Become an ambassador of Winnipeg, the most welcoming city in Canada. Open your doors to an overseas student and help them realize their dream.
Polar Trails is committed to giving you and your student the best experience possible.
When you host a student, you and your loved ones gain knowledge about different cultures, languages and people. Establish friendships around the world with this rewarding cultural experience. Share your family’s traditions while enriching the life of a student. This is an opportunity for lifelong memories. Students will be selected by Polar Trails from carefully screened applicants from Japan, Korea, China, Mexico, Brazil, and all over Europe. Your family benefits from experiencing firsthand the language and traditions of other cultures while opening doors to international opportunities.
- Remuneration: $650 – $750 per month. (vacation rates apply for students away for one month or more)
- Short and long term stays available.
- Applications accepted from families with or without children.
What It Means To Be a Homestay Family
Consider what it must feel like to travel overseas to an unfamiliar country with a culture and language different from yours, away from family, friends and all that you are used to. It’s exciting yet terrifying at the same time. Or perhaps take everything you have learned, all that seems logical to you and throw it out the door. It’s a whole new ball game with a whole new set of rules. This could describe how one feels when traveling to another country. To have a family in that country that can offer guidance and support is crucial to one’s positive cultural experience.
Besides support and guidance a homestay family is required to provide:
- three nutritious meals a day
- a separate room with bed, desk and chair.
- directions for how to get to and from school.
The level of English, the age, cultural background and often the personality of your homestay student may determine the level of interaction your family will have with your student. Younger students with limited English may rely more on family support to help them through their stay and therefore more interaction will result. An older, more independent student whose English skills are better may not require as much support and perhaps less interaction may result. Although most homestay students are adults, there is an understanding that while staying in your home they should abide by the rules of the household as a family member would. These rules should be explained at the beginning of their stay in order to avoid any confusion later.
The benefits of becoming more culturally aware, making new friends, learning new languages and practicing your cross-cultural communication skills are all part of being a homestay family. It is an enriching experience that can last a lifetime.
Homestay Application Process
If you are interested in becoming a homestay family please follow the steps below.
- Contact Polar Trails Inc. to set up an interview and home inspection (204-479-9946).
- Fill out the application form provided by your Polar Trails representative or apply online.
- Submit the following:
- your application (if not filled out online)
- a copy of the applicant(s) valid passport or drivers license
- an up-to-date Criminal Record Search Certificate. See Winnipeg Police Record Check for instructions. There is a $44 fee and it takes approximately 10 business days
- An up-to-date Child Abuse Registry check. See the Manitoba Family Services and Housing for instructions. There is a $15 fee and takes up to 6 weeks for results.
- 1 personal and 1 professional reference with their phone numbers.
Once we have reviewed your application and found you to be a suitable family we will contact you with further details regarding your future homestay student. Polar Trails Inc. will do its best to inform you of a student’s arrival at least two weeks in advance.
Canadian Host Family Support Services
The best homestay experiences don’t just happen. Host family interviews and careful pre-screening ensures both the student and the homestay family enjoy a meaningful experience.
Experienced staff provide orientation and pre-landing information to assist you in arranging your home environment to suit the needs of your assigned international student.
By liaising between the student, homestay family and our international agents, we offer critical cultural understanding and counseling to assist the student and the Canadian host family.
24-Hour Emergency Assistance
No matter how carefully a host family plans for a guest within their home, unexpected emergencies can occur. We are available 24-hours a day to assist with alternative planning.