Resources for Homestay Host

Below are various websites and other resources to help you learn more about the student you will be hosting as well as give you ideas on ways to engage with them!

If you ever need support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at eli.homestay@ubc.ca!

Learn More About Your Student’s Country

The following online resources will give you a good introduction to the history, people and culture of your visiting student’s home country.

  • Library of Congress Global Gateway: “Resources selected by Library of Congress subject experts” outlining the history and culture of countries around the world.
  • Library of Congress Country Studies: In-depth surveys of 98 countries, including culture, social values, and customs.
  • Holidays Around the World: A web-based perpetual calendar containing secular holidays of over 75 countries, and religious holidays of three religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

  • World Maps: From the University of Texas at Austin Online Map Collection, hundreds of country and city maps.
  • World Cuisines: Links to recipes and descriptions of foods around the world.

About Canada

Having trouble answering all your student’s questions about Canada? The following site from Citizenship and Immigration Canada might be a good place to start (how many of the Citizenship Test questions can you answer?).

About Vancouver

Who are the First Nations of the Lower Mainland? When was Vancouver founded? How many neighbourhoods are there today? And just how much does it rain? Visit these sites to become an expert on the city.

Things to Do

Need ideas for activities to share with students? Check out the list below.

*free place or event

  • Port of Vancouver*: The port offers free tours. Visitors are required to call in advance and bring identification for security clearance.
  • Vancouver Magazine’s IT list*: Some are well known; others are hidden treasures.
  • Vancouver Natural History Society*: The Society organizes meetings and field trips that explore the flora and fauna of the Vancouver region.
  • Volunteering: Many ELI students want to experience Vancouver through volunteering for one of its non-profit organizations. Volunteer Vancouver offers short-term activities in every kind of setting.
  • Vancouver Communities: The City of Vancouver is made up of 23 neighbourhood communities. The City of Vancouver website offers maps, event listings and guides for each.
  • Public Art in Vancouver*: Art outdoors?! See the City of Vancouver for an overview, maps and new installations.
  • Reifel Bird Sanctuary: Located about 30 minutes from the city, the sanctuary is a protected habitat for more than a hundred regional bird species, and it’s a great place to walk. Twice a year, tens of thousands of Snow Geese visit here on their north-south migration.
  • Vancouver Parks*: You know about Stanley Park, but what about Hastings Park – Vancouver’s second largest – or the Flower Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park?
  • UBC Museum of Anthropology
  • Vancouver Cultural Centres and Societies*
  • City of Vancouver Walking Tours*: Take one of the self-guided historic walking tours through Gastown, Yaletown, Chinatown and Shaughnessy. Website includes local history and maps.

There are dozens of cultural organizations and centres in Vancouver; many offer special events or information about the many ethnic communities that make this city such a great place to live. The Multicultural Organization Database lists almost a hundred local groups: contact the one that interests you for event information.