Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Georgian College is looking for local families to help provide a place for new international students to stay through its Homestay program.

The Homestay program allows international students to learn about life in Canada and adjust to their new community with the help of host families.

Georgian’s appeal is its “small-town” closeness in campus areas such as Barrie, Orillia and Owen Sound. These communities offer several amenities and activities as well as a vast cultural mix, making Georgian an appealing location for international students.

Students will be looking for furnished room rentals in the community and many enjoy living with a local family in Georgian’s Homestay program.

“International education enriches lives – it’s all about experiencing a different way of living and enhancing cultural learning experiences,” said Marina Tomchak, International Housing Co-ordinator. “A positive Homestay experience is critical to the success of our international students. Homestay hosts become friends and guides in a new culture and the experience is enjoyable and rewarding for both the students and the families.”

Tomchak added that community members who host international students get the added benefit of experiencing other cultures and establish relationships globally without leaving their home.

“The best is when students return for dinners after they have moved on to live independently,” said Homestay host Stephanie Verheyen. “They, and I, feel like they’re returning home. They’ve become extended family to us.”

Families accepted into the program are compensated; rates vary depending on the living situation.

For more information on becoming a Homestay host, visit

If you have furnished rooms to rent, visit

PHOTO CAPTION: Georgian’s international student ambassador team is looking forward to welcoming new international students this fall.

Article and photo courtesy of Georgian College.



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