Deciding Where Your Child Will Live: Boarding Schools vs. Homestays


Sending your child abroad is a life-changing decision, and it’s important to know that they will be part of a supportive, welcoming community. In Canada, boarding schools and homestay programs are two well-established, affordable options to help international students assimilate into Canadian life and return home with lifelong friendships, stronger language skills, and a global mindset.

Option One: Boarding School

International students choosing the boarding school route live on campus and become fully immersed in student life, school spirit, and the thrill of making friends from all over the world. Living with dozens of their peers gives students a taste of university life, as they learn to be independent and manage their time by balancing studies with extracurricular and social activities.

There is no need for parents to get worried about how their child will find emotional support, healthful food, and safety; Canadian boarding schools have hundreds of years of experience in creating the optimal living environments for their students.

Canadian high schools offering boarding programs: St. Margaret’s SchoolQueen Margaret’s School, Balmoral Hall SchoolTrafalgar CastleSt. George’s School and Shawnigan Lake School.

Option Two: Living with a Canadian Family

Because your child will be spending their days at school, socializing with their peers and collaborating both academically and in extracurricular activities, you may want to consider the benefits that a more focused, personalized homestay option provides.

The one-on-one attention your child will receive by living with a single family will help boost language skills, as well as give your child an authentic taste of Canadian life and culture. Homestay programs are an affordable option, and their immersive nature can benefit students who thrive in a close-knit, family-like environment.

Canadian high schools offering homestay programs: Lycée Louis Pasteur and Lower Canada College.


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