Bowers Homestay Services


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Welcome Bienvenido 
Willkommen Terveduola Dobro Pozhalovat Vitajte Huan Yin Tervetuloa Irrasshai Bem Vindo Shalom 

Your expectations of Living in a Canadian Homestay

Meals:  Food and meal times will be different. Some research on your part will help you get better acquainted. You should expect a range of possibilities from regional specialties to family recipes to sampling local treats. It's important to be flexible, as each host may have meals scheduled around many people. Adjust and enjoy. Generally, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are not served with meals.

Your Room: You should attempt to keep your room clean and tidy. Ask your host for supplies you may need. Your host may come in and do some basic straightening up, or just weekly to change sheets.

Laundry: If hosts offer to do it for you, thank them. Most families do have washing facilities for you convenience. 

Keys: Most families will provide you with a front door key. This means you should be able to come and go as you please, within reason. You will be responsible for your key and if you lose it you will be charged for changing the locks and making extra keys. Always lock (avoid slamming) doors when leaving.

Telephone Service: Please do not ask to make long distance calls from your host's home. Check with your host to see if you may give their number to your family and friends, but be sure that they know the time difference and don't call before 8 a.m. or after 10 p.m. unless it is an emergency. Ask before making outgoing calls. Be brief .

Guests: Please do not bring guests to your foreign home unless first checking with your host, as it infringes on the family's privacy. Never plan on taking guests of the opposite sex to your room.

Absences: If you will not be home for a meal, are planning on staying out late, or are going away on a day-trip with an overnight, please let your hosts know. Your family is concerned about your well-being and may worry about you.

Friendship: As each family is different, each student undergoes a different homestay experience. Usually friendly, enthusiastic students tend to create a friendly, positive atmosphere. In these cases, families often include students in social activities, family outings, etc.

Approaching homestays in a friendly, cooperative spirit significantly improves their outcome 
(like most things in life!). 

Families do not refund missed meals or weekends out of town. Appreciate that food and utilities generally cost more abroad than at home and foreign hosts are paid relatively little. Most participants recognize this and are prepared to accept local norms, conserve on utilities, and eat what the hosts eat. Be prepared to buy a few things on your own .

Conserving energy is high priority in most countries.  Lights don't burn in rooms that aren't being used, air conditioning is rare, and quick showers are the norm (not long, hot baths). Many areas are subject to water shortages. Electric rates are often indexed (a little increase produces a whopping bill). Observe the different realities and adjust accordingly. Exercising conservation and consideration of these amenities abroad will be appreciated by your host family. 

Express an interest in the family and culture, and the family will extend themselves as much as possible to make you a member of the household. Making yourself familiar with our customs and adapting yourself to their lifestyle and culture will help bridge the cultural gap between you and your hosts.

Occasionally students have complained that they had little contact with their family. Most foreign cultures have a great deal of respect for the liberties of all persons, and some families may be unsure if they are "bothering" students by trying to converse with them.

It is not reasonable that your hosts be expected to change their lifestyle or their daily routine during your visit.

General Comments:

What is a home? It may be an apartment or a house. The occupants may be a family with children, a retiree living alone, or a young professional with a room to let. Some people are always busy, out and about. Others seem to always be home. Most homes have 1 bedroom available (a few have 2 or 3) and accept foreign students regularly.

All homes are paid. However, compensation is invariably low in reference to hotels and the cost of living in that country. 

What are minimum expectations? Expect a safe, courteous environment with the stated number of meals daily. Basic services should function (lights, shower, toilet etc.) within capabilities of local utilities. If any of these basics are questionable, or if you are made to feel uncomfortable in the home, speak with our office right away so that we may resolve the problem in a rational way.

What shouldn't I expect? Don't expect a private bath, air conditioning, pool, wall-to-wall carpeting, chauffeuring, laundry service, bilingual assistance, large rooms, or breakfast in bed. A typical "home" may be 2-3 bedrooms, one bathroom, a living and dining room, and kitchen. 

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