Edward Milne Community School will be home to 47 international students this year.
The students will travel to Sooke and stay for a full school year or as little as a few weeks, coming from China, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Japan, Korea and Switzerland.
Enrolment in the international program at EMCS expanded this year and has been increasing over the last three years, said Nancy Blundell, manager of Sooke School District’s Homestay program.
The increase is due mainly to a partnership the district has with a private school in China.
“There are two or three reasons why students come here. Number 1 is to get their English levels up for university. Students from Europe usually come here for the experience of a different culture, while other students come for English to get work back in their home country,” Blundell said.
International students pay $12,000 a year for public education in B.C.
Students are housed in the community.
The Homestay program is looking for families to host students. Each student pays $800 a month.
“The role of the Homestay parent is critical to the student’s academic success,” Blundell said.
“The Homestay parent’s role requires curiosity, patience, good humour and understanding, not to mention a considerable amount of energy.”
Homestay parents must provide a bedroom, food, transportation and opportunities for the student to participate in family activities.
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