CENTRAL OKANAGAN SCHOOL DISTRICT No. 23
EXPECTATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
International students are expected to become an active member of their host family and to engage with family life. Please note our expectations in the following areas: 1) orientation to your new home and family, 2) meals, 3) chores, 4) house rules, 5) spending money, 6) what is not allowed, 7) transportation, 8) participation in the family, at school and with the program, 9) if you are ill or injured and 10) changing host families.
When your host family brings you home from the airport, they will show you your room and bathroom and give you a tour of the house. Unpack your belongings and get comfortable with the arrangement. Let them know if there is anything that you need. They will show you how to use the bathroom, the washer and dryer and other appliances in the house, and give you a house key and security code if there is an alarm.
Your host parents may do the laundry for you, or encourage you to do your own. Your parents may allow you to cook or bake if you wish, but that is to be discussed and agreed before you do so. Please remember that houses in Canada have smaller hot water tanks, so limit your shower or bath time.
Basic toiletries are provided for you, but if you wish special soaps, lotions or shampoos, this would be your responsibility.
Your host parents will also show you where the smoke detectors in the home are located and what to do in case there is a fire.
Your host parents will also take you for a walk around your neighborhood. Pay attention to who are neighbor friends and the location of the bus stop. Familiarize yourself with the outside of your house and yard.
Always keep your red emergency card in your wallet along with your medical insurance card from Ingle.
Tell your host parents which foods you like and dislike, or if you have any food allergies. Your parents may take you shopping with them to buy foods that you like to eat. Many Canadians will cook a wide variety of ethnic foods.
Breakfast during the week is usually simple and includes toast or cereal. Weekends may include a cooked egg dish. You will be provided with the food you need for a packed school lunch which will include sandwich ingredients, fruit or snack and a beverage. Dinners are a hot well balanced and nutritious meal shared with the entire family. If you are unable to be home for dinner, please inform your family in plenty of time. Let your family know if you are getting enough food – you should eat a reasonable amount of food and if you want an extra helping, ask politely.
Canadian family members all participate in the operation of the household. You are expected to keep your room and bathroom clean and tidy. In addition, you may be asked to help with meal preparation and clean up or help with general care of the house and yard. You will not be asked to babysit younger children on a regular basis.
4. HOUSE RULES:
Your host family will review house rules with you. These will include your curfew times (during the week and the weekend), meal times, laundry schedule, timelines for incoming phone calls, computer use, helping with chores, having friends over to the house and sleep-overs. Make every effort to stay in contact with your host parents and let them know if you have plans that will mean you are home later or will miss a meal. Ask their permission – they have a responsibility for your safety and if they do not meet a request, it is for your best interests. You should purchase a cell phone. You may not ask your host parents to sign a cell phone contract for you, but you can purchase a phone from Telus and “pay as you go”. They can help you with this. Please conform to the rules of your household and be aware that failing to respect them may result in consequences.
5. SPENDING MONEY:
You will have a certain amount of money for discretionary spending such as clothing, meals out with friends, activities that you plan with friends and special toiletries. Most students will open a bank account or will have a credit card. It is not recommended that you borrow money from your host parents.
6. WHAT IS NOT ALLOWED:
As an international student, on a study permit or visitor visa you must conform to the laws of Canada. You are not permitted to use alcohol or illegal drugs and may not take a paying job in Canada. As an international student, we prefer that you do not smoke cigarettes. You may not own or drive a vehicle or ride with anyone who is a learner (L) or new (N) driver. If you commit a criminal offense under Canadian Law, you will be dealt with by the police and Immigration Canada as necessary and will be dismissed from the program.
You will either be able to walk to school, receive a school bus pass or purchase a city bus pass. A city bus pass can be purchased on a monthly basis. If your parents drive their other children to school, they will of course include you. Your parents will provide transportation to and from events a reasonable amount of the time. Please make sure that you give them plenty of notice if you need a ride and always ask politely. Families are busy and a last minute request for a ride may not be possible.
8. PARTICIPATION IN THE FAMILY, AT SCHOOL AND WITH THE PROGRAM:
You have a wonderful opportunity to experience another culture here in Kelowna. We encourage you to participate fully at your school and take advantage of the many activities that are offered from sports teams, cheerleading, music and drama productions to field trips and dance performances.
You are expected to attend school on a regular basis and to put forth sufficient effort in all your courses. You need to maintain good grades even if you don’t need credit for your work in our schools. Your host family may also have hobbies and interests such as boating, golfing, skiing, playing board games – take an interest and participate. Learn something new and challenging. In addition, the International Student Program offers monthly activities such as BBQs, bowling, curling, sailing, swimming and overnight trips to Vancouver and the Rocky Mountains. You will have an opportunity to join these activities and meet the International Students from other schools.
9. IF YOU ARE ILL OR INJURED:
You are provided with medical insurance either from Ingle (a private insurance company) or MSP, the Medical Services Plan of British Columbia.
If you are ill, let your host parents know and they will make arrangements for a doctor’s visit. You may need to pay for the visit, but you will be reimbursed for the costs. Familiarize yourself with your insurance coverage and please note if you need to visit a dentist or optometrist, the insurance will cover only injuries and not routine dental care or new eye glasses. Your family will review the insurance policy coverage with you and help you with the reimbursement claims form. Your host family will always let us know if you are ill or injured, so that we may inform your organization.
10. CHANGING HOST FAMILIES:
The homestay coordinators have worked hard to find a good family for you and we expect that you make every effort to adjust to your new family and home. If problems arise, it is advisable to discuss them with your family. If you cannot find a resolution, contact your homestay coordinator for advice. She may have a family meeting to try to resolve the issue. It is always disruptive for everyone to change families, but in the event that a resolution cannot be found, we will place you with another family. Your homestay coordinator will help move your belongings and we expect that you would clean your room and bathroom and leave your family on friendly terms.