How to Choose Suitable Homestay Families and Guardians for Underage Students Studying in Canada?

In recent years, with the increasingpopularity of studying in Canada, there has been a growing trend towardsyounger ages participating in overseas education. For parents of elementary andmiddle school students, the primary concerns revolve around their child'sacademic life, daily living arrangements, and the need for guardianship whileabroad. If selecting a local guardian becomes necessary, it is crucial toconsider a qualified guardian providing substantive guardianship services. So,what kind of homestay family is more suitable for one's child? How can onechoose a reliable guardian?"


Types and Atmosphere of Host Families


Canada is a culturally diverse nation, andthere are various types of host families, including:


• Western HostFamilies


These families primarily consist of nativeEnglish speakers providing homestay services. While they are a minority,choosing a family with English as the primary language is ideal for thoseseeking to enhance their English proficiency and integrate into the localCanadian community.


• Chinese ImmigrantHost Families


Comprising Chinese families who haveimmigrated to Canada, particularly those with a background in skilledimmigration. Generally, these families have a higher overall educationalqualification, and both hosts have received good education. This category iscurrently the mainstream choice for Chinese students studying in homestays inCanada.


• Host Familiesfrom Other Immigrant Backgrounds


These families typically communicate inEnglish, offering a language environment that is usually superior to Chineseimmigrant host families. Some host parents in this category come fromnon-English-speaking countries, or they may have families where English is notthe primary language of communication, requiring extra attention in suchcases."



Other Considerations: Child'sPersonality/Religious Beliefs


For children with an outgoing personalityand a strong language foundation, Western families or Chinese families can beconsidered. If the child is more introverted and less inclined towardscommunication, a Chinese family may be a suitable choice. Additionally, factorssuch as the host family's religious and cultural background, dietarypreferences, their integrity, and service reputation are crucialconsiderations. Before finalizing a homestay arrangement, it is advisable toengage in thorough communication to avoid any inconvenience in the child'sacademic and living experiences."


Regarding the Selection of Guardians


We understand that in the visa applicationdocumentation, information about a local individual with Canadian status as aguardian needs to be provided. However, the term 'guardianship' in this contextmainly refers to a custodian who is entrusted with assisting, not the transferof legal guardianship rights from the biological parents who remain the legalguardians.


The appointed custodian can aid in completingstudent visa applications and serve as a contact point for parents in case ofemergencies. Custodians are generally categorized as temporary custodians,responsible for assisting in providing custodianship letters for visaprocessing without exercising legal guardianship responsibilities. The othertype is long-term custodianship, typically valid for one year.


Conditions for Eligibility of a Guardian:


· The guardian mustbe a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and aged 25 or above.


· The guardianshould have a clean local record and preferably hold a stable occupation. Theguardian must fulfill corresponding duties.


In general, when choosing a guardian andmeeting the requirements set by the Canadian government, parents also need toconsider whether the guardian possesses a strong sense of responsibility,patience, and compassion. Additionally, having a good local network to provideassistance to students in various aspects and possessing rich professionalexperience and expertise is beneficial.


A qualified guardian plays a crucial rolein facilitating communication between parents, students, and the school. Forinstance, they can represent parents in signing school-required permits foroff-campus activities, attend parent-teacher meetings organized by the school,proactively coordinate with teachers and counselors, stay informed about thechild's academic progress, accurately understand and evaluate midterm and finalgrades, and appropriately involve the child in extracurricular tutoring to enhancetheir adaptation to the school's learning environment. This active involvementproves to be immensely beneficial for the child's overseas learningexperience."

Philip Brower

Teacher & IT Specialist

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