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  • H man
  • Adventurer

    • 26

    • December 15, 2010, 10:05:55 am
    • Busan, South Korea
Homestay/ Study Abroad business
« on: January 15, 2013, 01:22:22 pm »
I'm thinking about starting a homestay/유학 business geared towards Korean students when I move back to Toronto, Canada in 2014.  Does anyone have any experience in this regard or know anyone who is doing this now?  Any feedback or ideas on getting started, advertising and how much I could charge would be appreciated as well.
I would do it out of my house and would offer the students free room and board, daily one on one lessons and "cultural trips" to Niagara Falls, CN Tower etc. on weekends perhaps.  I want to use my 4 years experience teaching here in an elementary school as a basis for specializing in recruiting Korean students. 


  • wrinklebump
  • Expert Waygook

    • 717

    • March 20, 2012, 01:31:12 pm
    • Ulsan, Korea via Detroit, Michigan
Re: Homestay/ Study Abroad business
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 02:58:30 pm »
I knew a guy that ran a camp in California for a while where the kids stayed with Korean expats. Fairly useless as a language learning excercise, as you can well imagine, but the fact that the moms here didn't have to pay for lodging allowed him to charge just a little less and pocket the difference.

You may get better advice at Dave's -- more entrepreneurial types post there, it seems.
Livin in a pathetic epidemic with schizophrenics buyin synthetic bodies on credit


Re: Homestay/ Study Abroad business
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2013, 03:00:28 pm »
I have extensive experience with everything you are talking about.  I worked in the ESL business in Toronto for almost 10 years.  I did everything but teaching for several schools and intermediaries.

I don't really understand how you are making money.  Uhaks send students overseas and get a commission from the schools.  Homestays don't make much money.  They just host the students. 

The cultural trips are usually handled by tour companies or the ESL schools themselves.  Ask me some more specific questions and bet I can help.


  • H man
  • Adventurer

    • 26

    • December 15, 2010, 10:05:55 am
    • Busan, South Korea
Re: Homestay/ Study Abroad business
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 04:23:19 pm »
What I was thinking though was that I would act as both school and homestay by doing lessons from my office in my house. No need for the students to go to another school at all. Not quite sure how feasible it would be but the Koreans I bounced this idea off of here seemed to think it would be a good idea.
Appreciate the feedback - thx. alltogethernow.
W-bump - yeah I was thinking about Dave's originally too...


Re: Homestay/ Study Abroad business
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 06:31:18 pm »
Not a terrible idea at all.  It might be tough to get hooked up with the students though.  You could try approaching "Local Agents" (I can give you a list) when you get back.  Also, check these guys out.

http://www.hli.co.uk/

I'll write a little more shortly.


Re: Homestay/ Study Abroad business
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 07:54:14 pm »
I knew of a Canadian GEPIK teacher, who actually did what you are thinking of doing.  I lost touch with her, so I can't help you there.  However, I would ask all of your friends to ask their  friends for you if they know anyone who has started a homestay business back home like you want to do.  Dave's might be helpful but AFEK would not.  I would also do an intensive Internet search as someone with such a business would likely have their own Internet marketing site.  And of course, do tell your co-workers and others at your current elementary school that you are going to do such a business.  I would also work intensively upon your proposed curriculum as well as field trips.  The K government is working on making it easier for parents to send their kids to parallel foreign language experiential camps and schools here, so it might not be as easy as you may think right now.  Good luck. 


Re: Homestay/ Study Abroad business
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2013, 11:39:36 pm »
Start by contacting language schools in the Toronto area. There are lots! The schools themselves may keep a list of local people offering accommodations to foreign students, or they may be able to tell you about homestay agencies they work with.



  • H man
  • Adventurer

    • 26

    • December 15, 2010, 10:05:55 am
    • Busan, South Korea
Re: Homestay/ Study Abroad business
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 08:42:59 am »
I'll be in Toronto for my vacation soon so I'll definitely spend some time seeking out local language schools etc. 
The key really is finding a way to get a steady stream of students to come over.  Luckily, as I said every Korean I've spoken to has been supportive of the idea - including teachers/staff at my school - who've said they would send their kids over and keep their eyes out for potential prospects for me as well.  Unfortunately my school is in a poor, rural area so networking with parents wouldn't be as beneficial as if I was at a school in Gangnam or somewhere similar.
That K govt. initiative would not be a good thing and I'm also concerned about K's declining economic outlook as well but I keep hearing that parents will always make huge sacrifices in order for their children to learn English so we'll see.
Alltogethernow - thanks for the link and yes, please keep the info. coming if possible.


Re: Homestay/ Study Abroad business
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 09:14:49 am »
No offense, but just becasue people are optimistic, doesn't mean it will succeed. 

But you seem to know that you need to target the more wealthier families.  There is one company that is always posting on Dave's for this time of thing but for Europe (France, Germany, Italy).  They charge based on the month and give discounts for more. 

Also, you probably need a Koren partner or two (one in Korea, one in Canada) to help advertise and communicate assuming your Korea is poor.  And any business licenses that Canada may require. 

Good luck!  My co-teachers all have been to Canada but not the U.S., so that's promising.