Many students choose to use a homestay when they first come to Montreal. It is sometimes nice to stay with a Canadian family, and to have someone to take care of cooking and cleaning so you can concentrate on studying.
However, not all students stay in a homestay for the whole time they are here. There are several reasons for this. Usually, students find that homestays are expensive (250 to 350 a week, plus registration costs), and they want to have an experience living on their own or with their classmates.
Sometimes, however, students are not happy with the homestay. Sometimes the food is not what they expected, or they feel they don’t get enough practice in English. Sometimes there are misunderstandings. Remember, some Canadian families live very differently from families in your country. Most adults have jobs outside the home, and most people are very busy. Everybody is different, and every situation is different.
If you are uncomfortable, it is important to discuss it with the homestay family. It may be a simple misunderstanding. It is OK to ask questions to make sure you understand how to do things and what their expectations are. If you can’t solve the problem by discussing it, talk to the homestay company or agent who arranged it. There are companies that our school refers to to handle homestays for our students. You can ask in the CELI office (FB-117) for more information.
Usually, homestay contracts last four weeks, so if you want to change, you can leave after a short time. If you aren’t sure about your homestay, talk to your classmates or your teacher to get other opinions.