School Distrcit 91 is working to bring international students to Lakes District Secondary School. (Eddie Huband photo/Lakes District News)

School Distrcit 91 is working to bring international students to Lakes District Secondary School. (Eddie Huband photo/Lakes District News)

Host families needed in Burns Lake

International student program struggling to find available homes

School District 91 (SD91) has teamed up with School District 6 in Southern B.C., as well as the Rocky Mountain International student program to bring High School students to B.C. to attend high school here. The only problem is, there’s no where for the students to live.

“We can only have students come if we have a sufficient number of host families to take these students into their homes for the duration of their stay here in Canada,” said SD91 Homestay Coordinator Mini Verduzco. “We have only be able to attain one host family in Burns Lake, no matter how hard I work at recruiting.” The initiative began in Sept. 2021.

Lakes District News asked Verduzco if the lack of available housing in Burns Lake is contributing to the problem finding host families. “I think it could be for a variety of reasons, why it’s been a challenge to find host families. Housing could most definitely be an issue. COVID-19,with all the restrictions and fears that go along with it, is probably one of the biggest deterrents though,” she said.

“For most families, they may not have thought to house a stranger and be their host parent for the duration of their stay. It can be such a culturally rewarding experience taking in a foreign student. I know for my children, it has given them a deep desire to travel, and understand and experience cultures other than their own here in Canada. Often they become lifetime extended family,” Verduzco continued.

In terms of how many families are needed, Verduzco says that the sky is the limit, though a minimum of two-four host families in Burns Lake would greatly help.

If interested in becoming a host family for an international High School student, Verduzco can be contacted at Mini.Verduzco@sd6.bc.ca.

READ MORE: No days off for the Lakes District Secondary School Lakers


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Eddie Huband
Multimedia Reporter
eddie.huband@ldnews.net
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