Story by Fatma Dogus, Admissions Officer & Host Family Program Coordinator

During the 2017-18 academic year alone, we were pleased to work with more than 110 active Host Family volunteers who have generously hosted students during weekends, CAS Week (Creativity, Action, Service), Project Week and Winter Break. They have offered incredible emotional support to our students by providing a home away from home and a warm family atmosphere.

With many host families being part of the local community, we are always pleased when they can join us for event on campus like Regional Days, One World and Host Family Volunteer Program Brunches. Becoming part of the Pearson College UWC community is one of the side benefits joining this volunteer program.

We have 16 new families in our Host Family Volunteer Program and we hope to recruit more families who, by inviting Pearson students into their homes, will help create unforgettable memories, not only for young people from around the world, but also for their own families.

We would love to hear from more people who would be interested in joining the Host Family Volunteer Program! It’s one of the best ways to get to know Pearson College UWC students and, as many of our host families have told us, a wonderful way to introduce “the world” to your own children and all family members close to home. Most Pearson students are far away from their own families, many for the first time, and really appreciate a “home-based” opportunity during scheduled breaks in the academic year which runs from late August to late May.

Host Family Volunteer Program families can identify when and for how long their home is available for homestay opportunities. Students may be interested in a break just for a night or two, a weekend, or for a week or more.

As July winds down, we are only a couple of months away the first host family placements of the year during the upcoming CAS Week 21 to 27 October. CAS Week is when students leave campus to work on individual and team projects they have chosen.

If you would like more information about this volunteer opportunity, please contact me, the College’s Host Family Coordinator Fatma Dogus, at fdogus@pearsoncollege.ca. Thank you!

In the meantime, here are a few key facts and anecdotes about the program:

  • During the 2017- 18 academic year:
    • 112 host families hosted our students during the past academic year
    • 102 students were housed over CAS week in October – some of them hosting up to 7 students at once!
    • 67 students stayed with host families over the Winter Break
    • 76 students stayed with host families during Project Week
  • One host family went the extra mile and organized a memorable UWC Winter Skate on Christmas Eve day which was attended by many Pearson students and local host families.
  • We welcomed as many as 16 new host families during the past year and continued to promote this volunteer opportunity during community events like One World and Metchosin Days.
  • Our current host families are some of the best promoters of this program! We are very grateful to them for helping to spread the word by drawing attention to this initiative.