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The Experience

August 17, 2023

"My wife, Lucy, son, Matthew, and I, Trevor, have been a homestay family since 2005. We have hosted over 25 students and we have enjoyed the diversity of the students and the interaction with people from many cultures (10 different countries and counting). We have had both high school and university age students with one student staying with us for 3 years (grades 10-12).

We started for 2 reasons: First, I have taught English to International students since 1998 and it was a natural progression to help host students, as we have knowledge of how to settle into life in Winnipeg, and are familiar with the joys and struggles that all students experience as they study in a new country. And two, I wanted to give my son, Matthew, exposure to people from different countries as he was growing up. We have been fortunate to visit 9 different countries over the last 15 years and have been able to experience life from another 6-7 countries through hosting students from those different countries.

We strongly encourage anyone to consider being a homestay host as an individual or a family. There is great support from the homestay coordinators and other homestay families and honestly, it is not that hard. All of us cook for ourselves anyways so providing food and snacks for 1-2 other students doesn't take much extra effort, and the knowledge you receive as you interact with your homestay student is invaluable. And seeing Winnipeg and life in Canada through an international student's eyes is an exciting experience.

- Trevor, Lucy, and Matthew


“It was our first time hosting an international student and it truly is an unforgettable experience. We met Carla, a student from Valencia, Spain and even though she only lived with us for one year, she made a huge impact on our lives and we hope she felt the same about us. My daughters and her, share a new bond that cannot be broken despite living on opposite sides of the world. We're excited to host again this upcoming year for a new adventure.” 

– Grace and Family


"Being a host family is a blessing. We get to meet many individuals around the world who we could share our stories with. The best part about being a host family is our students slowly becoming a part of our family." 

Rizaldy and Reyneda


"We are Tess and Jim! We decided to become a Homestay Family because as a retired couple, and empty nesters, we found the house to be quiet and we missed having kids at home. We enjoy having students in our home to keep us company. We treat them like our own grandchildren and we enjoy being their second parents. We always do our best to give the students the best experience and (best food) when they are with us. We treat them a lot of respect, and we want them to have a happy and fulfilling experience. We enjoy doing everything with our students, from singing karaoke, visiting the zoo, going to the park, grocery shopping, and of course the mall! The students and their parents become like an extended family and we enjoy interacting and keeping in touch with them, even after they leave. Our previous students loved staying with us, and always keep in touch with us. Some of them even still come to visit us!" 

- Tess and Jim


“Homestaying international students gave us the opportunity to experience parenthood. We learned from each one's culture. 

We love outdoors and travel and these are what students love too, unlimited conversation over dinner is really the best time to get to know each other the most. We shared laughter and talked about their insights of everything. Even simply sitting in the yard or deck with some snacks makes a big thing. 

Another great opportunity for them is when they celebrate occasions like Christmas and having exchange gifts after Christmas eve dinner, waiting for the break of midnight on New Year's eve, long weekend get aways, out of the City road trips and fall family photoshoot, where they got to enjoy the vibrant colors of Fall season. They were amazed when we introduce them to our family and friends because they experience a feeling of belongingness in our family. And got to taste a lot of foods.

Almost all students celebrate their birthdays here, so we give them a blast by preparing, cooking and baking cakes or goodies for their Canadian birthdays. Some students shared their favourite cuisine and recipes too, so, at least one-two times a month, we have international cuisine. Previous students still keep in touch and update us of their studies and future plans. They were even proud that their language experience here in Winnipeg helped them a lot. 

It's a blissful experience worth a million smiles and happy memories to cherish a lifetime! We share with them not only our house, BUT OUR HOME, where each one feels they have a FAMILY!”  

– Beth and Family5-9.jpg

“We enjoyed having students in our family and sharing food and culture together.”

 – Marites Villanueva


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