Frequently Asked Questions

The French Immersion School in Trois-Pistoles offers a unique experience in placing you with a specially chosen Quebecois family for room and board for the entire session.  

What is the selection process for host families?

To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable homestay experience, there is a rigorous onboarding process in place for hosts. Every year, both returning host families and new families go through an orientation and agreement process with our homestay coordinator, which includes a home inspection. We ensure that each home meets the standards required for hosting students, including spacious bedrooms and a dedicated study space for each student. We also collect feedback from program alumni and review it each year before we start the onboarding process.

The community of Trois-Pistoles has welcomed students for over 90 years. Some of our families have been hosting students for 30+ years, and some have hosted across generations. These years of experience allow us to feel confident that we can provide an enriching homestay experience for our students and our host families.  


How do you select the host family I will be staying with?

On your application form, there is a special section on homestay preferences where you can mention any dietary restrictions or lodging preferences. Most of our host families are within walking/biking distance of the school, but we may place students who will have access to a car in a home that is a bit further out (max. 5-minute drive).


When will I know who my host family is?

You will meet your host family upon arrival.


Will my host family pick me up on arrival day?

Yes.  When you provide us with your arrival details, we will share them with the family.

If you are arriving by train or bus, your host family will be at the station to welcome you. They will also accompany you to the station at the end of the program.

If you are arriving by car, you will either meet your family at the school, or travel directly to their home.

If you are arriving by airport shuttle bus, your host family will pick you up at the school in Trois-Pistoles (the drop-off point for the airport shuttle). 


Can I choose my host family?

If you have participated in our program in the past and would like to stay with the same host, please indicate this on your application form and we will do our best to accommodate.

If you are new to the program in Trois-Pistoles, our homestay coordinator will be selecting a family for you. During the application process we will gather information about your specific needs and preferences that can be used to ensure the right fit.

Our homestay families are very diverse, consist of different members including single parents, mature hosts, and come from different cultural and professional backgrounds. We look for positive qualities in each host family and believe in safe, supportive environment and inclusion when providing a home away from home to each of our students.


Will I have a roommate?

Typically, our host families provide lodging for more than one student. You may be placed in a double room, or a private room, depending on the layout of the home. If you have any preferences related to roommates, please let us know.


My friend is also participating in this program. Can we stay with the same family?

During the application process you will have the option of requesting a room-mate.  Our homestay coordinator will do her best to accommodate.


How much does staying in a homestay cost?

The homestay fee is included in the program cost.  The cost details for each program are listed on the registration page.  The homestay fee includes lodging and 3 meals a day. 

For students in receipt of Explore Program funding, the cost of accommodation and meals is covered by the bursary. 


What if I have special dietary needs?

When you complete your registration with us, you will have the opportunity to include information about any allergies or dietary restrictions (or preferences) you may have. This is important for us to know when we are trying to place you in a homestay. We will advise the family of your dietary needs to be sure that your stay is as comfortable as possible.  

We have dedicated families that provide meals for various diets.  We will first place students with medical allergies and, if there is space, we will extend an offer to students who have dietary preferences.


How can I get to the school from my host family's home? Can I rent a bicycle?

Trois-Pistoles is a small town so most homes are within walking or biking distance to the school. While there is no public transportation, we do recommend students rent a bicycle, especially those participating in the Five Week Credit Program (Explore).


I will be coming by car. Is there a parking spot for my car?

There is a lot of free parking available in Trois-Pistoles.  If you will be driving to Trois-Pistoles and need a parking spot, please let us know so that we can ensure your host family has space for your car. 

There is also a free parking lot at the school. 


Am I able to use a computer or internet in my homestay family's house?

We would recommend bringing your own laptop or mobile device. There is also a computer lab in the school, if you choose not to bring your own.

If you have your own laptop or mobile device, and would like to use the internet at home, please discuss with your family what the internet usage rules are. They may have a limit that restricts downloading large files, streaming videos or games, etc. You may be responsible to pay for charges if the internet use goes past the limit based on your activity. 

There is free wi-fi at the school, as well as various cafés around town. We recommend checking with your service provider about the cell coverage in the Bas-St-Laurent region.


Is homestay the best option for me?

It is not easy to stay with people you don't know. However, as our former participants often tell us, the homestay component of the program is what makes the experience truly immersive. Living with a host family will allow you to practice your French speaking skills on a daily basis outside the classroom while learning more about Quebecois culture by experiencing it first-hand.

In a homestay program, it is important to communicate, be considerate, and respectful to the host family. In return, you will receive a clean, comfortable home with food and a family that you will be able to spend time with. In all likelihood, you and your host family will stay in touch even after the program has ended.


What happens if I am not comfortable with my host family or do not agree with their rules?

You are invited to contact our homestay coordinator about any issues that might make you uncomfortable during your homestay experience. The homestay coordinator and school counsellor can provide support for students and hosts who need assistance clarifying misunderstandings and mediating difficult topics. We want to be sure that you feel confident in our commitment to ensuring that the homestay experience is positive for the student and the host family. 

What if I have to cancel or return home earlier than expected?

If you have to cancel your participation before the program begins, please visit the program page to review the Refund Policy. If you need to leave early, we ask you to inform your host family, as well as the school office.  Students in our credit programs will be asked to complete an early withdrawal form.  


What if I want to extend my stay?

The duration of the homestay aligns with the program dates. Typically, students are asked to arrive the Sunday afternoon prior to the program start date, and to leave the day following the end of the program (before noon).  If you need to extend your stay, please contact us directly to see if arrangements can be made with your host.  Additional charges will apply.