What is a meaningful gift?: 5 gift ideas for your host family

If you’re about to go to study abroad and you are planning to live with a host family, we recommend you to bring a gift. Not only for politeness but also because this is a way your family can know you better.

We know that shopping a gift is difficult, especially for someone you don’t know. Luckily for you, we share with you 10 inexpensive and meaningful gift ideas for your host family.

1. Food. Everyone loves food. However, remember to go regional! Is there a local jam maker in your área? or anything non-perishable typical from your country or city of origin that can be easily transported?

2. Recipe cards. Do you like cooking? or do you know some famous recipes from your country of origin? Great!! Write them down on cute recipe cards, you can use these easy and cool templates from canvas. There’s no doubt this gift would be especially meaningful as the family can appreciate the time taken to translate everything into your host family’s native language.

3. Art. Are you artsy? So be creative! You could paint or draw something special for your Host Family, like their city, their portrait or even their pet.

4. Winter accessories. If you’re going to a cold place, a winter accessory is always necessary. Nevertheless we recommend you to personalize it, maybe you can buy a scarf or a pair of gloves of your favorite sports team.

5. Candies. Buy some of your favorite candies at home, put them in a cute basket and personalize it for your host family. Check some ideas on Pinterest.

When you’re looking for your gifts remember to keep portability in mind, go regional, and share something with a story!


How does Quebec warm the people’s hearts?

Did you know that Quebec is the world’s snow capital? It is because the first major Winter Carnival was born there in 1894. This is a massive event and free month-long carnival which celebrates from the end of January until mid-February. This year the carnival will be held from February 8th to 17th 2019.

The winter in Quebec is rough but it doesn’t mean you can’t go out and enjoy it. The Winter Carnival of Quebec will warm your heart throughout many activities, you can participate in a canoe race, enjoy the beautiful carnival parade or if you prefer going to le bal des glaces. Check the full programming here.

This is the 65th edition of this incredible carnival. Let the magic begin and keep your spirit up until spring begins.

But this is not be all. We know you’re looking for different experiences and if you’re studying abroad, you might prefer crazier and unforgettable experiences. For this, we recommend you the Igloofest, an electronic music festival held in Montreal. For over a decade they have been hosting some of electronic’s music biggest names, like Above & Beyond, Diplo, Maceo Plex, Four Tet, and others, to perform over consecutive weekends in the city.

The festival will be held from January 17th to February 2nd, 2019 in The Quai Jacques-Cartier in Montreal’s Old Port. This is the 13th edition of the event. For more information about the prices and programming click here.

Each year everyone at the festival has the chance to compete in the “Iglooswag” competition. What is this? Well, the “best-dressed” but with plenty bonus points for creativity and originality will win this competition.

These events will warm both your heart and spirit. We hope you have the chance to experience these amazing winter events in Montreal and Quebec.

What does it mean to become a Homestay family?

Traveling helps you not only to discover the world but you can also make the world your home. How is this possible? Become a homestay family! By living with  international students, you and your family will be exposed to their traditions, culture, lifestyle and language. However, what does it really mean to become a Homestay family?

Becoming a Homestay family can bring you new perspectives on your everyday life. By hosting an international student you will be aware of many different cultures and approaches to life in the world. At the same time, this will allow you and your family to build a better understanding toward different cultures.

Furthermore, hosting  students will allow you to learn a foreign language at home, especially at the beginning when the student is still having troubles practicing the language they come to learn. Also, you can get to know your own language very well while your students learn it.

This experience is about sharing cultures and getting to know each other. The Homestay Families are committed to sharing their own culture, customs, and traditions with their exchange students. It can be something as simple as cooking your family’s favorite meal together.

Remember that hosting international students means you are going to receive a new family member with whom you can stay in touch for many years, you will get a new friendship, which will last forever.

We share to you why Josy and her husband became a Homestay family in Montreal in 2017.

“When I came to Canada many years ago, I decided to live with homestay family. It turned out to be a very good experience. 

My homestay family helped me a lot to adapt to the life in Canada and get to know the local culture.

Most importantly, it is that we have developed great long lasting relationship. 

We still visit each other for holidays and help each other whenever one needs help.

Thereafter I got married in Canada and bought my own new house in 2017.

Now I would like to do the same kindness as my homestay family did, by helping other international students to know better the life in Canada. 

We provide our students a clean, cozy and friendly environment. Also, we try to help our student as much as possible.

It is always fun for us to know students from different background and we enjoy a lot learning different cultures from our students as well.

With mutual respect, I am pretty confident that we will have a great experience while you’re staying in Montreal.

Best Regards,