North Island College seeking accommodation families for international students

NIC’s Office of Global Engagement is calling for Comox Valley residents to open their homes to NIC students caught in a tight rental market.

eholds willing to host NIC international students arriving in late December for classes this January.

NIC has a high demand for peerstay hosts, willing to share their home with an international student.

About one third of NIC’s international students attending class this September live in homestay and peerstay accommodations. More students will arrive in late December to start class this January.

Comox Valley residents Cindy and John Zachariou hosted two students this fall and have already signed up to welcome a new student from India next month.

“I’ve been telling everyone how great it is to have these students,” said Cindy. “Our kids have grown up and they have families of their own. We have this big house and a whole lower level that’s not being used so it just made sense to us. The students are very independent. It’s not like having a younger teen in the house. They are young adults who really want to immerse themselves in Canadian culture.”

NIC accommodation officer Marjola Muellner matches international students with supportive families in the community. She knows having a safe, comfortable and affordable place to live while studying is essential to students’ ability to integrate in the community and be successful in school.

“Peerstay is a win-win,” said Muellner. “Students enjoy the independence of buying their own groceries and cooking their own meals while hosts reap the benefits of learning a new culture and providing a home away from home.”

The Valley’s hot real estate market only makes finding accommodations more difficult.

The latest Comox Valley Community Foundation Vital Signs Report shows the Comox Valley with a 0.5 per cent rental vacancy rate – one of the lowest vacancy rates on Vancouver Island. In 2016, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) calculated the region’s rental vacancy rate at one per cent.

For Cindy and John Zachariou, the benefits of peerstay are mutual.

“If you’re willing to open your home it can be a really good experience,” said Cindy. “You’re helping them and they are helping you. You do get $500 per student and it’s really nice to have young adults in the house.”

Email accommodations@nic.bc.ca for a peerstay application or visit bit.ly/2jfh8oH for more information.

Just Posted

A Tribe Called Red, Tanya Tagaq among artists featured in Indigenous music film

When They Awake coming to Stan Hagen Theatre for one night

Comox Valley’s Glacier View Lodge lights up for Christmas

Glacier View Lodge residents and families will gather on Dec. 6 for… Continue reading

CVRD moves to goal-setting stage for sewer service plan

Workshops planned for next week in Comox and Courtenay

Comox Valley Santa’s Workshop in need of bicycles for youngsters, gifts for teens

Santa’s Workshop, at 464 Puntledge Road (formerly the Red Cross building), is… Continue reading

Comox connection to launch of new $10 bill

Great nephew of Viola Desmond says bill is a ‘step in the right direction’

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Mid Island Farmers Institute discusses fleece at November meeting

Are you a lover of wool and local fibre? Interested in raising… Continue reading

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

B.C. woman fined $2,300 for clocking 215 km/hr in Alberta

It’s the highest fine Alberta police have issued

Watchdog calls for probe into police board spending on former Victoria police chief

Police Complaint Commissioner says accountable and transparent review is in public interest

South Korean named Interpol president in blow to Russia

South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president edging out a longtime veteran of Russia’s security services.

E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Trump defies calls to punish crown prince for writer’s death

The U.S. earlier sanctioned 17 Saudi officials suspected of being responsible for or complicit in the Oct. 2 killing, but members of Congress have called for harsher actions, including cancelling arms sales.

British, EU leaders to meet as Brexit deadline looms

The U.K. and the European Union agreed last week on a 585-page document sealing the terms of Britain’s departure.

Most Read