Host Family Accommodation

Living with a host family will encourage you to learn English more quickly and have a more complete experience of Canadian culture. For this reason, ILI recommends a host family for all students and new students to live with a host family for a minimum of four weeks. Host families are under contract with ILI. They are carefully selected and supported and required to meet ILI standards and follow ILI rules.

When you live with a Canadian family, you will share meals in a Canadian household, be introduced to other cultural traditions, practice your English and experience the Canadian lifestyle. You will also have the comfort of knowing that a caring, responsible adult is available to help you with the many challenges that accompany the adventures of living and studying in a new country.

At ILI, it is important to us that both our students and our host families enjoy their time together. We make every effort to provide the most appropriate match between the host and the student so that experiences for both student and family are optimal. The ILI Host Family Program strives to provide international students with accommodation and meals in a supportive, Canadian environment.

ILI’s Host Family Program

Here are the most important features of the ILI’s Host Family Program:

  • Fully screened host families, including Criminal Record Checks for every adult in the home
  • Program managed by ILI’s Host Family Coordinator who is available for assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Homes inspected by Host Family Coordinator to ensure they meet ILI’s standards
  • Airport pick up on arrival
  • Private bedroom with a bed, dresser, desk and window
  • Bed and bath linens
  • Access to laundry facilities
  • Three nutritious meals a day, seven days a week
  • Internet access
  • All homestays have nearby access to public transit
  • Homestays located 35-50 minutes from school on average (by bus) or closer
  • Opportunities for language practice, family interaction and weekend excursions

House Rules

During the first few days of your stay, your host family will give you a written copy of the house rules, which deal with such matters as use of the house phone, use of the family computer, meal times, kitchen privileges, having guests and other common courtesies.


  • Host Family Placement Fee (includes airport pickup): $285.00
  • Weekly rate (19 years and older): $225.00
  • Weekly rate (under 19 years of age): $255.00
  • Extra day rate (19 years and older): $35.00
  • Extra day rate (under 19 years of age): $40.00
  • Minor (Under 19 years) Supervisory fee per week: $25.00

Fees Payment Schedule

ILI host families depend upon scheduled payments. You must therefore make all host family accommodation payments on or before the due date at the reception desk. The Registrar’s Office posts ILI’s payment schedule on the electronic student notice board. Payments for at least four weeks accommodation must be made at least four weeks in advance. If the dates of your arrival or departure do not correspond with the ILI payment schedule, you may have to pay for extra days so that your payment conforms to the ILI schedule.

Late or Missing Payments

If your host family payment is not up to date you will not be allowed to attend classes and will have to pay a late fee according to the following schedule. No tuition credits, refunds, or make-up classes are given for classes missed because of late payment.

Days Late Late Fee Days Late Late Fee
1 $25 8 $95
2 $35 9 $105
3 $45 10 $115
4 $55 11 $125
5 $65 12 $135
6 $75 13 $145
7 $85 14 $155

Change of Accommodation

A change of accommodation affects personal relationships and therefore requires serious consideration and prompt action. If you wish to change your accommodation, first discuss the matter with a staff member at ILI’s reception desk, and then complete a “Request to Change/Leave Host Family form.

The Host Family Coordinator will review your reasons for requesting a change and the availability of another suitable accommodation location. The Registrar or Host Family Coordinator will meet with you to discuss an appropriate course of action. If you or the host family have a good reason for the change, a change will be made without charge. If neither you nor the house family has a good reason for the change, a fee of $100 will be charged.

Personal Vacation

If you choose to take personal vacation during your study period at ILI, you are required to pay full accommodation fees during your absence to maintain your place with the host family. If you do not maintain your place and want another host family upon your return, you will be charged another placement fee.

Leaving your Host Family

If you plan to leave your host family and would like a refund of your unused accommodation fees, you must fill in a Request to Change/Leave Host Family form at ILI’s reception desk. Your host family must sign this form confirming that they have received notice of your departure. Return the signed form to the reception desk. Depending on your departure date from the home, the appropriate notice given to your host family, and the advance notice given to the reception desk, you may be entitled to a refund of your unused host family accommodation fees. All host families require one week (7 days) notice of your departure.

If you are leaving your host family to move into your own apartment, please inform the Registrar of your new street address.

Other Accommodation Options

The Heritage House Hostel

This International Hostel is located very near to our school, in the heart of downtown Halifax. Close to all amenities, it provides convenient and affordable short-term accommodation.  Rates range from $30 to $70 CDN a night.  For more information, call 902-422-3863 or visit

Unfurnished Apartments

Long-term students may want to consider this option. There are various listings available that students can consult to find apartment accommodation.  Monthly rent can cost between $700 and $1500 a month in Halifax and may or may not include additional utility charges (heat, electricity, water).  You must be prepared to fill out an application and pay a security deposit and at least one month’s rent in advance.  For information on apartment listings, contact us.

Furnished Apartments

For a higher price, furnished accommodation can be secured.  Most include all necessities like kitchen supplies and bedding and some even include housekeeping service.  For information on companies that rent furnished accommodation, contact us.

University Residence

Student dormitory accommodation can be booked (during summer months only) by the day, week or month.  Rates are reasonable, and most universities are within walking distance of ILI.  Check the accommodation pages of Dalhousie, Saint Mary’s and Mount Saint Vincent University for more information.