Red Leaf - Canada's Student Programs and Volunteer Experts

  • Phone: +1 905-530-0170
  • Fax: +1 905-895-2521
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  • Address: 879 Memorial Circle Newmarket ON L3X 0A8

Become a Red Leaf host

Dear friend:

Welcome to our little corner of the WWW and thank you for taking the time to know us a little bit better.

I know your time is precious and probably very limited. However, if you can bear with me for a few moments, I will answer some of the questions that are probably going through your head regarding the Red Leaf Hosting experience. I asure you it will be worth your while!

Who’s Red Leaf?

Red Leaf is a company that has a simple, and yet ambitious, goal: deliver life experiences to those who understand that the future is multicultural and global and that the true value of education is nowadays in those global experiences.

In our 28 years of working with students from all over the world, we’ve learned that those learning experiences that we work so hard to bring to our students would not be possible without the support of our incredible hosts. Without them, the Red Leaf students would not be able to see what a truly Canadian Experience is like.

That is the reason why we are looking for someone like you who can help us continue to show our students that Canada is the country to go in order to understand what being a true global citizen means.

If you want to know more about our company, please click here:
Red Leaf – Canada’s Student Programs Experts


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Got Questions?
Why become a Red Leaf host? What's in it for me?

Hosting with Red Leaf means having the oportunity to host many different students from all over the world. The benefits of the cultural exchange run both ways! You will decide in which programs you want to take part and we will take into account your profile and the students profile so the experience enriches everyone involved. On top of that, our staff will always be ready to support both yourself and your student during the program. You will be in good hands!

What are other Red Leaf hosts saying about the experience?

“This program is a great learning experience for all of us involved”. Abbotsford, British Columbia “Having Maria stay with us is a great pleasure. She brought us a lot of fun and new experiences. We can’t wait to go to Spain and see her next year.” Barrie, Ontario “The support provided by Red Leaf was a key factor in our decision to continue hosting for years to come.” Cochrane, Alberta

What kind of support will Red Leaf give me as a host?
What happens if I have a problem with my student?

Red Leaf receives groups of students throughout the year. Before each group of students arrive in your community, there is usually a Host Family Orientation to provide more information about the incoming group, their schedule and our expectations for the particular program/group.

In most cases, Red Leaf meets the student at the international airport and brings them to your community to meet you, and takes them back at the end of the program. Red Leaf is also there to help with communication problems that may occur in the first few days of a students’ stay in your home, with illness or medical emergencies and contact with the birth parents.

Occasionally a student and host family do not get along well for whatever reason. You can depend on Red Leaf to intervene at your request to help solve the problem or to move the student. A move could also occur if you have a family emergency and can no longer host.

Who can I host? For how long?

“TRed Leaf focuses most of its learning experiences in young students between 12 and 17 years old, however, we also offer similar experiences to more mature individuals who seek to have a taste of Canada. Red Leaf brings students from all over the world but most of them come from Spain, France, Japan, China, Germany, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico and Colombia.

We run programs all year long and offer the possibility of hosting both short and long term experiences.

For more information about our programs, please visit our Programs section.

Will I be able to choose who I want to host? Will I be able to get in touch with the student prior to his/her arrival?

The answer is yes!

You may request male or female and the preferred age and interests. We try to match whenever possible the hobbies and interests of the student with those of the host.

You will usually receive a profile of your student along with a few pictures and you’ll be able to contact them by email, skype or telephone before arrival.

They will also be keen to contact you so it is very important that you provide us with an email address that you check frequently. This communication in advance is always a good way to break the ice and get to know each other better before the experience. The anxiety level goes down a lot!!

Will I be able to host more than one student at the same time?

Red Leaf guarantees that no more than one student of the same language will be placed with the same host at the same time. Also both students must be of the same gender and each student must have his or her own room (unless the student specifically request it). If you wish to host a student from another company at the same time as the Red Leaf student, we ask that you let us know inf advance. If there is no conflict with what we have promised our students, we won’t have any objections.

What are the requirements to be a host family?
What will be expected of me?

Your main requirement is to provide a genuine and welcoming atmosphere so that the student can really experience the Canadian way of life. Our amazing hosts are one of the aspects that make us proud because they warmly welcome our students and include them into their normal lives like they are part of the family.

International students will bring a new cultural perspective to your home and will do their best to accommodate themselves to you, however, Canadian culture and routines can be very different from what they are used to and they might have a limited ability to communicate in English, therefore, a Red Leaf host must be ready to face this challenge.

The second most important requirement of our hosts is that English is spoken at all times in front of the students. Red Leaf hosts come from very different backgrounds but this rule is of utmost importance and, if broken, will probably mean that we have to remove the student from the host.

You will provide accommodation, meals, snacks and some transportation according to the host family agreement. We will get into futher details on the section: What are the general expectations of the students?

Beyond these basics, you will be required to spend time with the student so that he/she has a family life in Canada and has the opportunity to pactice his/her English skills on everyday situations. In most programs you will also be required to devote some time to share the highlights of your area and take the student to local places of interest that will allow them to see what Canada has to offer.

