Homestay Accommodations Program
Guidelines, Policies & Procedures, and Behaviour Expectations
Students may opt to enroll in our Homestay Accommodations Program with their language program at Language Links. Guidelines, Policies & Procedures, and Behaviour Expectations are required of all students in our Accommodations Program, including homestay or apartment/condo rental.
Students (also known as Guests) must complete ALL sections of the Application Form as it will assist Language Links and its partners in choosing the best Host Family / Guest match for homestay. Without fully completing the application, guest needs and preferences may not be met. This includes preferences, special diets, allergies, and personal needs.
Homestay Placement Fee
One-time fee applies regardless of duration. Homestay duration must be continuous, otherwise, a replacement fee applies.
In Ontario, the age of majority is 18 years old. Bookings for underage guests will be only accepted if booked and paid for the entire length of their studies. There are extra charges for underage guests; underage fees and custodianship letters. It is the guest’s responsibility to inform Language Links if a custodianship letter is needed. If leaving the homestay program, written notice, and proof of new custodian must be provided. Certain conditions apply for underage students (Must be in the homestay every day from 11pm to 6am ET, so 11pm ET curfew and no trips or overnights anywhere other than with the host. Canadian laws must be followed.)
Airport pick-up and drop-off are available for an additional cost. If airport pick-up and drop-off are purchased together it is offered at a combined reduced price. If purchased separately, the discount does not apply. If two or more guests are travelling together, individual rates still apply.
Personal Needs Accommodation
To ensure proper accommodation that best serves our students. guests are advised to inform Language Links of any personal needs n advance on the application form. Please advise of personal needs required due to any physical disability, mental impairment, learning disability, mental disorder, or medical issue. Due to the nature of profile matching for the host and the guest, and the demand for rooms, failure to make requests in advance may result in a move or can even put at risk availability, causing the cancellation of the homestay program.
Food Allergies and Special Diets
Guests must identify any food allergies and special diet needs in advance on the application in order to be accommodated. Guests can identify food allergies (shellfish, dairy, nuts, wheat, soy, etc.) and other special diet requests (vegetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian, ovo-vegetarian, partial vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, lactose free, lactose intolerant, Halal, Kosher). For all special diets, other than partial vegetarian and lactose intolerance, additional rates will apply. For lactose intolerant preference, meal planning will respect the preference, however, guests must purchase their own milk alternative if desired. For all special diets, simple meals will be provided based on the special diet requested. Any items that are more complicated or specialty items will need to be purchased by the guest. Due to the nature of profile matching for host and guest, and the demand for rooms, failure to make the request in advance may result in a move to a different home, or even put at risk availability causing the cancellation of the homestay program.
Students must obtain medical insurance that covers any medical expenses that may occur during their stay in Canada. Language Links is
NOT responsible for student medical or emergency medical expenses. Language Links does not assume any responsibility for any injuries you suffer or death. Guests are to consider getting insurance that covers both health care and emergency medical needs.
Check-In time is between 2pm and 10pm ET. The guest is not to arrive at the home outside those hours unless arranged ahead of time with Language Links. The guest is responsible to make arrangements with Language Links Coordinator if their flight arrival time will affect their ability to check-in time. The guest may be able to access the common areas of the home, but not their bedroom, between the hours of 8am and 2 pm ET, IF arranged ahead of time, and depending on availability. The earliest time permitted is 8 am.
Early check-in may result in an extra night charge. Guest with flights arriving late in the evening may need to plan to stay in a hotel, and check-in the following day to their homestay.
Guests are responsible for advising of cancelled or late flights. If airport pick-up is arranged, the guest is to contact Language Links and the driver. If no pick-up is arranged, guests are to advise the Host directly. If the guest is staying in a hotel or with friends prior to check-in and there is a change in check-in time, guests are to contact Host directly.
▪ Host/Host Family will welcome the guest into their home
▪ Host will spend a minimum of 3 times per week together with the guest for meals or conversation if the guest is willing and available.
