B.C. regulates homestay students

Province brings in regulations that match the rules Surrey School District has had for some time.

Peter Fassbender

The Surrey School District is welcoming new provincial regulations regarding international students travelling here to learn.

Surrey-Fleetwood MLA Peter Fassbender announced the new guidelines on Friday in Surrey. They are the first such rules for homestay students and include several codes of conduct for home providers and the students that stay there.

Homestay is a program allowing local families to provide space in their homes for international students.

There are between 1,000 and 1,200 homestay students going to public schools in Surrey.

There are 13,100 province-wide, with another 3,800 international students attending independent schools.

The Surrey School District previously had its own guidelines and the new rules bring the rest of the province up to the same level of service.

“I’m thrilled that British Columbia is the first province to introduce comprehensive guidelines for the homestay industry,” Fassbender said at the announcement at the Surrey Board of Trade. “Our world-class education system continues to attract students from around the globe and these guidelines make the decision to study here even easier.”

Even though many of Surrey’s schools are packed to the rafters, the district says some schools have room for more students.

District spokesperson Doug Strachan said the 1,000 to 1,200 students Surrey takes in generates $10-to $12 million annually for the district’s operating budget.

He said that means money for more teachers.

The new provincial guidelines can be found at this link: http://bit.ly/1WXRLlD