The outbreak of COVID-19 has changed life for everyone. Families are staying at home to stop the spread of the virus, with students and parents studying and working remotely.
International students and their families have had to make difficult decisions over the last few months. Many students have had to choose whether to stay with their host families in Canada or return home to their loved ones.
According to advice from the Government of Canada aimed at international students: “making the choice to stay at home and to not travel outside of Canada is the best way to protect yourself, your family and the most vulnerable groups in our communities from the spread of COVID-19”. As well as this, returning home may not currently be an option for all international students. This means that a large number of international students have chosen to quarantine in Canada with their homestay family. In fact, between 40-80% of international students enrolled in Canadian public schools are staying in communities across Canada. Here are some of the ways host families are supporting international students during this unprecedented time.
More Host Family Time for Students in Homestays in Canada
Our international student homestay program is designed to give international students the opportunity to improve their language skills and learn about Canadian culture. When students study abroad at a Canadian public school, they are carefully matched to a homestay family based on shared interests. This means that students can practice their language skills while being well-supported and partaking in fun family activities. In quarantine, there will be even more of these opportunities within the home.
While the current situation is unprecedented, international students and their host families are capitalizing on this quality time together, improve language skills, and familiarizing themselves with each other’s culture.
Fun Activities for Families
There are a number of ways that students have been keeping busy with their homestay families including:
- Cooking and baking
- Game and movie nights
- Bike rides and hikes
- Dog walks
- Virtual yoga and fitness classes
- Arts or craft projects
- And more!
These activities help international students maintain a routine, stay healthy, and even have fun while staying home. It can be a wonderful time to start a new hobby or develop a new skill, whether it be baking fresh bread, drawing beautiful pictures, or learning a little yoga. Homestay families are working hard to make the best of the situation and help international students feel safe, welcomed, and cared for during this difficult time.
Staying in Contact with Family and Friends Back Home Using Video Calls
Staying in contact with friends and family at home is an important part of navigating this crisis together. For those in a homestay program in Canada, it can be difficult to be away from their friends and family back home, especially during this difficult time. We encourage all students to stay in touch with their families using video calls, phone calls, and other methods.
Do you want to find out more about Canadian schools for international students?
Contact CAPS-I today to learn more!