Become a Red Leaf Family
A unique cultural experience for you and your familyBecome a host family now!
Red Leaf Family
Living with a Canadian family is one of the best ways to get a true feel for Canadian life. It allows students to become a member of the family and the community, participating in daily activities while improving their English by attending school, classes or a summer camp.
As a Red Leaf host family you can give an international student this experience. It is a unique, enriching adventure, not just for the student, but also for your own family.
You will create international ties and bonds that last a lifetime. Your family will represent Canada on an international scale, sharing the beauty of your home and community and give the student an insight into our amazing culture.
What’s more, the experience is reciprocated – you’ll learn from the student you host – about a whole new culture and lifestyle, completely different to your own.
As a Host Family, you’ll have the opportunity to become a part of this student’s life, providing him or her with a home away from home. With you as a family, he/she can see what it’s like to live as a true Canadian and take part in an experience of a lifetime.
Are you ready to open up your heart to an international student?
We look forward to welcoming you as a host family!
Red Leaf will be with you every step of the way. With more than 30 years working throughout Canada, we’re experts in organising homestays between international students and families. You can rely on us. Not only will our team be ready to help you out, but our local coordinators will always be on hand for your family. Our office is located in Newmarket, however in each community we have Local Coordinators who live and work in the communities we place students in. Our Local Coordinator will be your point of contact throughout the program, and help with the matchmaking process between our host families and students.
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Red Leaf – Canada’s Student Programs Experts
Frequently Asked Questions
A Red Leaf family is asked to provide a friendly, safe environment where the student feels welcome and at ease. International students will bring a new cultural aspect to your home and will be keen on sharing your lifestyle and bringing a new cultural aspect to your home. Keep in mind though, that Canadian culture and routines can be very different from what the students are used to and their English skills maybe limited at first. Patience is a virtue!
The second most important requirement of our hosts is that English is spoken at all times in front of the students. After all, international students come to Canada to become fully immersed in an English speaking lifestyle. Aside from offering your home, you’ll be required to provide the student with 3 meals a day (Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Dinner), snacks and maybe even transportation. Transport to school is included in the student’s program, whether it be by school bus, bus, car ride or by foot. Red Leaf takes care of the school bus pass fees but the transportation arrangements will be finalised once the process begins.
Your home will be the home of the student you take on – encourage them to help themselves in the kitchen, invite them to make their own snacks or packed lunches, suited to their own tastes. They may be inhibited at first and feel like they don’t want to cross the line, so ensure that they feel as comfortable as possible. As well as this, you will spend quality time with the student to ensure that he/she experiences family life in Canada and has the opportunity to practice his/her English skills everyday. At the weekend, you should be willing to take the students on trips to different areas of where you live, showing them local places of interest so they can appreciate all that Canada has to offer.
Different types of families are welcome to host with Red Leaf. We’re aware that a "typical" family isn’t the most common nowadays. We look for parents with children; parents without children or even a single parent with children. We guarantee that our students will never be in a family formed by solely one member. The most important thing we ask is that they are placed in a comfortable family home, where they can experience the true essence of Canadian life.
With Red Leaf, you’ll host students from all over the world and benefit from an exchange that works for both of you, the student and the family.
You can browse our programs and chose which one you would like to take part in. We will then look at your profile and that of the student’s to ensure we make the best match possible. On top of that, our staff will always be ready to support both of you throughout the program. You can trust us, you’ll be in good hands! Our local coordinators are placed around the community and are always eager to give you a helping hand.
A Red Leaf family is patient, kind and understanding. Remember, it can be overwhelming for a student to be so far away from home. A Red Leaf family is aware of this difficulty and they are open to sharing their lifestyle in a positive and mutually-rewarding way.
Our team has spent years organizing homestays and know what it takes to provide a truly comprehensive support network. Before the students arrive in Canada, we hold an orientation with our Host Families to provide them with essential information about the group they’ll receive, their schedule and our expectations from them.
We meet the students at the international airport and accompany them to where you live as well as at the end of their stay. We are always on hand to help out with any communication problems that may occur in the first few days and are available in the case of any illness or medical emergencies. We aim to make the process as smooth as possible.
Although we strive to create the perfect match between our students and families, sometimes they don’t get along quite as we’d wished. We’ll be on hand to intervene at your request to alleviate the problem or in the worst case scenario, find another family for the student. If a family emergency comes up and you are no longer able to host, we ask that you contact us immediately in order to find another family for our student.
Students are inevitably nervous and don’t know what to expect before coming to Canada. They expect a loving, caring family waiting for them at the other end. We pre-advise them to adhere to the family rules and become involved in family life as much as possible – students go with the intention of becoming another member of the family. The students may not be aware of the differences they will face in terms of culture, eating times, family life in general, so this is something you must keep in mind. It is something completely new to them and they may experience Culture Shock or homesickness. We ask you to be as empathetic and understanding as possible.
Like we’ve said, you are these students parents for the duration of the program and it’s possible that they take a while adjusting to life in Canada. You have to be there for them, provide guidance and support throughout. Talk to them, let them feel at ease, listen to their problems. They may go through a period of culture shock, which is completely normal, and may appear somewhat distant. However, it is your job to let them know that everything will be ok. Make sure they know that this is their home, that they aren’t guests, that they can help themselves to food, that they can relax and feel at ease. All the while adhering to the rules your family puts in place.
Red Leaf students are typically aged between 12 and 17 years old, however, we also have programs for more mature students who wish to experience Canada for the first time. Red Leaf brings students from all over the world to Canada however, with the majority coming from Spain, France, Japan, China, Germany, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico and Columbia.
Our programs can last all year long, as we offer both short and long homestay experiences, from all different durations, starting from 2 weeks to 15 weeks up to 1 year.
Yes! You’re able to request male or female along with the preferred age and interests. We try to match up the student’s hobbies and interests with your own.
Once the matchmaking process has been done, we’ll send you the student’s profile and contact details. Remember, they’ll also be keen to speak to you too! This first point of contact is a fabulous way to break the ice and get to know one another beforehand, and get rid of any first-hand nerves that may occur.
Yes, however, with some stipulations. Red Leaf guarantees that no more than one student of the same language will be placed with the same host at the same time. Both students must be of the same gender and they must have a separate room. If you wish to host a student from another company at the same time as a Red Leaf student, we ask that you let us know in advance. If there is no conflict with what we have promised our students, we won’t have any objections.
Our compensation rates cannot be rivaled with. These finer details will be settled once we initiate the interview process and will be settled accordingly. Quality is our priority at Red Leaf. We pride ourselves on offering loving, good homes to our international students. And we aim to keep this quality going. That is why we ask our students to submit a survey on their homestay experience. This helps us evaluate the experience and the family and make sure we can keep on top of them. You can also play your part in maintaining this quality assurance. Please help us guarantee our students the best possible experience. We will, in return, promote and recommend your host family amongst our communities.