The best way to get involved in the Vancouver lifestyle is to live in a homestay with a local host family. Homestay accommodation is fun, convenient, practical, safe, and inexpensive. We have thousands of host families representing a wide range of interests. All homestays are arranged carefully. Our staff will select a homestay that suits your personal needs.
TO KNOW YOUR NEW HOMESTAY FAMILY
Your homestay family will be as excited about this visit as you are. You should try to write a letter to your new friends before you leave. You might want to tell your hosts about your family, friends, school and pets. You can ask your host family about their hobbies and sports interests. Your hosts would also like to receive a photo of you and your family, with your names on the back. If you are not sure of how to pronounce the names of your hosts, you might want to ask someone who knows.
WITH YOUR HOSTS
If you have trouble speaking with your homestay family, do not give up! It is normal to have a little difficulty at first. If you use every possible opportunity to speak with your hosts, conversations in English will be easier each day.
You should ask you host family about their house rules at the beginning of your visit. You will feel more comfortable if you know what is expected of you. Some standard homestay rules are:
No drinking in the homestay.
No smoking in the homestay.
No drugs in the homestay.
English only in the homestay.
All students must give at least two weeks notice before leaving their homestays.
Most Canadians eat the following three meals each day:
1) Breakfast: This meal is normally served between 7:00am. and 8:30am. For many families, breakfast is quick and casual. Coffee, cereal, toast, bacon, eggs, and pancakes are often found on Canadian breakfast tables.
2) Lunch: Most Canadians have lunch between 12:00 and 1:00pm. Lunch might consist of soup, salad, sandwiches, or a variety of other foods. On school days, your host family will provide a "bagged lunch".
A typical bagged lunch includes a sandwich, fruit and a cookie or muffin. Many students like to prepare their own lunches. If you wish to do this, suggest it to your host parents. They will appreciate your help.
3) Supper: This is usually the largest and most formal meal of the day. In Canada, supper is often between 5:00pm and 6:30pm. Many people have soup or salad before the main course. Dessert, such as ice cream, is often served after the main meal.
Canadian meals are often informal. Some people "say grace" (give thanks) before meals. You should tell your hosts if you are hungry. If you do not accept something to eat the first time it is offered, your host might assume you do not want anything.
Your homestay family will not know what food you like unless you tell them. If possible, you might go with your homestay family when they shop for groceries. This is an ideal time to show your hosts what foods you like.
If you feel uncomfortable about discussing this with your hosts, mention it to a member of the Vancouver English Centre Homestay Department. We will find a tactful way to bring it to the attention of your homestay family. Also, be sure to indicate foods you dislike, when you complete your APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION.
Canadians have many different racial and religious origins. Consequently, it is not easy to define a typical Canadian family. Your homestay family may have roots in Asia, Europe or Central America. Although the majority of Canadians are Catholic or Protestant, many belong to other religions.
Most Canadians, however, share some cultural characteristics. For example, it is customary to shake hands when being introduced. Canadians do not often kiss or hug when greeting friends. Many Canadians do not wear shoes or hats inside their homes. Smoking is becoming increasingly unpopular and is not permitted in most public buildings. Many families do not allow smoking in their homes. If you smoke, please mention it on your APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION, so that we can match you with hosts who will not mind.
If you are having trouble communicating effectively with your homestay family, you might want to register for one of our special elective courses:
Pop Culture Course
Language is Culture Course
Survival English Course
English Pronunciation Courses
English Listening Courses
Information for Hosts
Living in Canada
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Transportation in Vancouver
About Vancouver English Centre
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Courses and Programs
Pop Culture Courses in Canada
Survival English Courses in Canada
English Writing Courses in Canada
Business English Courses in Canada
English Listening Courses in Canada
Language is Culture Course in Canada
TOEFL Preparation Courses in Canada
TOEIC Preparation Courses in Canada
English Pronunciation Courses in Canada
Business Internship Programs in Canada
Vacation Study Programs in Canada
TEFL / TESL Programs in Canada
Vancouver English Centre
250 Smithe Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1E7 Canada
Tel.: 1-604-687 1600 Fax: 1-604-687 1660
© 2002 Vancouver English Centre