You will find below a list of the most popular international and bilingual schools for expats in Canada with fee information. It includes nursery schools, primary and secondary (high) schools and you will find the right school to prepare for International Baccalaureate, and other diploma in Canada. Some schools may follow the American or British curriculums with English speaking programs while others are regulated under the French education system.
International schools can be the perfect solution for an expat student in Canada (multinational corporation executives, children of diplomats, NGO staff). There may be some local population at these institutions, but many schools are geared for an international student body.
Schools usually follow a curriculum model from the US, UK, France, or Canada. Primary instruction may be any language (and multiple languages are usually taught), but it is usually in English or French. Many schools provide similar standards of schooling around the globe, providing for an easy transition between schools across the globe. Schools often provide internationally accepted accreditation such as the International Baccalaureate.
Admission and enrollment procedures vary from school to school. Space is often limited and preference may be given to students based on nationality. Tuition tends to be expensive based on local standards, but offers high standards of learning, boast smaller class sizes, first-rate facilities, and extracurricular activities. Boarding facilities are available at some schools, but most only provide day classes.
Canada has a very high standard of education. High numbers of international migrants and expats living in the large cities of Canada means there are many quality private and international schools. The International Baccalaureate program is commonly offered, as are programs in English, English as a Second Language (ESL), and French. Some international schools also offer boarding options.
The CoIS (Council of International Schools) is a non-profit association of international schools and post-secondary institutions which provides educational accreditation, teacher and leadership recruitment services, links to higher education, governance assistance and help with founding new schools. Western Boarding School Association is an association of 38 college preparatory schools in the western USA and Canada.
Ontario (Ottawa, Toronto,...)
The York School
Address: 1639 & 1320 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M4T 2W6/1X2
Tel: +1 416 926 1325
Tuition: $18,900-$27,850/year + $4,000 one-time registration fee
The York School is a non-denominational and co-educational kindergarten to grade 12 private school. It was founded in 1965 and was the first accredited school in Canada to offer the International Baccalaureate program. The school has two campuses: kindergarten to grade 5 are taught at 1639 Yonge Street, and grades 6 to 12 are taught at the main campus on 1320 Yonge Street in downtown Toronto. It is a not-for-profit World School offering PYP, MYP, and Diploma Programmes. The York School is accredited by CAIS, CIS, and IBO.
Académie de la Capitale
Address: 1010 Morrison Drive, Suite 200, Ottawa, Ontario K2H 8K7 Canada
Tel: +1 613 721 8189
Académie de la Capitale (AcadeCap) was established in Ottawa, Canada in 1998 as an independent, bilingual, International Baccalaureate World School. AcadeCap is authorized for PYP students ages 3 to grade 6, MYP students grades 7 to 10, and students in grades 9 to 10 who may obtain an Ontario Secondary School Diploma upon graduation. AcadeCap also offers bilingual preschool for children aged 18-36 months, a 12 month programme for students aged 3-5 years, and an English with intensive French school program for PYP students aged 3-6.
Address: 540 Lakeshore Road West, Oakville, Ontario L6K 3P1 Canada
Tel: +1 905 845 4681 ext. 0
Founded in 1911, Appleby College is a co-educational international private school in Oakville, Canada, about 50 kilometers outside Toronto. Appleby College offers grades 7 to 12 and is the only Canadian member of the G20 schools. Boarding is offered for grades 9 to 11, and is mandatory for grade 12 students. This school awards its own Appleby College Diploma, which is equivalent to the province of Ontario’s high school diploma, but with higher standards and more rigorous requirements.
Columbia International College
Address: 1003 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4P3 Canada
Tel: + 1 905 572 7883
Tuition: Inquire at school
Columbia International College was founded in 1979 and is now Canada’s largest private boarding school, with over 1,700 students from over 70 countries. The school is located in Hamilton, Ontario, near Toronto. The College is accredited by Ontario’s Ministry of Education and is a member of the Independent School Association of Ontario (ISAO). Columbia has a unique system for educating international students, known as the Total Care Education System (TCES). The TCES was developed by Columbia’s Executive Director Clement Chan and current Principal, Ron Rambarran, who used their experiences as foreign students to develop a program which caters to international student’s academic, social, physical, and emotional needs while they are studying away from home. Columbia has six semesters: January, March, June, July, August and October. Students can enroll throughout the year. Columbia offers ESL and TOEFL preparation programs, University Transfer (AP) programs, and SAT preparation programs.
