From the Desk of the Superintendent- International Students

This year, Holy Spirit Catholic Schools has become active in the recruitment of international students. Last June, I travelled to Bogota, Colombia to initiate partnerships to bring in international students for short-term stays. The excursion was a great success as we have already received four students from a private Catholic school and are expecting an additional seven students to arrive in November. Our next seven students will stay for a month and will be attending one of our junior or senior high schools in our division.

Some divisions see the international student market as a revenue source only. While this can be achievable over time, the decision by the Board of Trustees to become active is the international student market is far from a monetary reason only. Over the past number of years, the ability for our students to travel abroad has been severely encumbered  by political strife and terrorist activity. A sad example of this was the cancellation of the Catholic Central High School yearly trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico. Even the powerful testament of past participants and the positive outcomes for our students in this excursion into poverty could not mitigate the safety and liability concerns that were evident.

With this in mind, our division’s entrance into international education allows our students the opportunity to engage in different cultures while remaining safe in their home country. Our schools will experience the cultural diversity through the eyes of our visiting students. And for those students and families who are fortunate to participate in the homestay program, their lives will be further enriched with lasting friendships.

Holy Spirit is now looking for families who would be interested in providing an international student a home for a short-term stay. If you are interested, please read the following advertisement.

Welcome an International Student into Your Home!

Holy Spirit Catholic School Division is looking for Homestay Families to host international students for a short-term stay from November 7th to December 10th, 2013.  

A $550/month stipend is offered to offset the student’s living costs.

Homestay Families willing to open their hearts and homes to these junior and senior high aged international students are asked to provide the following amenities:

  • Private bedroom
  • Three wholesome meals a day and snacks as required
  • Quiet, well-lit and heated study space
  • Access to the common living areas of the house
  • Hot water and facilities for bathing
  • Laundry
  • Emotional support
  • Academic support
  • Interaction with family members
  • Participation in family activities
  • Internet Connection

Please be aware that a Criminal Record Check (including a Vulnerable Sector Check) and a
Child Intervention Check will need to be provided for all Home Family residents over the age of 18.



The Benefits of Becoming a Homestay Family

Becoming a Homestay Family for the Holy Spirit International Education Program offers a range of benefits. They include:

  • learning about another culture’s traditions and customs
  • having the opportunity to experience a cultural exchange in the comfort of your own home
  • seeing our own Canadian culture through the eyes of an International Student
  • making a difference in the life of a young citizen of the world, our most valuable resource
  • receiving a monthly stipend of $550 to support groceries and quality of life activities
  • encouraging families to spend more time doing things together
  • developing a lasting friendship with the International Student and his or her family
  • acquiring an interest in a new culture that could lead to new travel and language learning opportunities for you and your children

If you would like more information about the Homestay Program or to refer a family, please contact us immediately. We need families for November 2013 intakes and beyond!

For more information please contact:

Wendy Urquhart – International Education Consultant
Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Separate Regional Division No. 4
St. Basil Education Centre
620 12B Street North
Lethbridge, AB   T1H 2L7

Phone: (403) 331-4458 Fax: (403) 327-9595


1 comment

    • Don Flaig on October 14, 2013 at 9:01 PM
    • Reply

    When I was in High School, I had the good fortune to travel to Nova Scotia for a stay, and in turn, we welcomed a student at our house. Those were formative years, and I am sure the students we welcome will return home with intense memories and a lot of learning.

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