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Families willing to host international students needed in Sudbury

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The Catholic school board in Greater Sudbury is looking to expand its international student program.

And as interest increases and more students sign up, board officials are calling on community members to become host families.

Students ages 14-19 are welcome to sign up for the MLI Homestay Program, which sees kids from around the world come to Canada to live and learn for an extended period of time.

“We bring in students for one semester, which is a five-month stay, said Devon Crossgrove, a host parent and a local MLI coordinator.

“We have students that are here for 10 months -- September to June -- and we do, depending on the program have students here for a full year.”

Throughout the Sudbury Catholic District School Board there are already students who have come back into the program, following restrictions being lifted last year as fears related to the COVID-19 pandemic eased.

For the current semester, there are 22 students studying in Sudbury from six different countries, with 25 already registered for next year.

“It’s a great idea,” said Alvaro Bonilla, a Grade 12 student from Spain.

“You experience lots of new things, you’re going to learn not only the language, they’re going to learn about lots of things in general. They’re going to change a lot.”

“Good nature, landscape, scenery, and also the host family, they're really nice,” said Mai Hisaki, a Grade 12 student from Japan.

“They love sports and I love sports, as well. So we spend time playing sports and board games. They’re really nice.”

For those interested in hosting a student, there is a screening process completed through MLI Homestay and participants and hosts are then matched.

Hosts are paid just more than $800 a month to offset boarding costs associated with adding a teenager into the home.

You can apply through the group's website

“If you have an extra bedroom, and are ready for an adventure, open up your doors and see,” added Crossgrove.

Crossgrove said the goal is to host 50 students next year, which means an additional 25 hosts will be needed.

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