▪ Guest will be provided with a furnished bedroom with reasonable access to the home’s amenities such as bathroom(s), laundry
facilities and the meal plan requested.
▪ In many cases the bathroom is shared with the host/host family and/or other students. A private bathroom is available
upon request based on availability and at extra cost.
▪ Internet access is available. It is not to be used to download movies, online gaming, or music purposes.
▪ Guests are a member of the family and are expected to live by the family’s rules.
▪ Your bedroom is private unless specified on the application to be shared (twin). A shared bedroom is only provided when both guests are known to one another and both apply with the request.
Homestay does NOT include:
▪ Maid service.
▪ Cooking privileges.
▪ Toiletries for personal use (such as but not limited to shampoo, toothpaste, female sanitary napkins, tampons, shaving cream, etc.)
▪ Cleaning supplies (such as detergent or plastic bags) or any items of personal hygiene, such as shampoo, hand soap, or towels.
The Host and Host Family
Canada is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. Diversity and inclusion are defining characteristics of Canada. There are over 250 cultural origins in the Canadian population, and that number continues to grow. Canadians are proud to live in an open, welcoming society and believe that diversity strengthens the country. The promotion of diversity in Canada includes the dimensions of race, ethnicity, religion, physical and mental abilities, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, image, and opinions.
Our host families reflect the Canadian population. Hosts can be individuals, single-parent families, two-parent families, couples with no children, people with pets, young people, or older adults. They have a range of occupations or are retired, and have a variety of cultural and ethnic origins. They are Canadian residents where English may or may not be their first language; however, the language spoken at home is English. The residence may be a condo, an apartment, a townhome, or a detached home, located anywhere across the city. Host families are therefore unique.
What unites all of our host families is their desire and willingness to open up their homes to international students and make them feel comfortable, secure, and a member of the household so guests can have the opportunity to experience life in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Language Links will match guests with Hosts based on availability and service needs. In keeping with the Human Rights Code, Language Links and its partners will not entertain requests for hosts based on their diversity dimensions.
Meal Plan Options
Full board is 3 meals, including breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner.
Half board is 2 meals, including breakfast and dinner. *Guest is responsible for purchasing their own lunch outside the home
European board is no meals. Guests are responsible for purchasing their own food outside of the home. Students may be permitted to use the kitchen to prepare meals.
▪ Snacks are not provided. Snacks are the guest’s responsibility.
▪ Guests are not permitted to cook, unless otherwise indicated by the Host / Host family.
▪ There is no compensation for guests that miss meals.
▪ Meal plan is part of the program as guests are not permitted to cook and only small limited storage is available for snack-only
Guests are responsible for keeping the bedroom clean and tidy. Guests are expected to remove plates and utensils from the table after meals and tidy up after themselves in the bathroom and common areas. Guests are not, however, required to do home chores such as babysitting, gardening, house cleaning, etc. The Hosts will clean their homes in their own customary manner.
In most cases, the host will do the guest’s laundry. In other cases, guests will have reasonable access to laundry facilities. Usually, laundry is done once per week. Guests are required to supply their own laundry detergent/fabric softener.
If guests choose to accompany the Host on holidays, outings, or trips, guests must pay for travel arrangements, admission tickets,
accommodations, meals, and personal expenses. The host is not responsible for these fees.
Most Hosts will not allow guests to bring friends into the home. Guest to check with the Host for what their rules are regarding visitors. Guests are not permitted to ever bring strangers to the house. Parties are not permitted.
Smoking is NOT permitted anywhere inside the home including balconies, fire escapes, rooftop patios, etc. This includes tobacco, cannabis, and vaping. Toronto city bylaws require that individuals smoke at least 9 meters away from the entrance of any building in the city. Penalty fines for non-compliance will be applied as enforced by the City of Toronto. For lack of compliance, the Host is within their rights to terminate their agreement and ask the guest to vacate the premises.
Use of Drugs and Illegal Substances
The use of drugs or illegal substances is forbidden on the premises; failure to follow this policy will result in immediate expulsion without refund.
