Western School Division is able to provide the best of both worlds - the safety of small town living and access to an urban setting. We have excellent academic, technological, athletic, and social components within our school programs. Our local services are comprehensive. Winnipeg, only an hour's drive on an excellent highway, provides opportunities for provincial, national, and international activities.
(printable - 6 pages)
Homestay Program Guide:
Step 1: Complete the application form. A complete application must include the following items:
- a completed application form
- original transcripts of the last two school years
- a letter of recommendation from the previous principal or school official
- a current photograph
- a non-refundable application fee of $200.00 (Canadian) payable to the Western School Division.
Step 2: Send the completed form with transcripts, photograph, recommendation and application fee to:
Western School Division
Unit 4 - 75 Thornhill Street, Morden, Manitoba, Canada
Step 3: The Co-ordinator will decide upon acceptance and placement of the student. Students will receive a formal letter of acceptance. A minimum payment of $1000.00 (Canadian) must be sent by the student as soon as he/she receives the letter of acceptance. The full fee may be paid at this time.
Step 4: The student will receive an information package from the Co-ordinator. The Co-ordinator will arrange for the home-stay and will answer any questions.
Step 5: The Co-ordinator, or Designate, will meet the student at the airport and will help with all practical matters related to home-stay and settling in.
Step 6: The Co-ordinator will introduce the student to teachers, counsellors and principals of the receiving school. School officials will ensure that a proper program is planned for the new student.
Application Fee $200.00 (non-refundable)
(Full year) (2 semesters)
$10,000.00 ($1,000.00 non-refundable; payable upon acceptance and
$9,000.00 payable one-month prior to arrival)
$5,000.00 ($500.00 non-refundable: payable upon acceptance and
$4,500.00 payable one-month prior to arrival)
*Payable to "Western School Division"
Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year
Home-Stay Payment $650.00 (per month; payable to the home-stay family)
(Room and Board)
Activity Fee Payment $50.00 (per month; payable to Western School Division)
Full Medical Coverage $300.00 per student (compulsory for all students)
*NOTE Fees can be paid via money order or contact the co-ordinator of International Education for direct deposit banking information.
HOMESTAY PROGRAM GUIDE
Welcome to the Western School Division's International Student Program! As an international Student studying at Morden Collegiate or École Morden Middle School, you most likely will be participating in the Homestay Program. This booklet has been designed to help explain the Homestay Program and outline some rules and expectations the International Student Program has for its participants.
HOMESTAY FAMILIES - A SAFE AND FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT
The Western School Division has a list of local families that have been screened and deemed able to provide an appropriate and healthy environment for an International student. Families undergo a criminal and child abuse background check to ensure the safety of the student. Families are also interviewed and their homes visited by the International Student Program personnel to assess interest, friendliness, and concern for the growth and development of the student. The emphasis is on a home that provides the student with comfortable surroundings and a place for practicing and developing English Language Skills.
The International Student Program works hard to ensure that International Student are placed with families that best match the needs of the student including:
a) Proximity to school placement
b) Dietary needs
Despite the International Student Program's best efforts, perfect matches may not always be available.
The International Students residing with Homestay Families will be required to pay a Monthly Homestay fee of $600.00 per month. The fee is to be paid on the first day of each month. A daily rate of $20.00 will be charged when a student enters or leaves the Homestay Program mid-month. The Homestay fee will be paid by cheque either by the School Division or the student. A personal chequing account can be opened up at any bank in Morden.
The International Student shall expect the following from the Homestay Family:
1. A private room
a) with a window, nearby smoke detector - fire drill procedures to be explained
b) bed and bedding, dresser, desk, chair, lamp, closet
c) adequate heat, light and ventilation
d) discuss with your student(s) what can be put on bedroom wall and how to attach items.
2. Access to bathroom and bathing facilities.
3. Three meals daily and other reasonable incidental foodstuffs. Please discuss with your student as to whom is responsible for what meal preparations.
4. Access to laundry facilities and procedures/routines.
The Homestay Family will also meet reasonable transportation needs. However, this does not include daily transportation to and from school.
The Homestay fee does not cover extra-curricular school costs and extra costs for family outings, though Homestay Families will often pay for some activities.
YOUR ROLE - A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY
It has been determined that the Homestay environment provides the greatest opportunities for the leaning and acquisition of the English Language. It is also the ideal setting for learning new skills and experiencing ordinary Canadian Life. The Homestay Program aims to integrate you as a regular family member as much as possible. Do not expect to be treated as an "honored guest", instead you will be included in family life and activities like a regular member of the family.
As such you will be expected to complete your share of household chores. For instance, you will be responsible to keep your room clean in addition to maintaining tidiness in other areas of the house. You should also be prepared to help with meal preparation, cleaning of dishes, and even doing your own laundry. All forms of household chores and work are in fact excellent leaning opportunities and sharing moments between family members.
In many cases you may also be an older brother or sister to your Homestay Family's children. Your role in this instance may also include babysitting on occasion, and you will certainly be expected to set a good example for behavior. Once again, this offers numerous opportunities for growth and learning, especially since young children will immediately bond with you and their interest in you will result in a greater opportunity for speaking English.
SOME RULES AND EXPECTATIONS
The following are some general comments on International Student Program Rules and Expectations, and are meant to be a guide only. Please review the following with your Homestay Family upon arrival for specific information.
