By Vasi – 2nd year student
Hello, my fellow international students! In today’s blog post I would like to talk to you about moving to Canada. Being an international student is hard. We leave the comfort and familiarity of our homes and travel as far as across the world to find our new home – Quest University. Quest faculty and staff know the struggle and they are here to help us make the transition as smooth as possible. There are multiple support systems on campus, including (but are not limited to, because I bet I’m forgetting something) international student orientation during which you’ll meet your future friends from other countries that are going through the same things as you; health insurance so your parents don’t have to worry about who will take care of you were to, for example, go too hard while skiing and sprain your ankle; counseling services to talk to someone who is a professional about your life; Barbara, the Coordinator of International Student Services, who can answer any of your questions and is overall a great individual; our own peer Minister of Internationalization (position that students run and get elected for every year).
However, in this blog post I would like to talk about one specific support system for International students, and it is *drum roll* the Host Family program!
In the beginning of the academic year you will be asked if you would like to participate in the host family program, and you should say yes! Why, you might wonder?
Well, let me tell you! I present to you 5 reasons for why the Host Family Program is awesome:
- Homemade food
Number one on my list and in my heart (jokingly) is the homemade food. Yes, there are places on campus where you can cook, but isn’t it so much nicer to have a homemade meal that is either prepared for you or you can make with someone in a home setting?
2. Explore Squamish and greater BC
The families that volunteer to be a part of the Host Family program are excited to meet international students and introduce them to all that Squamish has to offer, and, let me tell ya, that’s a lot of cool things! My host mom Kathy and I, for example, like to go biking or hiking.
3. Get to know Canadian culture
Your host family would also introduce you to the Canadian culture through a home setting. University setting is sometimes not too accurate of a representation of what the normal world looks like, but through interactions with your host family, you can find out what life of a Canadian family looks like.
4. Family away from home
When we leave home, a lot of us miss the atmosphere of a family setting. As soon as you get to know your hosts, they become your family away from home.
5. Get out of Quest bubble
Quest is a lot of fun, but every once in a while it is nice to get away and spend time with someone who is not a tutor or a University student, you know what I mean? Your host families are there to help you with that 🙂
In summary, having a host family is a great experience that provides you with a ton of opportunities. Sign up for the program, and I promise you that even your Canadian friends will be jealous.