Influent English program seeks homestay educators to give international students an immersive Canadian experience

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Qualified teachers work on a freelance basis while setting their own schedules

There’s no better way to help someone master a new language than full-on immersion in a home. That reality is one of the main pillars of Influent, a globe-spanning homestay program where students live with their teachers, not only learning during daily lessons, but interacting one-on-one at meal times and outings. 

Influent operates in 30 countries, including Canada, where Toronto is one of the host cities. With demand high as the world returns to post-COVID normalcy, the program is now looking for teachers and tutors with a Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate and/or a university degree of any kind who love the idea of working out of their homes in T.O. 

There are different ways to measure the rewards of becoming an Influent homestay provider, and a big one is flexibility. Because positions are offered on a freelance basis, teachers can take on homestay students when they’ve got time in their schedules, and choose not to accept a booking when things aren’t convenient. 

Influent homestays start with a minimum period of one week with 15 hours of instruction for students. There are a myriad of options from there, with hosts having the ability to book guests looking for longer stays. While families with children tend to make immersive stays particularly rewarding for visiting students, Influent is also looking for couples and singles to serve as language-instruction hosts.

Home-based teachers provide three meals a day, with English lessons taking place in the morning. Afternoons are for showing international students around the city, which can include everything from go-karting or a round of pitch-n-putt, to exploring the CN Tower or colourful Queen Street, to marvelling at the Royal Ontario Museum’s renowned dinosaur exhibit. 

Factor in both time at home and time out in the community, and you get a picture of why Influent has proven immediately popular since it was founded last year. All that one-on-one time isn’t just rewarding for students — who benefit from deep immersion in Canadian culture — it’s an invaluable cultural experience for teachers. Depending on where your student is from, you might pick up a bit of Japanese, Spanish, French or Turkish.

“Hosting students is a great experience for me and my family,” says Chereena Liverpool, an Influent host teacher based in Brampton. “It allows us to support students to improve their English while they create memories touring the city and doing activities during their stay. It is also a great experience for our children who enjoy meeting new people and learning from the students as well. It’s a great program that my family enjoys being a part of.”

Indeed, to host someone from another country is to also learn about their customs and culture. We all know that the world’s a better, more loving, and generally understanding place when we’re able to look at things through the eyes of our fellow human beings.  

As Influent co-founder Latifa Khairi-biri likes to say, “A smile is the same in every language.”  

For more information on getting involved with Influent as a homestay teacher or tutor, go here.

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