SCHOOL ATTENDANCE / REPORTS
Regular school attendance is expected of all students participating in the International Student Program. Either a note from the Homestay Family or from a doctor must document classes missed due to illness. Unexcused absences will be reported to the Homestay Family. Excessive absences may result in loss of credit or expulsion from the International Student Program.
Student Report Cards, Progress Reports and Attendance Reports will be mailed directly to Homestay Families if attending Morden Collegiate or they will be sent home with the student if attending École Morden Middle School. Homestay families also have the privilege of attending Parent-Teacher Meetings to discuss the performance of the International Student.
The Morden Collegiate or École Morden Middle School's Code of Conduct and Policies applies to all of our International Students. Please familiarize yourself with these documents. These are found on each school's home page.
MAKING SOCIAL PLANS
While academic study, growth, and development are the principal goals of the International Student Program, group interaction and socializing are also important elements of a successful stay with the program. Students should set aside a regular amount of time each week for leisure activities and relaxation. Much of this time should be with members of the Homestay Family though activities with school friends are also important. Regardless, all International Students should provide detailed information to their Homestay Families as to where they are going and how they can be reached (i.e. phone number), when they will be back and with whom they are going out. Communication with the Homestay Family is important to prevent confusion and misunderstandings. The Homestay Family is not expected to "know" where the student(s) will be. If the students are going to be later than they planned, they must contact their Homestay Family immediately!
Also, students ask for permission before going out, as opposed to informing their Homestay Family that they are going out. The Homestay Family can enforce limits on the amount of socializing the student(s) may do, and the hours of socializing they keep.
As a regular member of the Homestay Family, students are reminded to respect the individual rules of the household. This includes the hours that are spent outside the home. Factors determining this may include: school night vs. weekend; type of activity; and ages of family members in the Homestay. The International Student Program supports a 9:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. curfew from Sunday to Thursday and an 11:00 p.m. - 12:00 midnight curfew on Fridays and Saturdays. Students should be reminded to phone if there is a problem. Special arrangements can be made for different circumstances.
Sleeping over at a friend's house during the week or on weekends is not permitted by the International Student Program, as it typically distracts from the learning process. However, there might be cases when Homestay Families may need to make alternative sleeping arrangements for their student. In such cases, approval must be granted by the International Student Program and details on the student's whereabouts must be furnished.
International Students must respect the needs of all family members. The length of shower/bath and the time of day for a shower/bath must be mutually agreeable within each family.
The rules of the household regarding the telephone must be obeyed, especially with reference to the length of the call and calls made or received late night. Collect calls or the student purchasing phone cards are recommended. A separate telephone line for the student must be mutually agreeable with both parties and paid for by the student.
Smoking is greatly discouraged by the International Student Program. Smoking in homestay residences is strictly prohibited, and violation of this may result in eviction from the house.
ALCOHOL AND ILLICIT DRUGS
Any use of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited and may result in expulsion from the International Student Program.
TATTOO AND OR PIERCING
The International Student Program prohibits any of the students enrolled to obtain a tattoo or body piercing during the time they are under the care of Western School Division. Students in violation of this could be removed from the program and sent home.
The International Student Program discourages its students from carrying or displaying large amounts of cash and monies. For security purposes, a bank account should be opened by all students. Please be assured that the use of bank accounts and bankcards is common practice by Canadians and is the safest way to protect your money. Excess money usually attracts a lot of attention, often from other students who expect the International Student to pay for meals and extra curricular activities. The cost of living in Morden is generally quite reasonable, and students with extensive cash flow tend to be easily distracted from their studies. Do not lend or borrow money from other students. The International Student Program discourages biological parents of International Students from providing money to buy the student a car.
DRIVERS LICENSES AND DRIVING
While the legal driving age in Manitoba is 16 years old, all participants in the International Student Program who are under the age of 18 will not be granted permission to take Drivers Education Classes or other forms of driver-training instruction. Driving without a license at any age is strictly prohibited. The International Student Program strongly discourages students from owning cars during their stay. Generally, students with cars have a noticeable drop in academic performance and classroom attendance.
TRAVEL WITH HOMESTAY
Students are encouraged to explore and experience North American culture through travel during their stay in Morden. However, this travel should not interfere with academic studies and should be limited to designated school holiday periods. A "Parental Permission to Travel" form must be completed and signed by the biological parents for each trip outside the province of Manitoba with or without the Homestay family. Special medical insurance must be purchased before traveling outside the province of Manitoba. All students must furnish the International Student Program with a detailed itinerary of their travels including the names and addresses of those they will be travelling with and staying with during their travels. Many Homestay Families will want to include the International Student in their own travel and holiday plans. Students are encouraged to participate in such travels.
Please note that travel within Manitoba with the Host Family does not require parental permission but extended trips of more than 2 days need to be reported to the Western School Division's Coordinator of International Education for information in case of emergency. Messages can be directed to:
Mr. Lane Curry
TRAVEL (STUDENT MAKING OWN ARRANGEMENTS)
Students wanting to make their own travel arrangements within Manitoba or travelling outside of Manitoba must furnish the International Student Program with a detailed itinerary of their travels including the names and addresses of those they will be travelling with and staying with during their travels signed by their biological parents.
The International Student Program takes no responsibility for student actions taken on travel not approved by the Program. Furthermore, unapproved travel is a serious infraction of International Student Program Rules and may result in expulsion from the program.
Travel outside of Canada typically involves securing a visitor's visa to the destination country. Most of these visas require written permission from the International Student Program. Please make arrangements to receive all required documents well in advance of your trip.