What to do before Odyssey

Congratulations on becoming a language assistant! Here are things you will need to do before your Odyssey.

Finding housing

The coordinator of the province that you will be working in may be able to assist you in finding accommodation. You can also contact your supervisor at your host school, who will help you as much as he or she can to find accommodation prior to your arrival. Many language assistants have used Web sites like Kijiji and Craigslist, local newspapers, or on-line housing postings to find appropriate accommodation. Be proactive in your search to find housing! Please note that some landlords may require a letter of reference and the first and last month’s rent.

If you have a spouse or a dependent who will be moving with you, please discuss this during your interview in order to ensure that your needs are given due consideration.

Criminal record check

Language assistants must provide a criminal record and vulnerable sector check to the hiring school board. Language assistants cannot start working without this documentation. The requirements for a criminal record and vulnerable sector check may vary according to jurisdiction and school district. The administrative process for obtaining a criminal record and vulnerable sector check will be different for each host jurisdiction. It is therefore recommended that language assistants contact either the school board to which they are assigned or their host coordinator before obtaining these documents. The acceptance letter will provide language assistants with the name of the contact person at their school board.

The criminal record and vulnerable sector check should be obtained in the language assistant’s home jurisdiction (i.e., where his or her permanent residence is located).

Please note that a criminal record check may require eight to 10 weeks to obtain and that you cannot start work without it.  A fee is generally charged for the check.  The criminal record check must be provided prior to the start of your employment; however, you can apply for the program before receiving it.


We would be happy to answer your questions about Odyssey. Tell us how to contact you and we’ll be in touch.