Public School across Canada

Experience life as a Canadian high school student in our public school programme!

From football teams and drama clubs to science experiments and exams, come experience it all in Canada. Our programme offers you a certain degree of flexibility and choice. You decide your length of stay, arrival date (with guidelines), and the Canadian region in which you would like to live and study. You can also choose to study in a secular public school or in a Catholic School. All levels of English proficiency are accepted, and most schools offer English as a Second Language (ESL) classes if you need it. Join us today and be a part of a Canadian school, host family, and community.

A public school education is the choice of 95% of Canadian families, due to a very strong, government-regulated educational system. This brings Canada to the top of educational rankings in the world. Public schools support students’ diverse interests and goals, offering core academic courses, as well as classes in cutting edge technology, arts, languages, and an impressive number of special interest subjects. For high level students, access to AP (Advanced Placement) and IB (International Baccalaureate) programmes set Canadian public schools apart. Classes are inclusive and the approach to teaching is student-centred, making students active participants in their educational success. 

CISS is a full programme package provider, which means that all of our offerings are packaged to include:  

application assistance

school tuition

Private room accommodation with a local host family and full board meals

Custodianship by CISS which also includes academic and social monitoring and other services offered by our dedicated staff

IMPORTANT: Our programmes are designed for individual students aged 14-17 seeking an independent academic experience.  Younger students aged 12-13 may be accepted in select locations only.

CISS is not an exchange organization or placement-only service, nor are scholarships available.  We are unable to assist families with immigration questions, assist families living in Canada who simply want to bring a family member from another country to study in Canada, or assist to arrange for adult family members to travel and live with their child to Canada.  

Your Options

Academic Programme Short Term Stay Group Programmes
10 or 5 month study terms for students seeking to gain credit for their study in Canada 8-16-weeks, for students seeking a short experience in a Canadian school, with no credit Flexible duration, for groups of 15+ seeking a cultural experience in a Canadian school

School calendars:

Full Year
September to June
Semester 1
September to January
Semester 2
February to June
Location+50 locations across Canada
Ages14-17 years, boys and girls (12-13 years, limited placement options)
ESL - English as a Second LanguageAvailable
DurationShort-term, Academic Semester or Academic Year

Programme

Academic

"I'm looking to study in a highly motivated Canadian High School, am prepared to rise to the challenges of a new English study environment, and successfully pass my courses to gain credits for my 5 or 10 month study term."  

... if this is you, then join us for a full high school year (10 months) or semester (5 months)

1 year
September to June
Semester 1
September to January
Semester 2
February to June

This homestay-based programme gives you a full academic and cultural immersion in a welcoming school and community. You attend a classes with Canadian students and participate fully in all aspect of classroom and school life. You are expected to embrace your new academic environment with the goal of successfully passing all your classes. We encourage you to get involved in school sports or teams as a way to make new friends.

Highlights of this programme include:

Grades available:  7 through 12 (acceptance at the grade 12 level not guaranteed)
Locations: Many regions and communities across Canada
Advanced Placement (AP) courses: Available in some schools
International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme:   Available in specific schools for full y ear IB-DP study
Public or Catholic Schools: Public schools in all regions. Catholic schools - inquire with CISS
English or French (or bilingual) placement: Possible in select communities
Co-validation of school transcripts: Possible with prior notice

Accommodation:

During your stay with us you will be placed with a carefully selected host family, chosen to match your own personal profile and personality.This host family will become your new family while you are in Canada. They will welcome you into their home and treat you as they would their own family. In return, you will be expected to respect them and their traditions, and come to know about life in Canada. You will have your own room with a bed, dresser, closet, and a workspace where you can study at home. Your family will also provide you with three meals each day, taken together as a family when possible. 

Sports and extracurricular activities:

When you attend a school programme for an extended length of time, you become an integral part of the school community. You are encouraged to become involved in the school’s sports, arts, and cultural teams and clubs as a way to gain a full appreciation of the Canadian school experience, as well as to make new friends.

