Could You Host an International Student with Celiac Disease?

If your household can accommodate the needs of a gluten-free student, that makes you very special!

Gluten Free Host Families Needed VictoriaThe Greater Victoria School District International Student Program. is once again looking for families who can host students who have celiac disease.

“We are reaching out in the hopes that you might be able to help us in our search for a host family interested in hosting a boy from Germany with Celiac Disease.” 

“Our program provides training and 24/7 support and would welcome an experienced host family or a family interested in hosting for the first time.”

“The student will be attending grade 11 at Reynolds Secondary School and enjoys sports, especially soccer. He also likes reading, skiing, swimming and computer games.”

“Hosting a student is a great opportunity for cultural exchange and the program also offers orientation and reimbursement of $1460.00 per month (this is a little higher than our regular fees because of the specialized diet.)”

“The School District also has students requesting a gluten free diet. If families are open to this, that would also be helpful.”

For more information:
Phone: 250-592-6871
Email: [email protected]


Three years ago,  The Celiac Scene received this message:

  • “I am an international student and I have celiac disease.”  
  • “My host family doesn’t pay attention to my allergy cross contamination and they don’t check ingredients. Most of the time when I eat their food my stomach hurts. Sometimes I get cramps.  I tried to talk to them but they didn’t even try to do better or listen to me.”
  • “Can you please help me to find a family that is gluten free?  Do you know someone who would host a student in our city”

I posted this plea for help on social media and within hours, had 5 celiac families step up to say that they could take good care of her dietary needs and would love to host this student. Arrangements are now being made to situate her in a home that works for her health and her academic needs.

If you have thought about hosting a student(s) at the high school or university level, short term or on a regular basis, the Greater Victoria School Board and the University of Victoria would love to hear from you![email protected]250-592-6871 • [email protected] •  250-721-8469

Click here if you could host an international student in Ladysmith or Nanaimo


Hosting an international student is a fantastic way to make a profound difference in a student’s life, while opening yourself and your family up to new experiences and connections.

Host families offer students support as they adjust to living away from home and in a different culture and environment, and help to ensure that their experiences, both academic and otherwise, are meaningful and positive. With programs ranging in length from one week, to ten months, you can choose which timeframe works best for your family, all while learning with and from your hosted student.

Podcast Time! Gluten-free families have a lot to offer exchange students with celiac disease – and vice versa! Lukas Hahn, Manager – Homestay Program, Greater Victoria School District, discusses the requirements and responsibilities of the host family, as well as the perks and practical experiences of students and the larger community. Listen to the podcast here!

More Informative Links from the Greater Victoria School Board

Printer-friendly version Greater Victoria School District Homestay Information

Celiac Homestay Student

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