Georgian College is looking for some roofs and beds. This fall, all five college campuses will be welcoming about 1,300 international students. Local families are being encouraged to get involved in the Homestay Program. Host families could help these students learn all about life in the region and in Canada, and improve their grasp of the English language too.
Tom and Maureen Staples have hosted several international students through the Homestay program. They have seven children, but six are grown and have moved away. “We were so used to having children around – and a full house. It was just a no brainer,” explained Maureen. “I get to have new daughters and new sons, from all over the world.”
The Staples are currently hosting two Georgian students from South America. Aurora Abigail Gavilanes Vargas is a 22-year-old from Quito, Ecuador. She’s working toward a career in international business. Johanna Ogliastri Herrera, a 30-year-old from Bogota, Columbia, is a professional veterinarian hoping to start a sustainable farm. She’s studying Environmental Technology.
Aurora has been staying with the Staples for two years. Johanna has been there for a little over a month. “I feel like this family is like my culture – we get along very well,” said Aurora. Johanna agreed. “I haven’t been here too long, but it feels like a year. I like being here. It’s so comfortable.”
Alternately, residents can list fully furnished rental units on places4students.com.