I live on my own. Can I be a Red Leaf host?

Red Leaf host families are made up of many types: parents with children, partners who haven’t yet had children or whose children are no longer at home, and single people in special cases. Most European and Latin American students prefer a family with at least two members but we often receive requests for a single host, specially coming from adults.

What will I need to do to become a Red Leaf host?
Do I need to send any documents?

After we receive your expresion of interest, a Red Leaf representative will contact you to arrange a phone interview to discuss the details of the Red Leaf Hosting experience. Please, take into account that we are currently expanding our program locations so you are interested in hosting with us, even if you don’t see one of our programs in your area, don’t hesitate to contact us.

If we are recruiting in your area, a Red Leaf representative will arrange a visit with you. At that time, we’d like to meet as many members of the family as possible and spend some time getting to know you and understand your reasons for hosting. If, after this visit, you decide to go ahead with the application, we will ask you (and all the members over 18 years old living in the house) to get the Criminal Record Check and submit it to us. We’ll also ask you for a few current photos that will be part of your host family profile. Whenever a student is placed in your home, he/she will receive this profile. Finally you’ll be asked to sign the host family agreement and declaration.

Will I be remunerated for hosting?

Red Leaf host families are remunerated and the amount will be confirmed with you at the time of the visit or when we request to place a student in your home.

What are the general expectations of the students?

Accomodation: Ideally, the stundent will have a private bedroom in the main part of the home (not in the basement), with natural light and equipped with a bed, closet, chair, lighting and a desk or work area. If the desk or work area is not available in the room the student must be given access to a quiet study area in another room in the house. Finished basements and double-accomodations are also accepted for most of the programs but they will need to be pre-approved by Red Leaf.

Meals: Red Leaf students are guaranteed three, well-balanced meals every day. We recommend a variety in the meals, although we do not expect that you drastically change your daily routine. You will be expected to ensure that all meals, especially packed lunches, are as complete as possible (ie. beverage, sandwich, fruit, snack). Dinner should be eaten as a family as is the moment when the student will have the best chance to practice conversation. Occasionally, Red Leaf receives special dietary requests from students such as Celiacs. In this event, we will ask in advance if you are comfortable or willing to prepare such meals and will give you an extra amount to cover those special diets.

Transportation: Most of Red Leaf’s programs include public transportation to lessons and activities. However, in some special cases, such as the junior program or in some communities where the public transportation system is not enough for the student to get to the program, we will ask you to drive the student. If this is the case, you will receive additional compensation for the gas.

Usage of the phone: Red Leaf makes clear to the students that they will be responsible for all long distance phone calls. However, the general advise that we give them is that they purchase a phone call and request his/her host family to allow them to use the landline with this phone card.

Usage of the computer/internet: Most students will request to use the computer for Internet and e-mail access, or more often lately, access to the wifi in order to use his/her own laptop or smartphone. As a family this is your decision to make. Should you choose to allow the student to use your family computer for e-mail or Internet use, please establish clear rules and timeframes for surfing, chatting or sending messages. Red Leaf is not responsible for any reimbursement for internet use.

House rules: Red Leaf clearly explains that the students must follow the house rules set by the host, however, these rules and expectations must be explained to the student on the day of arrival or the first day after arrival. The language barrier can sometimes be a problem for this so it is very important that the hosts make sure that the student clearly understands so any misunderstandings can be avoided. Specially the first few days of the student’s stay. These rules usually refer to: curfew, how to lock and unlock the doors, how to use the laundry facilities, how to keep the student’s room tidy, how to operate kitchen and bathroom equipment such as dishwasher or shower, meal times, nightly and weekend routines, etc…

Chores: Another point that Red Leaf insist on when explaining the hosting experience to the students is that, as they will become a member of the family, they will be treated as if they were another member, not a special guest. If your family’s routine includes dividing household duties among all its members, the student should be included. It is important that the student understands that he or she is acting as part of the family and that everyone has a chore to do. They should not be made to feel that they are being asked to perform duties because they are a new family member. In general, students are expected to keep their own room tidy and to help maintain the bathroom (especially if it is a private bathroom). Asking the student to assist with table setting or clearing during meals is acceptable.

Smoking and/or drinking: we clearly explain to all our students that smoking and drinking is illegal in Canada under the age of 19. Many of our students, however, come from countries where smoking is permitted at any age and many come to Canada already in the habit. If you accept a student who smokes, you have the right to allow it in your house or ask the student to smoke outside. You must include your preference on your profile. Your rules should also be firmly established when the student arrives. Under no circumstances are you expected to supply an underage student with cigarettes. Canadian and Ontario laws should also be explained to the student upon arrival.

Can I go away while a student is with us?

In most programs, the duration of the student’s stay is short. You will, therefore, be expected to remain in town for the duration of the student’s stay. Weekends away to a place of interest or a family cottage are certainly acceptable, provided that the student does not miss any class time. Students must not be moved to a friend’s or relative’s home in order to allow the host family time away.

If you wanna know more click here and one of our staff members will contact you shortly.

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