Homestay gives you the opportunity to live with a Vancouver family, improve your English, and learn more about Canadian life and culture. You may choose Homestay for your entire stay or for a short time (1 month). Short-term Homestay is available if you need a place to live while you look for an apartment.

You will be sent a pre-departure homestay orientation video after you register for your program. There will also be a homestay orientation a day or two after the start of your program.

Vancouver’s on-going housing shortage has limited the number of available host families during August and February/March programs. For this reason, we work with high quality local homestay companies to ensure enough places. The ELI Homestay Office carefully manages the relationship with these companies, and ELI students are fully and directly supported by the ELI Homestay Team at all times.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Our ELI homestays are only available to ELI students.

What’s Included

You will have a furnished room (including a bed, bed linen and towels) and 3 meals a day. This includes a packed lunch on school days. You will have your own bedroom with a place for studying. In special circumstances, you may share a room with another ELI student. Homestay students typically use local transit buses (Translink) to travel to UBC from their homestay.

Host Families

Host families are interested in international students and are happy to include you in their daily family life. ELI Homestay placement staff visit each host family and take special care to place you with a family who has similar interests. Host families are selected carefully with your safety and comfort in mind.

Canadian host families come from many different cultures. They may be from Canada, Europe, Philippines, China, India, South America or other parts of the world. A host family may be a family with or without children, an older couple, a single parent, or even a single person. ELI families may live in apartments, small houses or large houses. In Canada, bedrooms may be on the first floor, second floor, or in the basement. Families may or may not have a car. Many Canadian families keep dogs or cats as pets in their homes. Once you are matched with a host family, please email them to set up a Zoom or FaceTime appointment to introduce yourself.

Interested in becoming a Homestay Host? See Become a Homestay Host.

Homestay Move In Date

You can move into your homestay up to 2 days before the start of your program.

To respect the privacy of ELI host families, ONLY students in the UBC ELI Homestay program may contact their host families. No other persons are permitted to visit or contact ELI host families.

Homestay Fees

There is a Homestay placement fee plus accommodations fees. All fees are in Canadian dollars (CAD)

2024 Fees

Homestay placement fee (non-refundable):

  • $350 for programs less than 8 weeks
  • $400 for programs 8 weeks or longer

Homestay accommodation fee:

  • $65/night for all programs

2025 Fees

Homestay placement fee (non-refundable):

  • $350 for programs less than 8 weeks
  • $400 for programs 8 weeks or longer

Homestay accommodation fee:

  • $65/night for all programs

Independent students pay hosts directly (cash, etransfer, Paypal etc.) Hosts for group students are paid by the ELI through direct deposit.

How to Arrange for Homestay

To arrange for Homestay, please check the appropriate box when you fill out the housing application.

Apply for Homestay

Cancellation of Homestay or Moving

You must give 14 days’ notice before moving or leaving Homestay.

COVID-19 Disclaimer

If you test positive for COVID-19 and need to quarantine for an extended period of time, you may not be able to stay in homestay accommodations. Our homestay placement team will support you in moving to alternate or private accommodations, which may be charged at a higher nightly rate. Students will be responsible for this additional cost if private accommodation for quarantine is required. See UBC Vancouver Self-Isolation Information for self-isolation accommodation options and information.

Student Homestay Orientation Video