Secondary education in Canada
Under the Canadian constitution, schools are the responsibility of local provincial and territorial governments, so secondary education may be structured in different ways. Schools are divided into public and private, separate or co-educational. Secondary education in Canada is not free for international students.
Education in Canada is compulsory from age 6. After secondary school (when students are 15-16 years old) they can choose whether to continue to high school or go to college to complete a vocational qualification. High school begins in years 7 to 9 and ends in year 12, except in the province of Quebec, where education continues until year 11. A secondary school graduate receives a Secondary School Diploma, which qualifies them to go to university.
In high school, an increasing number of elective courses are available, allowing students to take courses they plan to take at university. Some schools offer The Advanced Placement program, which includes more than 30 subjects. Its successful completion gives an advantage for admission to ranked universities. The higher is the academic level of the school, the more subjects it offers to its students.
The official languages are English and French. English is spoken in most of Canada. “A non-native language is taught as an additional language. Education in Canadian schools may be in English, French, or both, with some general education subjects taught in an additional language.
School in Canada starts in September and ends in June; the school year is divided into terms or semesters. Vacations are before New Year’s Eve and in the spring.
Private high schools in Canada
About 6% of children are educated in private schools in Canada. There are not many private schools in the country, they are prestigious. Almost all private school graduates go on to universities in Canada, the USA, Great Britain, and other countries. Private schools are distinguished by high quality of teaching and good facilities. Small classes allow the teacher to monitor the progress of all children. Many such schools have university preparation programs. English or French classes from beginner to advanced level are available for international students. The language program includes classes in the humanities, social sciences, and exact sciences.
The curriculum fosters a harmonious personality and intellectual, physical, and spiritual development. Canadian private schools offer a variety of sports and arts facilities, including gymnasiums, stadiums, swimming pools, and studios for music, theater, dance, art, sculpture, photography, and more. School teams participate in various competitions. Each season includes a certain choice of sports (winter – snowboarding, skiing, figure skating, hockey; summer – swimming, volleyball, soccer). Students participate in theatrical performances, concerts. Schools organize hikes, bicycle rides, mountain skiing, visits to theaters, festivals and museums.
International students live in residences on the school campus or in carefully selected Canadian host families. Homestay is not offered at all schools, and usually only after a year of study. This option is especially recommended for students who need to improve their language skills quickly.
To enter a private school, you need to provide the necessary documents, a report card with grades for the previous few years in a foreign school, letters of recommendation from teachers or principal of the school, successfully pass the tests on academic subjects SSAT / SAT, the language exam – TOEFL / IELTS (for English) or DALF (for French), attend a personal interview with a representative of the school. Entrance requirements and application deadlines should be checked with the individual school in advance.
Please note that all foreign minors in Canada should have a legal guardian who represents the interests of the child, monitors his or her academic progress, takes care of his or her safety, and maintains contact with the parents. The custodian must be a Canadian citizen of at least 26 years of age and must live within easy reach of the school.
Benefits of Secondary Education in Canada
- Only 5.6% of students in Canada attend private schools. Canada’s private boarding school diploma is highly regarded when applying to the world’s leading universities.
- A lenient immigration policy and a positive economic climate allow graduates to settle in Canada and excel in their future careers or business.
- Canada’s leadership in high-tech industries and huge investments in education make learning in Canada as effective, cutting-edge and modern as possible.
- Safe living in Canada, great environment.
- Private schools teach responsibility and independence, which give students a good chance of success in their first year at university.
- Private schools also have a strong emphasis on sports, especially hockey.
- All other things being equal, the cost of tuition at Canadian schools tends to compare favourably with the cost of tuition in the United States.
The requirements for admission in private schools are more stringent than in public schools in terms of academic level and English proficiency.
The preferred age for international students to attend high school in Canada is 14-19 years old. All students must have at least a high school GPA and a level of personal maturity and motivation to study abroad.
Some schools may offer intensive English as a Second Language support and allow students to enter without English proficiency, although some schools require students to have a higher level of English (equivalent to ELTiS 225).
The cost of secondary education in Canada
The average cost of a year in a Canadian school is between CDN$250,000 and CDN$70,000 (depending on the prestigiousness of the institution and the type of accommodation). Usually these costs include tuition, room and board, and study materials. In addition, as a rule, pay health insurance, guardianship, school uniforms, school registration fee, and deposit.