International students adjust to life in Canada through Homestay program
August 12, 2015

This fall, Georgian College will welcome hundreds of new international students to its campuses, bringing the total to about 1,200 international students from almost 40 countries enrolled in part- and full-time programs and English for Academic Purposes.

Barrie’s “small-town” closeness – with its amenities and activities – along with the short drive up Highway 400 from Canada’s largest city and its vast cultural mix, puts it in a unique position for international students. A male and female international student play a board game in the living room of a home they are staying at through the Georgian Homestay program.

The college’s Homestay program allows international students to learn about life in Canada and adjust to their new community with the help of host families.

“International education is all about experiencing a different way of living and enhancing cultural learning experiences,” says Marina Tomchak, International Housing Co-ordinator. “Our Homestay program is critical to the success of our international students. Homestay hosts become friends and guides in a new culture and the experience is enjoyable and rewarding for both the students and the families.”

Tomchak adds that international students get the benefit of establishing relationships in the community and practising their English language skills and cultural awareness.

Households in the Barrie area are being offered the chance to gain culturally and financially by offering room and board options for students in the Homestay program. Families accepted into the program can earn up to $750 per month, depending on the living situation.

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