May 16, 2024Aberdeen Hall’s Homestay Program is Not Only Unique, it’s Fabulous!

Q: What makes the Aberdeen Hall homestay program stand apart?

A: Our amazing host families are members of the Aberdeen Hall community; parents, teachers, staff,  and alumni, who understand the school’s values and the commitment to providing an exceptional student experience.  The foundation for the Aberdeen Hall experience  begins in the home and is built on the pillars of trust, respect, support, teamwork, responsibility and gratitude.  Our host families are valued and make a tremendous difference in the lives of our International students. 

Q: What are the expectations of the International student as a member of the family?

A. Students are encouraged to contribute to the family unit in a number of ways; through conversation, by showing an interest in their environment, by participating in family activities and acknowledging family expectations. Students learn to take responsibility for their actions, come to understand that each individual in the home is part of a team and their participation is expected, important and valued. Our students are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and learn that adaptation is an important life skill.

Q: What responsibilities do students have in the home?

A: Students learn responsibility through observation and active participation. Age appropriate chores are a part of living in a Canadian family home and for many students, household tasks are a new experience.  As a minimum, it is expected that students keep their bedroom and bathroom clean. Every family is unique and chores can range from walking the family dog to washing dishes and taking out the recycling. Some students will make their own lunch and do their own laundry. The intent is two-fold, to contribute to the family environment and to become responsible young adults.

Q: How do you determine where a student will live?

A:  We consider multiple factors for a successful ‘match’; the age and grade of the international student, the host family make-up, the location to school, access to public transportation, personal interests of the student (e.g. music, sport, outdoor recreation) and those of the host family.  We believe that stability and continuity are integral to a student’s well-being with most students remaining with their host family throughout the duration of their time at Aberdeen Hall (the record is six years!).

Q: How does living with a Host Family prepare students for the future?

A: Aberdeen Hall’s comprehensive homestay program prepares international students for the future by introducing and modeling life skills such as budgeting, meal planning, time management and communication skills, household responsibilities as well as the importance of patience and teamwork in a multi-person environment. A school-mandated technology turn-in time helps with time management skills and competency in self-direction.

Q:  What are the biggest challenges for the International student and for the host family?

A: Adapting to a new culture, new language, new family and unfamiliar food can be challenging for new students. Coping with loneliness and isolation is added to the pressures of language acquisition and academic performance. Limited public transit is a challenge for students who come from large cities and if from an only-child home, learning to adapt to not being the sole focus of attention. 

Host families who open their home to a student are sharing deeply personal aspects of their lives with a virtual stranger. Families have to adapt to the addition of a new  person in their home, establish and enforce home rules. 

Q: What are the benefits for the Host Family?

  • The joy of witnessing the students’ connection with family members ….and family pets! 
  • To mentor a child who has left their home, family, friends, country and everything familiar - who has plunged head first into the unknown.
  • The pleasure of sharing our culture and our community, and of introducing new experiences; camping and playing mini-golf, planting a garden and picking fruit, baking cookies and making gingerbread houses.  
  • Witnessing the resilience of the student who faces the daily challenge of competency, who is gaining confidence day by day, who is developing character, who is coping and contributing.  For making a difference in a child’s life.

Interested in hosting an International Student for the 2024-2025 school year?  We would love to hear from you! 
Email [email protected]

AdmissionsApplications to Aberdeen Hall are accepted year round and are increasingly competitive.

At Aberdeen Hall, we seek to admit well-rounded students who choose to be at our school. We are looking for students who demonstrate leadership through academic performance, involvement in co-curricular activities and civic engagement. We care about our students and seek those who value education and are prepared to enrich our incredible school community.