows for an adjustment period in your home. 

Monthly Homestay Fee 
For students who are 19+ OR do not require custodianship
Monthly Homestay Fee
For students who are under 19 that require custodianship

The first month of homestay is paid by Columbia College via cheque to the homestay family. Adult students or non-custodian students will then begin paying their homestay family directly on the first of every month after the first month of their stay.

The College will administer all homestay fees directly to the homestay family for ALL custodianship students.

Adult or non-custodian students will usually stay one full semester in homestay. However, there is a two-month minimum stay if the student chooses to move. In this case, students must provide the homestay family with 30 days’ notice to move.

Custodianship students must remain in homestay until they turn 19 or obtain a private custodian that will take on the role. If a custodianship student wishes to leave homestay and live in an apartment, they must first obtain a private custodian, which can be difficult as the requirements are lengthy. For this reason, custodianship students rarely leave homestay.

We have three semesters at the College, starting in January, May, and September. Students usually arrive at the end of the month prior to the month they will start classes. We allow students to arrive in homestay five days prior to school orientation to get acquainted with the area and their new family.

The homestay family is not required to pick their students up from the airport, as we outsource this service through an agency when requested. A few students will make their own way to your home. If you are asked by the student to pick them up at the airport, please do not, as this is against our policy.

We do not allow the students’ parents or family members to stay with the homestay family at any time, as this can cause difficulties in establishing a good relationship between the homestay family and the student.