For both Students and Hosts, it only takes a few minutes to fill in a registration form. Select the appropriate section below to get started
We will carefully match registered students and hosts together. Matching is based on location, available dates, and other preferences. We will then send the contact info to both students and hosts.
Enjoy Your Meal!
The host will contact their international student guests to invite them to their home. All that remains is to enjoy your meal together and begin a friendship!
Ready to take in this experience?
Here’s how it works.
If you are an international student interested in being a guest:
1Select the city you are in and register by filling out the online form. You may register alone or with up to two of your friends.
2We will match you with a suitable host based on various factors including allergy issues, special diets and location. Your host will contact you to arrange a date and time for the dinner.
3Your host will arrange to pick you up either from your residence, your school or a specific bus/train/metro station.
Enjoy the time with your host!
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is “Friends for Dinner”?
Friends for Dinner is a network of volunteers from local churches and Christian ministries in the city.
Who can participate as a guest?
Friends for Dinner is available to any international student at a college or university in Canada. If Friends for Dinner is running in your city, you are welcome to participate.
Who are the local hosts?
There is a great diversity among our local hosts. Most of our hosts are families with children, but some are single people, others are married couples, some are retired, and others are grandparents. But all our hosts have one thing in common – they are Christians who love to connect with and befriend international students!
Will international students feel safe?
All of our hosts attend a local church and are asked to provide a reference from a leader or a pastor of their church. The Friends for Dinner team will contact the references in order to ensure that all registered hosts are known and reliable people ready to receive international students for a meal in their home.
What does a meal with a host family look like?
Hosts will contact their student guests to confirm the date of their meal and organize transportation. Some hosts will include students in a traditional family gathering, others will plan a special meal for their student guests. They may serve traditional Canadian holiday foods or they may serve foods from their own ethnic traditions. During registration, students are asked for information regarding any dietary restrictions they may have; this information is communicated to the hosts so that they can accommodate their students’ preferences.
After the meal, your hosts may invite you to play games, walk in the neighbourhood or simply continue to talk and learn about one another. Most of the hosts speak English, but some speak French or both. If you have a preference between English or French, make sure to mention it on your registration.
Is there a cost?
No, there is no cost. If you wish to bring a gift for your hosts, you are welcome to do so, but there is no obligation.
Let’s get started.
Select your city and register with the online form.
If the form does not appear, registration may not yet be open.
Note: Due to COVID-19, the gatherings in Ottawa will be virtual get-togethers with actual meals provided by the host families.