July 24th, 2024

SD76 looking for families to host international exchange students

By Tim Kalinowski on July 25, 2017.


Medicine Hat Public School Division 76 is looking for local host families to house 65 international exchange students expected to arrive in the city this fall.

“By (being a host family), it promotes something in you as a family and in our community that’s pretty cool,” says SD76 international liaison Scott Howes. “I think the international students who come feel welcome and a part of the family they are staying with… And for we as Canadians here, we get to have an experience of a different culture without going abroad.”

Howes says the division does not expect local families to shoulder the extra costs associated with hosting an international student by themselves.

“We actually do pay people for room and board $650/ month,” he confirms. “But I tell people who are interested in doing it, don’t do it for the money. If you are doing it properly, you shouldn’t make money— you should be breaking even. I say to these families take $400 and put it into an account to pay for things like groceries, utilities, bills, etc., and you should take the other $250 and do fun stuff with it. That might mean taking the student to a show at the Esplanade, making a visit to Medalta or driving out to Red Rock Coulee, for example.”

The international students who come to Medicine Hat are looking for a deeply immersive cultural experience and to feel welcome in the community, says Howes. Host families play a big part in that.

“When these students come here we tell them, you are going to learn to speak English very well in an open, inviting community.”

For more information on how to make an application to become a local host family call or text Scott Howes at 403-502-2842 or email scott.howes@sd76.ab.ca.

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