Most schools offer a range of sports that may include:

Fall Sports  Badminton, Cross-country running, Rugby, Soccer, Swimming, Volleyball
Winter Sports Basketball, Skiing/Snowboarding, Wrestling
Spring Sports Golf, Mountain Biking, Rugby, Soccer, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball

Extracurricular activities may include:

Arts Clubs Chess Club Choir Debating Club Dance Club Drama  Environmental Clubs Graduation Committee
Math Clubs Musical Bands Musical Theatre Prom Commitee Robotics School Newspaper Student Council Yearbook

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Short Term

"I'm looking to experience what it is like to be a Canadian student and improve my English...but I cannot stay a long time" 

... if this is you, then join us for a short term experience:

Short Term
8 weeks to 4 months
Arrival September, October, November, February, March or April (arrivals not scheduled during exams or major holiday breaks)

Want to study in Canada, improve your English, and make new friends? In the CISS Short-term Programme allows you will be immersed in Canadian classes and follow the regular schedule, while at the same time immersing yourself in Canadian culture through your host family and new friends. If you are between the ages of 13 to 17 years and are looking for a Canadian academic experience, but can only join us for a short time, this is the perfect programme for you.

Highlights of this programme include:

Grades available:  7 through 12 (acceptance at the grade 12 level not guaranteed)
Locations: Many regions and communities across Canada
Advanced Placement (AP) courses: Not available for Short Term
International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme:   Not available for Short Term
Public or Catholic Schools: Public schools in all regions. Catholic schools - inquire with CISS
English or French (or bilingual) placement: Possible in select communities
Co-validation of school transcripts: Not possible for Short Term as you will not complete a full exam period

Accommodation:

During your stay with us you will be placed with a carefully selected host family, chosen to match your own personal profile and personality.This host family will become your new family while you are in Canada. They will welcome you into their home and treat you as they would their own family. In return, you will be expected to respect them and their traditions, and come to know about life in Canada. You will have your own room with a bed, dresser, closet, and a workspace where you can study at home. Your family will also provide you with three meals each day, taken together as a family when possible

Sports and extracurricular activities:

CISS believes that the best way to involve yourself in a school experience is to participate in all aspects of school life. A short-term stay, however, may limit the options available to you.  Many competitive sports teams require students to be involved with the team for the duration of the sport season and if applicable, through play-off games. If your stay is short and will not cover the entire sport season, you likely will not be selected to be part of a competitive  team. Many schools, however, offer lunch-hour intramural sports which allow students to join in a fun and quick game of basketball, volleyball etc over the lunch period.  This is an excellent way to stay active and meet new friends.  Social clubs may be less strict about enrollment depending on the nature of the activity.

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Groups

"I have a group of students who want an immersion experience in a Canadian High School as well as group ESL classes and excursions to places of interest. "  

... if this is you, then contact us to arrange a special group programme with a Canadian school:

Short Term:
Several weeks to months
Arrival September, October, November, February, March or April (arrivals not scheduled during exams or major holiday breaks)

Do you have a school group looking for a unique educational experience in Canada? CISS special group programming within Canadian schools  includes individual classroom integration, group English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, and other activities or excursions to local places of interest. This programme can be customized to suit your and your students’ needs. 

Highlights of this programme include:

Grades available:  7 through 12 (acceptance at the grade 12 level not guaranteed)
Locations: Select regions and communities across Canada
Advanced Placement (AP) courses: Not available for Short Term
International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme:   Not available for Short Term
Public or Catholic Schools: Public schools in all regions. Catholic schools - inquire with CISS
English or French (or bilingual) placement: Possible in select communities
Co-validation of school transcripts: Not possible for Short Term as you will not complete a full exam period

Accommodation:

During the students' stay with us, they will be placed with a carefully selected host family, chosen to match their own personal profile and personality. The  host family will become their new family while the group is in Canada. In return, students will be expected to respect them and their traditions, and come to know about life in Canada. Each student will have their own room with a bed, dresser, closet, and a workspace where they can study at home. The family will also provide three meals each day, taken together as a family when possible.  Depending on the group size and location, double placements may be requested or required.  Accompanying Group Leaders will also be placed with a host family.

Sports and Extra-Curriculuar Activities:

CISS believes that the best way for students to involve themselves in a school experience is to participate in all aspects of school life. A short-term stay, however, may limit the options available.  Many competitive sports teams require students to be involved with the team for the duration of the sport season and if applicable, through play-off games. If the stay is short and will not cover the entire sport season, students will not be selected to be part of a competitive  team. Many schools, however, offer lunch-hour intramural sports which allow students to join in a fun and quick game of basketball, volleyball etc over the lunch period.  This is an excellent way to stay active and meet new friends.  Social clubs may be less strict about enrolment depending on the nature of the activity.