Nancy Campbell Collegiate Institute
Address: 451 Ridout Street, North London, Ontario Canada
Tel: +1 519 641 6224
Established in 1993, the Nancy Campbell Collegiate Institute is a private Bahà’i faith inspired school. The NCCI offers preschool to grade 12 education with both day school and boarding options available. NCCI offers ESL programs, Advanced Placement programs, Adult ESL and a TOEFL centre. Academic programs at NCCI are based on world citizenship, and a Moral Framework harmonized with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
TAIE International Institute
Address: 296 Parliament Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Tel: +1 416 368 2882
Located in downtown Toronto, TAIE International Institute is an independent international day and boarding school registered with the Ministry of Education of Ontario. TAIE specializes in university preparation and offers secondary school diploma, ESL, university preparation, and graduate school preparation programs. These classes are designed to assist non-English speaking students in achieving high results on tests such as TOEFL, FRE, GMAT, IEFLTS, and CAEL. Students can purchase packages of 6, 8 or 10 courses, as well as individual ESL courses, depending on their study plan. Full boarding and home stay services are available. TAIE also offers a visa service to international students, and tutoring, academic counseling, air ticket booking services, visa extension services, Internet access, gym facilities, and school amenities are free of charge to students. TAIE has offices in Toronto, Hong Kong, and Beijing.
London International Academy
Address: 361-365 Richmond Street, London, Ontario N6A 3C2 Canada
Tel: +1 519 433 3388
Tuition: $3,200-$6,400/semester + fees
London International Academy (LIA) is a private secondary boarding school located in London, Ontario. LIA’s aim is to help students attend a North American University of their choice. LIA offers classes to students in grades 10 to 12, as well as a university preparation course. LIA is authorized to grant the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. LIA also provides TOEFL, IELTS, and COPE preparation courses and TOEFL testing facilities.
Academie Ste Cecile International School
Address: 925 Cosineau Road, Windsor, Ontario, N9G 1V8 Canada
Tel: +1 519 969 1291
Tuition: Inquire at school
Academie Ste Cecile (ASCIS) is an elementary, secondary, day and resident boarding school located in Windsor, Ontario. ASCIS is a Roman Catholic and IB World School. ASCIS offers International Baccalaureate Diplomas, Ontario Secondary School Diplomas, Advanced Placement, TOEFL, ESL, summer school, and Arts and Technology, and French programs.
The Great Lakes College of Toronto
Address: 323 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Tel: +1 416 763 4121
Tuition: $1,350/course-$12,500/10 courses + fees
Established in 1978, the Great Lakes College of Toronto is a certified private school that prepares students for entrance to Canadian and American universities. GLCT has developed expertise in educating international students and offers a 5 month Fast Track Pre-University program (offered in January, March, June and September), University and College Preparation courses, ESL programs, Grades 10-12 high school courses, and short term English training programs. GLCT awards Ontario Secondary School Diplomas.
Address: 21 Ascot Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M6E 1E6 Canada
Tel: +1 416 631 0082
Hudson College is a private, non-denominational, co-educational day school offering pre-kindergarten to university entrance courses. Situated on a 4.5 acre campus in central Toronto, Hudson College is fully accredited by the Ministry of Education of Ontario and awards Ontario Secondary School Diplomas. ESL instruction for students of all levels and ages are also available, as well as free tutoring, and co-op opportunities. Hudson College can also arrange home stays ($850-$1,000/month), visas, airport pickup/drop-off, guardianship, and medical services for international students. Scholarships and awards are also available for international students.
McDonald International Academy (MIA)
Address: 920 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M4W 3C7
Tel: +1 416 322 1502
Tuition: $780/course to $13,800/year
The McDonald International Academy (MIA), established in 1994, is a fully registered and accredited secondary school with an aim of helping students achieve successful university entrance. The main MIA campus is in downtown Toronto and boarding facilities are available. MIA operates on a tri-semester system, enabling students to register year round with a flexible timetable. Class sizes are small (15-25 students). Semesters begin in September, April, and January. Summer school programs in July and August are also available. MIA’s North York campus offers an even more flexible schedule, with semesters starting every two months, year round. MIA is affiliated with several Canadian and American universities, guaranteeing admission upon successful completion of MIA’s programs. ESL courses are also available.
