Experience High School Life in Canada
Experience daily life in a Canadian High School, with the opportunity to integrate with local students, while you apply your English knowledge towards real life situations. In this CISS MLI programme, students will have the opportunity to stay with a local host family, celebrate Easter in Canada, explore the vibrant city of London, spend time in trendy Toronto and visit the world-famous Niagara Falls. At school, students will have the opportunity to learn what Canadian high schools are like, have a chance to practice their English, and make some new friends in another country. They will also have a 2-week homestay experience to learn more about Canadian family culture and traditions.
Students will have an immersion experience not only in the school, but also in the their stay with a host family. These are families who are open an excited to integrate international students into their lifestyle and activities. Students are encouraged to come with an open mind so they can gain the greatest benefit from this experience. The family will provide a welcoming environment, as well as a double bedroom that will be shared with another participant of the programme. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered by the host family, and on school days, a bagged lunch will be provided.
Typical easter families activities in Canada
Visit relatives, go to church, outdoor activities, road trips, day trips, shopping, easter egg hunt, sports and recreation, board games, get together with friends, neighbourhood activities.
Dates and Fees 2018
All fees are in Canadian Dollars $CAD
April 27th, 2019
April 14th, 2019
- Airport meet and greet by CISS/MLI staff
- Airport transfer to local hotel
- One-night stay in local hotel (Double occupancy)
- Homestay accommodation with daily meals (Double – single homestay can be arranged for additional fee – see below)
- Attend local Canadian high school
- Listed activities and excursions
- Admission to CN Tower, Journey Behind the Falls (alternative: Hornblower Boat Tour, if operating – seasonal hours)
- School bus on Toronto excursion
- Canadian Buddy at local school
- On site program coordinator
- Program Completion Certificate
- Invitation Letter
- 24 hour emergency support services
- All applicable taxes
- Flight ticket
- Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for entering Canada
- Programming prior to and following CISS/MLI program
- Emergency health insurance (see below)
- CISS/MLI-arranged emergency medical insurance - $25 (mandatory; provided by GuardMe Student Insurance. Parents can replace with their own comparable insurance plans but must submit proof of coverage)
- Early arrival - $100 (optional; covers early transfer and Toronto sightseeing during the day)
- Single homestay - $125 (private room)
A non-refundable CAD $200 deposit must be made at the time of application with the booking agent with the balance of payment due by March 14, 2019.
We accept bank wire transfers or credit card payments (VISA, Master, AMEX; Note: credit card payments are charged an additional 3% handling fee).
*Taxes are included. Information updated: May 15, 2018
Activities & Excursions
Right on the second day in Canada, students will leave the hotel in Toronto and head to Niagara Falls. On this excursion, they will be able to see the amazing Falls, and go on a Journey Behind it. They will also visit the Table Rock Complex and have some fun on the attractions of Clifton Hill.
Should the Hornblower Boat be operating, the group will have a boat ride instead of the Journey Behind the Falls.
Inclusions: Private bus transportation, chaperone and tickets to the Journey Behind the Falls or the Hornblower Boat ride.
On Easter Monday, students will leave London together and to Toronto, the capital of Ontario and largest city in Canada. There, they will visit the CN Tower, the Toronto City Hall, University of Toronto and the Parliament Building.
Inclusions: Private bus transportation, chaperone and tickets to the CN Tower.
The programme takes place in the city of London, Ontario, approximately 2 hours from Toronto. London has been voted among the best cities in which to live in Canada. London is a top Canadian centre for medical research and education and offers all the recreational and educational and offers all the recreational and educational facilities that international teens seek in their high school experience. London has excellent culture, entertainment, shopping, and sports, with the added bonus of a friendly ambience reminiscent of small towns. London also boasts many natural areas throughout the city that are open year-round, including the Thames Valley Parkway, a pedestrian and bike path that runs over 40 kilometres, offering scenic river crossings and links to over 150 kilometres of additional trails connecting all corners of the city.
Mother Theresa Catholic Secondary School
Located in North London, the school is large and has advanced technology. It was built in the year 2000 and is home for around 800 students, and offers many courses in different areas. Participants of the Semana Santa programme will be able to indicate their preferred subjects, and should there be availability, CISS MLI will work with the school to place them. Besides the regular classrooms, the school also has computer labs, science labs, art rooms, drama room, music room, broadcasting studio, auditorium, greenhouse, chapel, gymnasiums, football and soccer field, 8-lane track, indoor 2-lane running track, weight room, cafeteria and library/learning commons.
|Morning||Arrivals in Toronto Airport and 1 night hotel stay||Niagara Excursion||
Orientation, Team Building, School Experience
Good Friday (No School)
|Time with Host Family|
|Afternoon||Host Matching upon arrival in London||Host Matching upon arrival in London||School Experience||School Experience|
|Morning||Time with Host Family||Easter Monday (No School) Toronto Excursion||
|Departure from Toronto Airport|
|Afternoon||School Experience||School Experience||School Experience
||Farewell Gathering at school with Canadian students|
When at school, students should expect to have the following schedule:
|08:00 - 09:20||Announcements and Period 1|
|09:25 - 10:40||Period 2|
|10:45 - 12:45||Lunch 1 (10:45 - 11:25) + Period 3|
|11:30 - 12:45||Period 3 + Lunch 2 (12:05 - 12-45)|
|12:50 - 14:05||Period 4|
Lunch time will be determined by the class schedule students are given.
