Warm welcomes to fond memories!

CHN welcomed over 4000 students across the country in August and September this year.  As ambassadors of Canada, the way you welcome a student is crucial in making great first impressions.  It gives the student a glimpse into just how their time here may unfold, inform their perception of what Canadians are like, and make them cherish the memories they will take home with them.  Try to put yourself in a student’s shoes and think about a time you traveled to another country.  What were your first impressions of the people and why?

When students have traveled long distances, and are going through a range of emotions having just left their comfort zone, first impressions and greetings are all the more important.  Warm smiles, welcome baskets filled with Canadian treats, tours around the home and neighbourhood,  and inviting your students to traditional cultural and seasonal activities are all ways in which you can create lasting impressions on your student.  The time spent with them in the first few weeks creates the seeds for positive bonds and good communication which we hope continue throughout their experience here.  When your student leaves, they will be returning home full of memories of their experience with your family and their friends in Canada.  How would you like them to remember their time with your family here?

We at CHN and our school partners look forward to creating great first impressions for our students!  This year, students and hosts attended various activities such as welcome picnics, icebreakers, and other gatherings in the community to connect with international students.

In Sarnia, students were welcomed by the city’s Mayor, Mike Bradley, and the Lambton Kent District School Board Superintendent, Helen Lane.  With close to one hundred people at the event,  hosts and local students from the LKDSB were also in attendance to connect with the thirty five international students that had arrived from Spain, Mexico, Italy, Belgium and Korea.  With an international student program featuring short term scholarship programs (2 months), semester and academic year programs, this program is seeing consistent growth, hence, CHN is on the lookout for eager and supportive hosts to provide a caring home for their students.


Photo booths are always fun opportunities to create great memories!   We asked students what they thought about the welcome parties and their first impressions of Canada and here’s what they said:

“The Welcome Party was really cool! I liked the photo booth and meeting all the students from the other countries”

–Emilio, 16 yrs, Spain

“Canada feels very safe and relaxed. I love my Canadian friends, they are all so caring!”

–Alejandro, 18 yrs, Mexico

Here are some pictures of the students from the photo booth at the LKDSB welcome picnic.








Traditional Fall activities like apple or pumpkin picking not only help break the ice with a fun activity but also show the students how we celebrate the Fall season in Canada.   Canadians may take this for granted as we do it every year, but remember that many students come from cities where they don’t alway have the opportunity to connect with nature at this level so it is often an new eye-opening and exciting experience for them.

Student Adele Goethals from Belgium. Apple picking in Twin Pines, Thedford.

Student Birkoff Bacmeister fromMexico. Apple picking in Montreal, QC.










Laura Markslag, our host in Guelph, took her students Chiara Delpasso (Italy) and Louise Beben (Belgium) took her students to Belwood for a special Thanksgiving lunch where they wrote their thanks on pumpkins, and then had a mini tour of Fergus.


At an AYP orientation for the  Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB), student were in fits of laughter whilst participating in an icebreaker.  Our RM Pin was standing in the front of the room, and asked student to clap their hands when her hands crossed.  If they clapped at the wrong time, they had to sit down and were out.  The idea was to see if the students were paying attention.   With  approximately 60 students present, it got very competitive but they had a great time and there was a lot of laughter shared.  There are currently 86 students in this program, and more arriving in Feb 2019 for a second semester.  This program is growing rapidly and hosts are needed!


Interested in hosting for any of the above programs?  Please contact us at: hostinfo@canadahomestaynetwork.ca