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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Should I look for my own apartment?? 

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"Dear Ai,
I’ve been placed to two unfriendly homestay families. Both families say I eat too much. I eat at home, but sometimes it is not enough, so I buy snacks and a slice of pizza after school. I think I pay enough ($700 per month) to the homestay family and it should cover the basic needs. To tell the truth, I don't need to buy extra food if I pay the homestay fee. I want to move out immediately. I am not sure if I should look for another family at this point. My friends and the Homestay Coordinator from school advised me to find my own apartment. What do you think?" Keita – Vancouver


"Hi Keita, thank you for your e-mail. It is not uncommon that I receive similar e-mails like yours. Students have issues about food, curfew, and miscommunication with their homestay. The majority of families are hosting students for good sake. I know many students who have left Canada and still keep in touch with their homestay families. They treat their students as their children. Some homestay families have different reasons (i.e. financial reasons) to accept students.

From your e-mail, I can tell you have already made up your mind not to live with your homestay family or another. If your friends and the Homestay Coordinator recommend you to find your own apartment, then you should try that. They are one of the few people who know you well.

$700 per month is a lot of money. You can find a bachelor or basement suite for around $450-500 outside of downtown Vancouver.

You don't need to feel bad that two homestay families didn't work out for you. You should focus on what you can do better for the rest of your stay in Canada. Good luck with your research!"

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