Group Activities and Excursions:

At time of quotation, group-based activities and excursions can be included for your group.  These can include full day or half day sightseeing excursions (either during the week or on a weekend) or culturally-based and themed group activities.

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Student Services

CISS Services are designed as a complete educational package for international students without friends or family in Canada.  Our programmes are fully packaged and rates include:

  • School tuition
  • Homestay with a carefully screened and well-matched host family (as arranged by our own homestay division)
  • CISS custodianship and monitoring service package 

Once a student is accepted through CISS, they receive the following services:

  • Prior to Arrival in Canada, CISS will assist the student with:
    • Consultation and advice regarding selection of the appropriate school for each candidate
    • Registration and placement procedures
    • Notarized Custodianship document(s) for Study Permit and/or CAQ purposes

  • While in Canada:
    • Airport reception and 2 transfers (to community upon arrival + to airport upon departure)
    • Appointment of an Academic Co-ordinator to aid, monitor, and visit the student throughout his or her stay
    • Legalization and co-validation of student transcript if required

Please note: CISS is not an immigration consultant agency, and cannot offer legal or immigration advice to families already in Canada seeking to assist international family members to study in Canada. If you have any immigration questions regarding study in Canada, we urge you to visit the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship website at: www.cic.gc.ca 

For Parents

Does my child need a visa to enter Canada or to attend this Programme?

Students planning to attend a full-year school programme (6 months or more) will require a Canadian Study Permit. This permit must be received prior to the student’s arrival in Canada. Students coming from certain countries may also require a Temporary Resident Visa (TVR). Please refer to the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration website for a complete outline of the requirements and policies for study in Canada: www.cic.gc.ca

For study in the province of Quebec:  an additional study permit known as the CAQ (Certificate d'acceptation du Quebec) is also required, in addition to the Canadian Study Permit.  The CAQ must be applied for and received prior toapplying for the regular Study Permit.  CISS staff assist students to obtain the CAQ from within Canada, while the Study Permit must then be obtained in your country of residence.

Does Canada have any restrictions on the number of Study Permits (visas) given to international students? 

No. Unlike other countries where the government restricts the number of study visas for public school placement, Canada does not impose such restrictions. Provided the student satisfies the requirements of Immigration Canada, he/she is eligible to obtain a Study Permit. This permit/visa can be extended for continued study past the first year.

Do we have any choice as to where our child will study?

Yes. As a family you may select the province and region or city in which you would like your child to study. You may also select the length of time your child wishes to study in Canada – short term (8-16 weeks), one semester (5 months) or one year (10 months).  Specific start and end dates apply for semester and full academic year options.  Credits may be earned provided the student remains for an entire semester or full year, and writes the final exam in their course.

Who will receive my child when he/she arrives at the airport? 

CISS staff or your child’s host family will meet your child at the airport upon arrival. 

If your child is registered as an Unaccompanied Minor (UM), the person CISS has designated during the UM registration will personally receive your child.

What is the minimum level of English needed to apply to a Canadian School? 

CISS recommends that students have at minimum an Intermediate level of English proficiency to fully participate in a school programme. However, we do offer schools with comprehensive English as a Second Language (ESL) programmes. In these schools, students may apply with a lower English proficiency and can expect to have some or the majority of their classes in an ESL-supported environment.  Lower English proficiency may hinder a student's ability to be placed in courses required for covalidation (depending on the country).  Students intending to apply to the final year (Grade 12) must have a high proficiency to be considered.

NOTE:  Students who require covalidation, especially at the Grade 11 or 12 level, must have a high English proficiency to have the best chance to be placed in the required courses and grade level.  Students applying for grades 11 or 12 with a lower proficiency may still be accepted, but specific courses required for covalidation are not guaranteed.

Do I need to purchase emergency travel medical insurance for my child?

All students attending a school programme in Canada must be covered by emergency medical and dental insurance. In many locations, you may purchase your insurance for your child, either through a company in your own country, or through an insurance company in Canada. CISS works closely with Guard Me offering a comprehensive and affordable plan.

** NOTE:  In some provinces or cities, the school district mandates that the child must be covered by either the school’s or the provinces health plan. In these cases, students cannot arrange for other insurance and must purchase the insurance as offered through the school. 