French Schools in Ontario
German School in Ontario
German International School Toronto
Address: 585 Cranbrooke Avenue, Toronto, ON Canada M6A 2X9
Tel: (416) 922-6413
Tuition: $7,500 – $14,000/year
Founded as the “Deutsche Schule Toronto”, the school offers classes from Kindergarten through Grade 8 and German instruction. Curriculum is based on the German state (Bundesland) of Thuringia and the Canadian province of Ontario. The school hopes to expand to grades 9-12.
Calgary French and International School
Address: 700-77th Street Sw, Calgary, Alberta T3H 5R1 Canada
Tel: +1 403 240 1500
Tuition: $3,320-$14,600/year + additional fees
CFIS is a private accredited school, established in 1969, offering a full French immersion program for preschool to high school students. While French immersion is the basis of CFIS’ program, Spanish instruction begins in Grade 4. CFIS has over 700 students and 80 faculty and staff. CFIS offers an Advanced Placement program. Scholarships and awards are available.
French Schools in Alberta
Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific
Address: 650 Pearson College Drive, Victoria, BC V9C 4H7
Tel: +1 250 391 2411
Tuition: Full scholarship of $80,000/2 years
The Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific offers the International Baccalaureate program to Canadians and non-Canadian students. Students attend on scholarships only (worth $80,000). Students must board and study at the school for two years as part of a university preparatory program (Grade 12 and Gap Year). Pearson College accepts 200 students from 100 countries. To apply from outside Canada, contact your local UWC national committe. Instruction is in English and at least one other language.
Brookes Shawnigan Lake
Address: 2371 Shawnigan Lake Road, Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia V0R 2W5 Canada
Tel: +1 250 929 0506
Tuition: (Rates for 2017) $38,900 - 47,500 (Boarding) $5,544 - 11.496 (Day)
Brookes uses the International Baccalaureate as its platform for learning. Students are supported in a caring environment and given opportunities to learn about themselves and to take action in areas in which they are passionate. A co-ed day and boarding school, Brookes offers grades 7-12 and welcomes 150 students from 15 countries for a diverse learning experience.
St. John’s International School (SIS)
Address: 300-1885 Broadway, Vancouver, British Columbia V6Y 1Y5 Canada
Tel: +1 604 683 4572
SIS instructs students in grades 8 to 12. SIS also offers ESL programs at all levels. ESL classes are taught for three hours a day during regular semesters. SIS’s Adult Education program allows students 19 years and older to obtain a Secondary School diploma. Programs begin every January, May and September, providing students with the opportunity to graduate earlier than in a two-semester system. Students are also guaranteed university entrance. Successful students graduate with a Secondary School Diploma from the Ministry of Education of British Columbia. Homestay services are also available for $750-$850 per month.
St. George’s International School
Address: 3851 West 29th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6S 1T6
Tel: + 604-224-1304
Tuition: $17,170 to $50,500/year
St. George's School is a world-class boys' university preparatory school offering programs from grades one to 12 in Vancouver. Its average class size is 20 to 22 students. Provides Day & Boarding options.
St. Margaret's School (SMS)
Address: 1080 Lucas Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8X 3P7
Tel: + 250.479.7171
Tuition: $8,000 to $49,000/year
SMS is an all girl, day and boarding school for students from Grade 7-12. The school offers honours, Accelerated and Advanced Placement (AP) courses, as well as the opportunity to tailor their curriculum (within the Ministry approved guidelines) to focus upon specific areas of study.
St. Michaels University School (SMUS)
Address: 3400 Richmond Road Victoria, B.C. Canada V8P 4P5
Tel: + (250) 592-2411
Tuition: $14,700 to $61,740/year
SMUS provides boarding and day programs with an emphasis on development of leadership skills through academics, the arts, athletics and service. The school offers programs for grades K to 12 with enrolment of day students and boarding students. It does not require students to wear uniforms and the language of instruction is English.
Address: 70 Morven Drive West Vancouver, British Columbia, V7S 1B2
Tuition: $15,000 to $18,000/year
Collingwood School is Western Canada’s largest coed school with classes for Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12. It is an independent, university preparatory day school. Located on two campuses, it is a member of Round Square- a worldwide association of schools. Founded in 1984, this private school requires students to wear uniforms and the language of instruction is English.
Address: 2329 Crescent Way, Abbotsford, BC, Canada V2S 3M1
Tel: + 604-853-3367
Tuition: Inquire at school
Grades 9 – 12 are offered, as well as the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) in grades 9 and 10, and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP). It has recently been renovated and continues to expand.
Bishops’ College School
Address: 80 Moulton Hill Road, PO Box 5001, