“The teens involved in this program get to experience island family life in its many different versions. I bonded beautifully with my homestay student and her family came from Germany to visit us on Cortes.” 

Melissa Rickey, homestay mom

Homestay Families on Cortes Island

The CIA brings students from all over to Cortes, where the island becomes curriculum, campus, and home, and to offer Cortes Island residents the chance to share their unique home with students. The Cortes community works under the guidance of SD72’s well-established homestay program to provide their expertise to our unusual island.

There is a fee for for boarding with a family which ranges from $750 – $1000 a month depending on whether your students needs a partial or full boarding program. A limited number of homestays are available and students apply as part of their registration process.

What to expect with a Cortes Homestay:

  • Safe, caring home vetted by our program.
  • Host family known to our program.
  • Many homes are on a acreage or small farm with animals, gardens, and composting toilets.
  • Find your “Canadian Family” and engage with other students.
  • Share daily life with host family including helping on the property, cooking meals, games, movies, and outdoor adventures.
  • Host family: mature couple, single person, family with kids, same sex couples.
  • Many Cortes Homestays are group homes with multiple CIA student and sometimes younger kids as well.



Becoming a Cortes Island Homestay

  • Homestay families can look a lot of ways on Cortes from single parents to same-sex parents or even friends coming together to run a group house.
  • Homestay families are reimbursed between $700 to $900 a month for each student to help cover hosting expenses.
  • Host families are interviewed, have a recent criminal record check, and have liability insurance (renters or home-owners) for their property.
  • Students are expected to be party of a family and help with making meals, household chores, and the work of a family, as well as joining in on the fun of a family: hiking, movies, games, music, and more.
  • Cortes host families support each other through monthly meetings, co-creating student and adult hang-outs, and participating in after-school activities.
  • You can support the Cortes Island Academy Homestay effort in many ways: becoming a homestay family or a respite provider (where you provide your home or go to a group home to watch kids while host families go on holiday or visit relatives, etc.); renting a home into the program for September through January; or becoming a Homestay “parent” in a rented group home.
  • Interested? Reach out to kate@cortesislandacademy.ca to find the right fit for you! There are many ways to help create a transformative experience for our students and our Cortes community.
  • Ready? Apply to be a Homestay through our partner the SD72 Internal Homestay Program.

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