Please discuss the requirements with your agent prior to arrival in Canada.

Does my child need to wear a uniform at school? 

Most public schools in Canada do not require a formal uniform, although all follow a dress code reflecting good judgement and taste. Offensive slogans, torn jeans, and hats are generally not permitted at school.

In Montreal schools, as well as most Ontario Catholic schools, students are required to wear a prescribed uniform, available for purchase at a specified store or online.

My child needs to co-validate his/her transcripts at the end of the stay. Is this possible? 

Provided your child has attended one full semester (5 months) or a full school year (10 months) at his/her Canadian school, has written all necessary exams, has successfully completed all required work, and has obtained a passing grade, he or she will be granted with a credit for each class completed. In most provinces, students take 4 classes per semester.  All academic results will be provided to you on an official school transcript. CISS will assist with the co-validation process here in Canada which includes authorizations by both the Canadian government as well as your own country's embassy/consulate. Please allow six weeks to eight weeks from end of the school year/semester for this process to be completed in Canada.  Additional fees may apply if official translations are required.

If your child has attended for a short-term only, transcripts cannot be issued and co-validation is not possible as he/she will not have completed all requirements for credit.

NOTE:  Students who require covalidation, especially at the Grade 11 or 12 level, must have a high English proficiency to have the best chance to be placed in the required courses and grade level.  Students applying for grades 11 or 12 with a lower proficiency may still be accepted, but specific courses required for covalidation are not guaranteed.

Can my child graduate from a Canadian high school? 

Yes, provided he/she completes the required components for the high school diploma.  Most High School programmes follow a 4-year programme, beginning in grade 9 and ending in grade 12.  In each grade level, students complete a set number of mandatory courses, as well as a set number of elective courses.  Depending on the age, grade level, academic  and English proficiency with which an international student arrives, he/she should expect to spend a minimum of 2 years - grades 11 and 12 in a Canadian high school to complete all requirements.  For this reason, we advise students be no older than 16 if intending to apply for the diploma pathway and have an intermediate or higher English proficiency.

NOTE:  It is not common for a school to accept students who are already 17 or 18 years old, intending to complete just their final year in a Canadian school with the expectation of a diploma.

CISS will not accept students who are already 18 years old or older at time of programme start.

Must the student maintain a certain grade point level to remain in the programme? 

The minimum standard in Canadian schools is generally 50%. Anything less is considered a failing grade. Provided the student maintains over 50% in most of his/her classes, the student will be able to remain at the school. If the student wishes to return for another year schools may require a grade point of 60% or higher to consider the student for re-enrollment. 

Must my child begin school in September and end in June? 

If the student intends to study for the full academic year (10 months), then yes, he/she must begin in September. However, the public school programme offers flexibility. Students may choose to come for the full year (September – June), one semester (September - January or February - June), or even as few as a few weeks (8, 12 or 16 weeks). Only the full-year and semester programmes have specified start and end dates. Students coming for a short-term stay (8, 12 or 16 weeks) may arrive mid-term provided it is not during holidays or exam periods

NOTE: if a student must  receive credit (and co-validate), then only a Full Year or Semester programme should be considered.

School Year:
Begins: early September
Ends: late June

My child is very involved in his/her school’s sport teams and social clubs. Will he/she have this opportunity in Canada?

All schools encourage international students to become involved in school teams and clubs. Selection of sport teams and clubs will depend on when the student comes to Canada and how long he/she stays. School teams may require that the student be enrolled for the entire duration of the sport season. In all cases, students must “try out” for school sport teams and show sufficient skills to be selected as a team member. Unfortunately, CISS cannot guarantee that a student will be selected for a competitive sports team.

Exception: if a student is already graduated from his/her home country, the student is ineligible to compete with a Canadian high school team.

What is a typical school day in Canada? 

Schools in different provinces and regions have slightly different time schedules. In general however, students will follow a timetable similar to this: 

Monday - Friday
School begins between 8:30 and 9:00 am  

Classes
Typically are 70 to 80 minutes in length & students usually take four or five classes daily  

Lunch
Usually one class period or one hour in length – between 10:30 and 2:00 pm  

School Ends
Between 2:30 and 3:30  

How will my child travel to and from school? 

Most students take public transportation or if depending on the distance, a school bus arranged by the school school. In cases where the student lives close to the school, he or she will walk to school.

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