Host families are expected to ensure that their student has an opportunity to:
- Attend community events
- Experience New Brunswick culture
- See our beautiful province
- Be included in everyday family events
Host families agree to provide:
Support Network for Host Families:
- Homestay Coordinator
- School & District Staff
- Atlantic Education International’s Staff
- Other Host Families
Students are from:
To Help You Prepare for Your Student’s Arrival
Here are some helpful suggestions to help you get ready to welcome a student into your home:
When Your Student Arrives
After months of anticipation and excitement it’s finally time for your student to arrive! To make the transition as smooth as possible, we’ve prepared some helpful advice.
Welcoming Your Student
At least one member of your family should be at the airport to greet the student. Additionally, we encourage you to make the student’s arrival a family event and to bring colourful signs, balloons and even a small gift to make the student feel welcome.
Once You Arrive Home
Once your student arrives at your home, excitement is very high, and many students will be eager to take in as much as they possibly can. Show your student around your home including where their room is and introduce them to any family members who may not have been at the airport, including furry ones! Some students may be jet-lagged while others may not be. Likewise, some students may be hungry while others may not want to eat for a day or so. The combination of being excited and adjusting to a new time zone can impact students in different ways. Above all, remember to be patient with your student as they adjust. Try to put yourself in your student’s shoes and anticipate what they may be wondering when they wake up in an unfamiliar place the next morning. The more help students get with practical matters the more at ease they’ll feel. Don’t be afraid to explain simple things – in a new culture even the small things are new and exciting!
Culture shock is a common thing for students to experience. Generally, culture shock is temporary and with a little understanding and guidance, you can help them recover quickly. It is, however, important to be familiar with the four stages of culture shock, namely:
- Honeymoon Phase
Students are excited about new experiences and surroundings, and they will start to associate Canada with their home country. Identifying similarities between the two countries often helps students feel more comfortable.
- Shock Phase
As students start to notice the difference between Canada and their home country, they can start to feel a little disorientated. At this point, some students may even begin to feel homesick. Often, students may not outwardly display “symptoms”, but they may get sleepier and look for more alone time away from their host family. It’s important to keep an open line of communication during this time and be accepting if the student wants to talk about their feelings.
- Recovery Phase
Students start to feel more relaxed, comfortable, and secure with their surroundings.
- Stability Phase
As students begin to enjoy their new way of life, they will become more confident and comfortable with their host families.
The first few weeks of the program can be difficult as everybody learns how to adjust to a new routine, but this can also be an exciting time as you get to know more about your student. It is normal for there to be an adjustment period, after all you’re bringing a new person into your home. Hesitation and confusion often happen for both host families and students while you get to know each other. Be clear and direct with the student and approach matters and questions with an open mind. Food is often a big topic of discussion. It’s typical for students to take a week or two for their appetite to adjust. A good way to help make this easier is to take a trip to the grocery store together where they can point out some of their favourite foods. The other major topic of conversation is supervision. Students are expected to follow the house rules set out by their host families. Often, these can be different from what they are used to. It’s important to be clear with your expectations for a curfew and other liberties as soon as your student arrives. This ensures that everybody is on the same page and can prevent conflict in the future.
Visits from Family
Visits from family back home are encouraged and can be a wonderful opportunity for host families to meet their students’ parents. Some students, however, find these visits can disrupt their routines and cause added stress. Ultimately it is up to the student and their parents to decide. It’s not recommended that student’s families stay with their child’s host family. It is, however, recommended that host families extend some of our legendary New Brunswick hospitality in the form of a shared meal in their home with the student’s family.
Students are encouraged to travel and visit other places around Canada if they are able. If a student travels with their host family, permission is considered already granted. If a student plans to travel out of province without their host family, the student’s parents must give written permission. Additionally, we ask that you let AEI know if you plan to travel with your student for longer than one day. This ensures we have accurate contact information in case of emergency.
End of School Year
Unless arrangements have been made in advance, students are not considered to be part of the New Brunswick International Student Program as of June 30th of each year. With this in mind and while we appreciate that it may be tempting to have your student stay for an extra week or two, it is important that you are aware that the student will not be part of our program and they will no longer be covered by our medical insurance.
A Successful Experience
Hosting an international student can be an incredibly rewarding experience for your whole family. After all, there’s a reason why many of our host families continue to host students year after year. Here are a few points to keep in mind when hosting a student that will make the experience as pleasant and smooth as possible for both students and host families:
- Welcome your student into your home with care and understanding.
- Remember that some students may be homesick upon arrival and, therefore, it is important to show them compassion.
- Accept your student as part of your family. It may be uncomfortable at first but include them in all normal family activities.
- Talk to your student regularly. Show interest in their school projects, activities, and hobbies.
- Try to resolve any problems through proactive communication and understanding.
- Spend recreational time with your student.
- Encourage your student to make friends at school and in their neighbourhood. School and community activities are an important part of your student’s experience.
- Provide a reasonable amount of transportation for your student to attend school and community activities.
- Monitor your student’s progress at school and offer assistance and guidance when possible.
- Keep in touch with your Homestay Coordinator.
- Try to give your student time, attention, and love. Remember, you’re not just getting a houseguest, you’re gaining a family member.