Lakehead University Seeks Homestay Families
THUNDER BAY – There is an international opportunity for Thunder Bay residents. Lakehead University International (LUI) is looking for people in Thunder Bay who are interested in participating in the University’s Homestay Program. The program is seeking those who would enjoy hosting international students coming to Canada to learn English and study.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to experience a new culture while helping our international students adjust to life in Canada,” said LUI’s Director, Leigh-Ellen Keating.
“Our Homestay programs vary in length. They are usually 15 weeks at a time, from September to December, January to April or May to August, however we have special cases that are sometimes shorter. This program helps students practice their English in real life situations while allowing them to experience Canadian culture, first-hand, by living with Canadians,” Keating added.
For more information about hosting a student, please contact International.Homestay@lakeheadu.ca
Lakehead’s international students, as well as the people and families who host them, benefit from the experience in many ways — culturally, financially, and personally.
Lakehead University Homestay Program Worldwide to Family
Thunder Bay Homestay host, Rob*, who, himself, enjoys travelling and meeting people from other countries, has embraced the opportunity to welcome international students to Canada. “The students bring us a wonderful new perspective on life and also expose our young kids to a new culture,” he said, adding, “Hosting two students makes for a fun family atmosphere at dinnertime.”
Rob explained that life at his house is enriched by these students who bring a whole new perspective to Thunder Bay and its culture. “I think we are helping them with companionship and conversation that is improving their English and intercultural skills,” he said. “In return, we’ve made two new friends who are teaching my kids about Brazil and the global community we share, the extra monthly income helps pay bills, and our house is much more interesting to be in. Everyone benefits.”
LUI’s Keating added, “Being a Homestay host is a great way to interact with a whole new culture while helping to pay rent, or a mortgage.”
Priscilla, a student who has recently arrived in Thunder Bay and is currently with a Homestay host, said of her experience, “It is very hard speaking and understanding what [my Homestay hosts] say, but this is a great opportunity to improve my English.” She added that while it has only been a month since her Homestay experience began, “I’m enjoying everything! The family is very nice and I try and learn about the daily life of a Canadian family — their habits, food, and so on.”
Lakehead University President & Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Brian Stevenson, acknowledged how LUI’s Homestay program benefits not only the students, but our community and our economy. “Our University, our Homestay hosts, and the people of Thunder Bay are just the first to realize what international students have to offer. These students are wonderful ambassadors of their respective countries who want nothing more than to immerse themselves in our multi-cultural community as they grow into productive members of a global society,” he said.
Homestay hosts receive $700 per month when providing a student with a room and meals; or $475 per month when only providing a room. Students must be able to commute by bus to Lakehead’s PACI building within 45 minutes of their host’s residence in order for the home to be eligible.