School District 83 is looking for homestay families for students in Salmon Arm and Armstrong. (File photo)

School District 83 is looking for homestay families for students in Salmon Arm and Armstrong. (File photo)

School district looking to house international students in Salmon Arm, Armstrong

Applications now being accepted for homestay parents

School District 83 is looking to expand its international student program this fall.

Launched this current school term amid the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions limited the enrolment to eight international students this year, with the hope to expand that to more than 25 for the 2021-22 school term.

Ranging in age from Grade 10 to 12, most will be in Salmon Arm and a smaller number will be in Armstrong.

The limiting factor on enrolment is recruiting homestay hosts willing to have students stay at their home during their time here, which can range from a full 10-month school term to three or six month stays.

Rob MacAulay, district principal overseeing the international student program, said homestay parents receive $850 per month to off-set added expenses and benefit from the cultural experience introduced into their home and their families.

“We are being very careful how fast we expand this. We are being very selective about students we are bringing in to ensure we can provide a good match for homestay families and for our community,” said MacAulay, adding all COVID health protocols will be adhered to.

“We are not a big city here so if students are looking for that, we are not the match for them. We are looking for students looking for a small town lifestyle and outdoors experiences, something that we offers in spades here.”

Read more: Flag raising at School District 83 centre recognizes Secwépemc territory

Read more: School District 83 adds new option for Salmon Arm schools

COVID interrupted MacAulay’s initial recruiting process last year, but so far Salmon Arm has forged recruiting relationships for students from Germany, Italy, Spain and Belgium.

“We will be looking to bring in students from other countries as things begin to calm down a bit,” MacAulay said in reference to the pandemic’s impact on health and travel restrictions.

Growing the program will depend on the interest of local residents to become homestay parents.

With the program having been established in many other school districts across the province, MacAulay said he has gained insight from his counterparts about lessons they have learned along the way.

“One of the things I have been told is super important is to make sure students are matched with an area they like and to find a good fit with the homestay families,” he said.

While the program generates revenue for school districts to provide additional services to students not otherwise allocated in the school district budget, MacAulay said exposure for homestay families and other students to teenagers from different cultures is also beneficial to the community.

Homestay parents can learn more information or submit an application online at, or call 250-832-2157 to connect with the international student program office.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salmon Arm council

Just Posted

The City of Vernon is asking the Vernon Elks to come back with more information regarding their request for a financial or in-kind donation. (Google Maps)
Zero funding for Vernon Elks club

Once-in-100-years grant denied after back and forth with city for support

A conceptual design of Vernon’s new Active Living Centre, which will go to referendum Oct. 15, 2022. (Rendering)
Active living centre 2022 referendum planned in Vernon

City hoping to get Coldstream and Areas B and C back on board

Vernon’s historic Towne Cinema, opened at its current 30th Avenue location as a dance hall in 1929 and was converted to a movie theatre in 1938. (GoFundMe photo)
Let the show go on: $100,000 raised for Vernon Towne Cinema

The Okanagan Screen Arts Society plans on reopening of the historic cinema after Labour Day

(City of Vernon)
Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
No words to express collective grief: Vernon mayor on 215 buried at residential school

Vernon mayor pens letter to Okanagan Indian Band Chief and council

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Most Read