Violence and Harassment
Fighting, bullying, teasing, acts of violence or aggression, and harassment is not tolerated and will result in the expulsion of the guests involved without refund.
All appliances and furniture are to be kept in their original condition. Guests are not allowed to remove, repair, paint, or perform any other
alteration of the home. If a guest causes any damage to the premises, furniture, or appliances, they will be charged the cost of its repair or replacement. This includes the cost of replacing lost keys to the home and changing the locks. Language Links is not responsible for these fees.
Guest may request to change homestay family within 5 days of arrival with no extra cost. The cost of transfer / moving is not included. Language Links will evaluate and confirm whether the basis for a move is reasonable. A replacement fee applies for all other cases.
For every change request, Language Links requires up to two weeks to do a homestay change. For emergency changes for health and safety, Language Links will do its best to do a homestay change as soon as possible.
Language Links may request a guest to change home for a variety of practical reasons (maintenance, logistics, availability, conflict etc.) Language Links will provide notice and make every effort to ensure guest comfort and security. If a guest requests a move to another home, Language Links and its partners will evaluate the situation according to availability and reasonable cause.
Check-Out time is by 10 am ET. It is the guest’s responsibility to:
▪ check out by 10 am at the latest
▪ leave bedroom clean and tidy
▪ take all personal belongings
▪ dispose of all garbage
▪ remove all guest food and drink from the cupboards and fridge, leaving nothing behind
▪ email the Language Links Accommodation Coordinator to confirm check-out
Guests can still use the common areas for luggage if they have a late flight, but the bedroom must be empty by 10am ET on the check-out date. Quiet hours between 10pm and 8am ET must be respected.
▪ The guest of Language Links' homestay program must be a student.
▪ Once any invoice is issued by Language Links, the homestay accommodation is reserved and all cancellation, extension, and change of date penalties will apply.
▪ If the guest moves to another home or service arranged by Language Links, including due to extension, the guidelines and policies remain in effect.
▪ Language Links is not responsible, nor held liable, for visa delays, lost or stolen property, or for personal injury or death.
▪ All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars.
▪ Students / Guests are expected to respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Human Rights Code.
▪ Language Links reserves the right to refuse any homestay accommodation registration at its discretion.
▪ Special requests are not guaranteed until confirmed.
▪ Individuals must be at least 19 years old to buy and consume alcohol or tobacco or cannabis in Ontario. This rule is strictly
enforced and controlled by the community. Police will be notified if this is not abided by.
▪ Guests are not permitted to bring or store alcohol or cannabis in the homestay, unless of age, and authorized by the Host.
If a student's/ guest's plans change and they need to leave earlier than originally booked, the guest needs to contact the Language Links Coordinator immediately via email and advise of the decision. Penalties are determined based on the timing of notification.
* additional $100 administration fee may apply if a refund is necessary. When payment is originally done through an agency, the agency is refunded and responsible to refund the guest.
Cancellation request received
Less than 4 weeks in advance notice
Notice 4 weeks or more
Registration fee + minimum 4 weeks accommodation fee + any additional service fees
Registration fee + 1 week accommodation fee + any additional service fees
Policies and Procedures
By accepting a placement with the Language Links Homestay Program, you agree and understand the following:
1. Students will pay an initial placement and supervision fee of $500.00. This fee is non-refundable and does include airport pickup/drop-off expenses.
2. Students will be placed based on the program dates indicated on the letter of acceptance. If they arrive or depart outside of those dates, they will need to inform us immediately. Additional fees will apply for each additional night spent at the homestay family’s place of residence.
3. Students are responsible for paying the monthly homestay fee in full (bank transfer, cash or cheque) directly to Language Links for the duration of their program.
4. Monthly fees include accommodation and food. This amount is charged for the entire program before the start of the program, including standard holidays or breaks where the student may not be present. This amount is not negotiable. Language Links reserves the right to change this fee without notice.
5. If a student leaves their homestay on holiday for 1 week or more, the homestay families may choose to allow international students to store their belongings for $375 per month.
