Secondary education in Canada is becoming more and more popular every year, and is accessible and in demand by children, schoolchildren and teenagers from a variety of countries. Canada is second only to the United States in terms of the high level of education offered, but at the same time, the cost of education here is lower than in the United Kingdom or the United States. However, the local government is ahead of both countries in terms of the amount of investment in education – and because of this, public schools in Canada are no less developed than private schools, which are always open to foreign students.
The School System in Canada
Research by the International Programme for the Assessment of Secondary Student Educational Achievement shows that Canadian students are among the best prepared in the world: according to the rankings, they rank third in science and reading and fifth in mathematics.
At the same time, the cost of education in Canadian schools is significantly better than that in the United States and the United Kingdom, and is not inferior in terms of other parameters and career prospects for graduates.
Each province in Canada determines its education system independently, so the division of primary and secondary schools may vary from school to school. Elementary education may cover grades 1 to 6 or 1 to 8. Secondary education – from Grade 7 or Grade 9 to Grade 12.
Names accepted by category.
- Elementary (grades 1 to 6)
- Secondary (grades 7 and 8)
- High School (grades 7-12)
At the age of 15-16, students can continue their studies in high school or attend university for vocational education.
The Canadian school year lasts 10 months and is usually divided into 2 semesters.
In the initial years, the school curriculum consists mainly of required courses and a few electives, which are added each year, offering students the possibility to be better prepared for university entrance.
A more significant entrance advantage is the more complex nature of the program, which includes about 35 subjects for which test scores are taken into account by most universities in the US, Canada and the UK. The higher the academic level of the school, the more subjects it can offer its students in the program.
A Canadian high school diploma is awarded after passing a certain number of subjects – required and optional: conditions, such as the class system, depend on the rules adopted by the province.
In addition, students who have studied for the last two years can take the International Baccalaureate program, which leads to an International Baccalaureate. This is a universal program whose results are recognized by the world’s leading universities and allows you to enter a post-secondary institution on the basis of the International Baccalaureate without exams.
Many Canadian schools are also developing their own programs that provide an advantage for entry into universities and additional scholarships, such as the Global Leadership Program, the Capstone Diploma and many others.
Reasons to study in Canada
Canada is ranked #6 on the list of safest countries in the world, which is certainly attractive for international students to receive an education. You can attend most Canadian schools at the age of 12.
Safety indicators are measured by 23 different quantitative and qualitative indicators in three areas: level of social security, level of internal and external conflict, and level of militarization. In addition, the impact of pandemics and their consequences are analyzed.
2. Climate and Ecology
Canada’s climatic conditions are close to those of Europe – there are more favorable areas with milder climates and harsher areas – Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Alberta. In general, most of Canada’s densely populated areas are in the temperate zone.
Canada’s natural wealth includes 10 percent of the world’s forests: more than 50 percent of the country is covered by forests. Thanks to Canada’s favourable environmental conditions, the average life expectancy is 82 years, and according to the Bloomberg Global Health Index, Canada ranks in the top 20 in terms of population health.
3. Quality Education
Recognized as one of the strongest education systems in the world, Canada’s education system combines the solidity of the United Kingdom with the freedom of North America. An individualized approach, subject selection at the high school level, and a serious approach to sports are the secrets to the success of the Canadian approach to learning. Canadian schoolchildren show particularly high achievement in mathematics and natural sciences.
The technological equipment of schools deserves special attention. Private and public institutions in Canada are fully computerized, and smart boards are widely used. The latest laboratory equipment allows you to perform the most complex experiments in the natural science process.
4. The opportunity to study in English or French
Canada is a bilingual country. Most of Canada’s provinces are English-speaking, but for those who prefer French, the doors are open to many Quebec schools where instruction is given in French.
Children who prefer to learn in English can study French in depth at most schools in the English-speaking provinces. In a few years of study, you can easily master both languages.
5. No difficulties in getting into school
An important factor in choosing Canada as a study destination is that most schools do not require entrance exams. For admission, providing a school transcript and passing a Skype interview with the admissions committee is sufficient. The highest rated schools may also require English proficiency, but generally, if it is not sufficient, the school will provide opportunities to improve it on site. For this reason, special courses in English as a foreign language are offered for international students. International English language tests or the SSAT are not usually required.
6. Easy to adapt
Canada is a multicultural country where almost all Canadians are immigrants or descendants of immigrants, making it easy for international students to integrate into any community. Canadian policies encourage ethnic diversity, and representatives of all ethnic groups have the opportunity to retain their own identity and ethnic heritage while fully integrating into the Canadian cultural environment.
7. Opportunity to study in public schools for foreigners at low cost
An important feature of Canada’s secondary education system is the ability to teach foreign students in public schools. Many of these have international programs. The education of foreign children is paid for, but at a much lower cost than in private schools. For example, a high school year at Avon Maitland School with a host family will cost $25,500.
8. Unlimited sports opportunities
Canada can be compared to a giant sports center. Most locals lead active lifestyles and can’t imagine their existence without sports activities: camping, rock climbing, hiking, canoeing and rafting, sailing and horseback riding – and that’s not the complete list of what Canadians do in their free time.
At the top of the list is, of course, field hockey. At the amateur or professional level, they are involved in almost every household.
9. Loyal Immigration Policy
Canada is an open immigration country. You don’t have to be a millionaire or get married under false pretenses to get a Canadian passport. You can move to Canada legally. One of the most popular ways to immigrate is through study. After a certain number of years of study at a Canadian university or college, students have the opportunity to stay in the country for a significant period of time. The time it takes to find a job depends on the length of study. If the educational program lasts less than 2 years, a job search permit is issued for the duration of the program, and if the student studies for 2 years or more, he has 3 years.
The process is so transparent that there are a large number of specialized immigration agencies that can help with the paperwork.
Canadian School Entry Requirements
Almost all schools in Canada accept foreign students over the age of 13, although some schools offer early admission.
Foreign students can attend Canadian schools for a few weeks as a vacation program or forgo studying for several full years. A popular option is to enroll in Grade 12 in a Canadian school after completing Grade 11 in your home country.
This final year will help you adjust and get you ready for university.
To enroll in a Canadian school, students must provide
- A certificate or excerpt of the last 3-4 years of grades.
- A certificate of knowledge of English (or French).
Awards, diplomas, certificates and other honors will provide an additional advantage at the time of admission.
Students who have completed 3-4 years in a Canadian school are not required to take an English language proficiency test.
Costs of studying in a Canadian school
The cost of studying in Canada depends on the type of school a prospective student chooses. If a high school student attends a public school, the cost is usually between $12,000 and $14,000 per year. This amount covers the cost of education only; homestay accommodation must be paid separately.
Full-time education at private schools in Canada costs more – up to $23,000 per year. If you choose full board for your child, the total cost will be $35 to $45,000 per year.
The public school option is only available for high school students – typically, institutions do not accept foreigners under the age of 12. Instead, you can successfully attend a private school even at the age of 9-10, so you must count on the full board option at a very young age.