What will students in this program do while they’re in Canada?
Students will spend two weeks in a Canadian high school integrated with local Canadian students complemented by an excursion to Niagara Falls as well as activities over the Easter long weekend with host families.
What is the objective of the program?
Students will have a chance to do some local sightseeing in the Toronto area, but the main objective of the program is to be integrated in a local Canadian school. They will learn what Canadian high schools are like, have a chance to practice their English, and make some new friends in another country. They will also have a 2-week homestay experience to learn more about Canadian family culture and traditions.
What is included in the price? What is excluded?
Please check the Dates and Fees session of this page.
Where will this program take place?
Students will arrive at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and spend one night at a hotel in Toronto and the next day in Niagara Falls. The students will then be transferred to the London, Ontario (3 hours southwest of Toronto) where they will attend a local Catholic public high school.
Is there are maximum number of students you can take?
There are 40 spaces available.
Where will the other students be from?
Students are mainly being recruited from Mexico, although the program is open to students of any nationality.
What is the minimum language level?
We recommend that students have at least a basic understanding of English.
Are English lessons part of the program?
No, the purpose of the program is integration in a Canadian high school, so there are no formal English lessons.
When is the application deadline?
Thursday, February 21, 2019 (or until the program is full).
What is the Cancellation & Refund Policy?
When will homestay information be received?
By Monday, April 8, 2019
Can students arrive the day before or after the program begins?
Unfortunately we cannot accommodate arrivals on any day other than Sunday, April 14.
Can students depart early or stay after the program end date?
No; however, in the case of emergency, students will be transferred to the airport for an early departure at no cost. There is no refund for unused portions of the program.
What should parents who are nervous about their child flying alone do for transportation?
Most airlines offer Unaccompanied Minor (“UM”) service for direct international flights into Canada for children aged 12-17. Please consult your airline of choice for further details.
UM service is often not available for transit flights (for example, flights connecting in the United States).
Parents may also accompany their child to Canada if they wish and should consult their booking agent.
Which flights should students reserve?
Based on current flight schedules – which are subject to change – we ask that students ARRIVE in one of two time periods:
For the departure, we ask that students choose flights that DEPART:
(Arrivals/departures outside of these times may be possible but will be subject to a $75 transfer fee; please consult your booking agent BEFORE making any travel arrangements that fall outside of the official times listed above.)
Do I need to have overseas medical insurance?
Yes! Emergency medical insurance is mandatory for all students in the program. CISS/MLI can arrange insurance through our official provider, GuardMe, at $25.00 per participant for full program duration. This option is available on the Application Form.
Students may also arrange their own insurance; in this case, proof of coverage is due no later than one month before the start of the program (i.e. March 14, 2019). Coverage must be comparable to the package offered by GuardMe – see Policy and Policy Summary for details.
What documents do students need to submit to apply?
- Application Form and Deposit are due at the time of booking, no later than February 21, 2019.
- Proof of Insurance (if purchasing on own), Passport Copy, Flight information & Balance Payment Form are due by March 14, 2019.
Where should applications and questions be sent?
Please send questions and completed applications to your Booking Agent or contact us here.
How do I know if I’m enrolled?
Once the Application Form and the deposit are received, CISS/MLI will issue an Invitation Letter to the applicant; this is the confirmation of enrollment.
How will students get to and from the Canadian school?
If the host family is located less than three kilometres from the school, the student will walk to school. This is common in Canada, and London is a safe city. Students that walk will be paired with Canadian students or host siblings; they will not be expected to walk alone.
If the host family is located more than three kilometres from the school, the student can take the local school bus (no additional fees). The host family will teach the student how to take the bus.
Some host families choose to drive their children to school, and may offer the same to a visiting international student; but this is not guaranteed and it is not common in Canada as in Mexico, for example.
Is there someone who speaks Spanish with the group daily?
There is no guarantee of a Spanish-speaking staff onsite, however, CISS/MLI has many Spanish-speaking staff in the office who will be assisting and are available in the case of emergency.
What do the students do with host families?