6. Students must give the homestay family and Language Links Coordinators one full month's (30 days) notice if they wish to leave either the family or the program. If proper notice is not given, the student will not be reimbursed fees paid.
7. Language Links reserves the right to move a student to another homestay family without notice.
8. Students wishing to move their homestay must request to do so in writing. A move fee of $350.00 may be applied in addition to any outstanding fees for the month. Moves will not occur the first month of arrival, unless deemed necessary by the Homestay Coordinators. It is the student’s responsibility to move their belongings, the school or host family is not responsible. Any fees incurred due to the move are the student’s responsibility.
9. Students are responsible for reimbursing their host family for any damages or costs they may cause or incur.
10. Students must take all of their belongings and leave their room clean when moving out.
11. Students younger than 18 years of age must have a custodian who is over 25 and is a Canadian Citizen or a permanent resident.
12. Any change of address, living arrangement of a student, etc., must immediately be reported to Language Links.
13. If there is a change in custodianship, you must provide Language Links with notarized documents evidencing such authorized change.
14. As the homestay placement is part of Language Links, any student who withdraws from their language program at Language Links must also withdraw from the Language Links Accommodation Program.
15. Language Links reserves the right to make exceptions or alterations to the above at its discretion.
The following are the behavioral expectations are for international students enrolled in the Language Links Accommodations Program. In consideration for admission to the Program, the International Student agrees that he or she shall:
1. Respect that Canada is a diverse country and that customs and traditions of others may be different than their own.
Discrimination based on colour, creed, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, physical disability, ancestry or cultural background will not be tolerated.
2. Make an effort to contribute and participate in homestay family life and activities. The student is considered to be a contributing member of the family and not a “paying customer.”
3. Show consideration and respect to the homestay family by following household rules, especially regarding curfews, meals, food, and tidiness. Good judgment and responsibility are expected at all times.
4. Be clean and tidy in the home and voluntarily help with reasonable household chores (which may include common areas).
5. Inform and/or gain permission from the host family prior to missing a meal, arriving home late, sleeping at a friend's house.
6. Invite guests to the home only with the knowledge and permission of the host family.
7. Consult the host family before using household appliances or equipment the first time and use them in ways approved of by the family.
8. Use the telephone/internet/computer for reasonable lengths of times (i.e. 1 – 3 hours maximum). Respect house rules regarding telephone and computer use.
9. Refrain from using the family telephone for long distance calls without a telephone card.
10. Do not ask the host family to co-sign for mobile phone plans. All contracts and expenses are the student's responsibility. The host family nor Language Links will not take responsibility for costs incurred.
11. Do not borrow money from host family members.
12. Do not enter host bedroom(s), private rooms, or occupied bathrooms.
13. Do not resort to abusive, aggressive or inappropriate behavior (verbally or physically). Legal action may occur.
14. Never be sexually inappropriate (i.e. viewing sexually explicit photographs, written materials, films, or Internet sites in the home or initiating or participating in sexually-oriented discussions with any member of the host family).
15. Always be suitably clothed and covered when in the presence of host family members.
16. Host families may plan holidays or extracurricular activities and students are expected to share the costs of travel, fees, and other costs that may be incurred.
17. Provide written parental consent and details for independent student travel outside the city of Toronto.
18. Attend school on a regular, full-time basis. Skipping classes is never permitted. If you are absent for any reason (illness, accident or other), please notify Language Links as soon as possible.
19. Do not accept employment while attending Language Links and in Canada on a study permit. Legal action may occur.
20. Do not drive an automobile while enrolled in the Language Links Accommodation Program.
21. Do not purchase or consume alcohol or illegal (non-medical) drugs, regardless of your age. Students are NOT to be in bars, nightclubs, pubs or private parties where alcohol or drugs may be consumed.
22. Do not use fraudulent identification for any reason.
23. Abide by all the rules and policies of Language Links while attending school.
24. Abide by the laws of Canada and Ontario, including the Canada Criminal Code and Ontario Human Rights Act.