The Homestay Experience

The Homestay Experience

Homestay host parents Lorna Charbonneau and Pete Seguin with Alicia, Felicitas and Cara

"From the beginning of their journey to the end, when they come to Canada they are changed forever; we all are enriched and friends forever too."
- from Lorna Charbonneau, Homestay host parent


What’s it like being in a host family? What’s it like being a host parent? Here’s the story of one local Homestay family.

Host parents Lorna Charbonneau and Pierre Seguin have enjoyed hosting 30 plus students to date.  According to Lorna the most interesting aspect of being a host parent is “the gratification I feel when we see the students progressing and blossoming in school. Their levels of confidence and independence increase dramatically.”

Felicitas is from Germany and enjoys being with her host family because she has independence, but if she has a question or concern Lorna and Pete are always there to help with guidance and support. When Felicitas first arrived in Ottawa, her host family helped her get her bus pass, and attended parent teacher meetings to provide assistance to Felicitas. In her words: “ My host family is really fantastic!”

Cara is an international student from China. Here are Cara’s thoughts about her Homestay experience: “I am enjoying my time here because everyone in my host family is very friendly. My host parents take me shopping and also keep in contact with my teachers to deal with any issue at school.”

From Vietnam, Alicia is very appreciative of the home environment that Lorna and Pete provide: “I really enjoy living with my host family. They are ideal hosts; we are like a family.  They have helped me with a lot things such as reviewing my homework, explaining new words, and coping with culture shock. They are friendly and great to be with.”

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