Students will be welcomed as members of the family. They will enjoy daily family activities at home after school and on the Easter long weekend (4 days). Activities are at the discretion of the host family but may include things like: seeing a movie, going for a hike, visiting relatives, taking a daytrip etc.
How will you monitor the students over the Easter Holiday long weekend?
Students are supervised by their host families on the long weekend. CISS/MLI has local staff living in the community who are reachable for any concerns and problems that arise over the weekend. There is also a 24hr emergency number available to students, parents or agents at any time: 1-866-388-6543 (toll-free from within the United States or Canada; from Mexico, please call +1-416-623-6215; standard long distance rates will apply).
If there is a problem with host family, can you change my child’s family?
We recruit only the best families available, however, difficulties in intercultural communication or personality conflicts arise from time to time. If this happens, every effort will be made to resolve the situation with the student and family first. If we are unable to resolve the situation, we will discuss the option of changing host families with the student and his/her parents and/or agent in Mexico. Any student who feels they are in an unsafe situation should call our emergency number and he/she will be moved immediately to a respite family.
How safe is London, Ontario?
Like most cities in southern Ontario, London has a low crime rate and a high quality of living compared to cities across the country, which already has a low national average crime rate.
What is your emergency protocol?
There is a 24hr emergency number available to students, parents or agents at any time: 1-866-388-6543 (toll-free from within the United States or Canada; from Mexico, please call +1-416-623-6215; standard long distance rates will apply). For all non-emergencies, please contact your Booking Agent.
What courses will the students take in school?
Because this is a short-term program, students will be assigned to courses based on space availability. If a student has a strong interest in a specific course, there is a section to state this on the application form. We will do our best to place the student in related courses, but there is no guarantee.
Can the student change the course if they don’t like it?
Due to the short length of the program, it is not possible to change a course if the student doesn’t like it. We encourage students to keep an open mind and remember that they will be in four different courses.
Who is the “Canadian buddy” and what do they do?
The Canadian buddy is a local student chosen to be a helper to the visiting Mexican student. He/She may be a different gender and age from the participating Mexican student but is someone eager to help and make friends. The Mexican students will follow their Canadian buddies to their classes and participate in school life together. Buddies will show their school and Canadian school life to their assigned Mexican student partners. Note: for students walking to school, walking partners may not be the same as the “Canadian buddy”.
What if the student doesn’t like the food the host family is preparing?
Host families have a variety of food and eating habits and it’s common for visiting students to not like something their host families prepare. We strongly encourage students to come with an open mind and at least try things before saying they don’t like them. If they try, and still don’t like it, students should be open with their host parent(s) and talk to them about what kinds of foods they like. Most host families are accommodating and willing to adapt their meals. Students can also speak to the Program Manager if they need help negotiating this type of situation.
I see the local school is a “Catholic School”; what is the difference from a regular public school?
Catholic Schools in Ontario are also publicly funded. They exist in parallel to the regular public school system and are largely the same; the main differences are: students wear uniforms; students take one course in Catholic philosophy (full year students only); there is a morning prayer; and there are Catholic symbols and teachings throughout the school. Students of all faiths are welcome to attend Catholic schools, and the CISS/MLI Semana Santa group.
Do the students in the program have to wear a uniform?
No, however we ask that students bring clothing that is similar to the school uniform and wear this during days at school. The official school uniform consists of a GREEN polo shirt and either black or khaki coloured pants.
This program takes place over the Easter holiday; can students attend church if they want?
There are many churches in the London area and most of them offer Easter services. Students who would like to attend a service over the holiday weekend should talk to their host family. Although host families will not necessarily be of the Catholic or Christian faith, they are happy to help students find a way to attend church.
How’s the weather in London at that time of year?
Semana Santa in 2019 will be in the last two weeks of April. The average daytime temperature at that time of year in London is about 15 to 20 degrees. However, the weather is often unpredictable in the Canadian spring and can range from below zero and snowing to more than 20 degrees and sunny. Spring is often a wet season, but there are also days of sunshine. In short, check the weather before you depart for Canada, and be prepared for everything!
What documentation does the student need to travel to Canada?
To depart Mexico as a minor travelling without parents/guardians, students must have properly completed the “Formato de Salida de Menores”. This form is available on the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) website (www.gob.mx/inm) and must be completed in advance of the day of travel.
As of May 2018, to enter Canada, unaccompanied minor students will need:
- A valid Mexican passport (for other nationalities, please consult Immigration and Citizenship Canada)
- A letter of acceptance from the program (CISS/MLI will issue this as a confirmation of the application);
- A completed Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA – cost is $7 and this must be completed in advance of the date of travel; application is available on the Canadian Government’s website);
- (recommended) Authorization for a Minor Child to Travel to Canada. This form is available from your Booking Agent with CISS/MLI guardianship information included.