Homestay - Host Guidelines

The ELC Homestay program is a rich and rewarding cross-cultural experience for both homestay hosts and international students. Homestay hosts are given a unique opportunity to learn about another culture and to help a student learn about Canada and improve their English. The visiting student is able to benefit from the cultural and linguistic immersion offered by the Homestay experience.

Homestay hosts are chosen for their keen interest in other cultures and good English language skills. Applicants may be a family or single person, with or without children. Becoming a Homestay  host requires a commitment to providing a beneficial living experience to the visiting student as well as room and board.

The mandate of the University of Manitoba English Language Centre Homestay Program is to provide safe, clean, comfortable, English speaking homestays for international students studying at the University of Manitoba.

The program reserves the right to choose hosts using this criteria and to remove hosts from the program who fail to continue to meet the criteria.


  • Provide a fluent English-speaking environment.
  • Provide a separate bedroom for each student in an area which meets all safety* and privacy considerations. This will include:
    • a comfortable bed and bedding
    • a dresser and mirror
    • a desk
    • closet
  • Provide three healthy meals a day
    • Breakfast and lunch materials to be provided for student to make their own meal
    • Dinner prepared by a host member
  • Allow the student full use of the household including telephone, television, and living areas. This includes helping the student understand appropriate use or time of use.
  • Provide high speed internet access in the student's bedroom. Wireless is preferred. See Internet/Computer Use Guidelines.
  • Provide laundry facilities:
    • washer
    • dryer
    • detergent
    • If host is living in an apartment with shared laundry facilities, host is required to pay laundry costs for the student.
  • Provide cleaning supplies for the student to keep their private living space clean
  • Invite the student to join host and Homestay program activities whenever possible, and help the student to feel at ease in their home
  • Assist the student's adjustment to Canada and encourage the student to learn about Canadian culture, lifestyle, activities, and family life.
  • Orient the student to Winnipeg, to their neighbourhood, buses, and banks.
  • Respect the rights, privacy, and culture of the student including religious and political beliefs.
  • Pick up the student at their arriving point (airport, bus terminal, or train) and arrange for transportation for their departure.
  • Attend orientation or cultural training opportunities as they are made available.

    *The Manitoba Building Code requires:
      • Every Bedroom:
        • to be provided with a window that has an unobstructed area when open of at least 0.35 m sq. (3.77 sq. ft.) with no dimension less than 380 mm (15 in.)
          • typical dimensions of windows meeting this requirement are: 920 mm x 380 mm (36.2 in x 15 in) or 592 mm x 592 mm (23.3 in x 23.3 in)
        • the bottom of the window should not be more than 1.5 m (app. 5 ft) from the floor
          • steps or furniture located to get to window would be an alternative
      • Smoke Alarms:
        • smoke alarms are required to be located on each floor between the bedroom and living area
        • for homes built since 1987, if more than one smoke alarm is required, they are required to be electrically interconnected so that if one sounds they all sound.
      • See for additional information


  • Hosts considered for the Homestay Program
    • Will be interviewed in their home.
    • Each adult over the age of 18 is required to provide ELC with a Winnipeg Police Information Check with Vulnerable Sector Search, at their own cost.
    • In addition to other factors, ELC will evaluate a Homestay application on the basis of proximity to the University and an accessible bus route that involves 35 minutes or less travel time.
  • Number of Students
    • Usually, a maximum of three students will be placed in an individual home
    • We expect to be informed if a student from another Homestay program is placed in your home at the same time as one of our students.
  • Fees:
    • The Homestay host receives $700 per month for each student.  
    • As part of the application process, the visiting student pays the first 4 months Homestay fee to the university, which is then paid to the host on the Friday of the last week of the month, for the first 4 months. Hosts need to be prepared to pay expenses (food, heat, etc) for their students for the first month before receiving the first payment.
    • If difficulties arise, and the student must be moved, the amount paid will be adjusted to reflect the date the student moves out of the home.
    • After 4 months, the visiting student pays the monthly Homestay fee directly to the host.
    • Students should receive a receipt for all financial transactions.
  • Placement Adjustments
    • Please be advised that a student may be placed in a Homestay but not arrive due to complications with visa arrangements or other unforeseen circumstances.
    • In such situations, ELC will try to place another student with the host.
    • Although we expect students to stay with the Homestay host for the full term we cannot assume that the student will not choose to move out.
    • Students are requested, but not required by law, to give the hosts one month's notice before leaving.
  • Work
    • Students are not expected to do household chores beyond cleaning up behind themselves.
    • Students are not expected to supervise children.
    • However, participation in household routines such as clearing the table or shoveling the sidewalk would be considered good habits
  • Guidelines & Relationships
    • ELC has established guidelines for both visiting students and Homestay hosts.
    • We do our best to match students and hosts and to facilitate good relationships between them.
    • ELC encourages hosts to keep open channels of communication with the student.
    • The Homestay Coordinator should be notified immediately of any problems between the student and the host, and request mediation if necessary.
    • The Homestay program reserves the right to re-locate a student because of incompatibility. This will be done with consideration of all parties to the best of our abilities, however it may happen without notice.
  • Homestay Space Need & Student Arrivals
    • The need for Homestay spaces depends on the number of new students arriving for any given session at The University of Manitoba
    • New sessions begin in January, May, and September of each year
    • Generally, students arrive one week prior to the start of their program of studies
    • Occasionally students also arrive for short-term summer courses
    • Interested in hosting for a specific term?
      • you are encouraged to submit your application at least 2 - 3 months prior to the start of that term
      • If you are informed that your application has been approved, we will do our best to place a student with you, however, we cannot guarantee that you will have a student placed in your home at any given time
  • Disclaimer
    • Neither the English Language Centre nor The University of Manitoba is liable for
      • telephone bills
      • damages to the home or property.


In addition to meeting the general requirements for Homestay as outlined in the Guidelines, Homestay host applications will generally be processed in the order they are received, and taking into consideration the following factors:

  • Proximity to the University of Manitoba: within walking distance, or on a direct bus route requiring no transfers.
  • Willingness to host male or female students.
  • Willingness to host a student from any country.
  • Any dietary practices/restrictions observed by either the Homestay host and/or student.
  • Student allergies and/or preference to be in a home with or without pets.
  • Student preference to be in a home with or without children.
  • Homestay host or student smoking or non-smoking.
  • Any other specific requests from either Homestay host and/or student.



Ann Friesen
Homestay Coordinator

English Language Centre, University of Manitoba
520 University Centre, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2
Tel: 204-474-6809
Fax : 204-275-8098
Emergencies Only: Tel: 204-228-2280


Ann Friesen
Homestay Coordinator
Phone: 204-474-6809

Homestay Assistant

Phone: 204-474-8701

Internet/Computer Use Guidelines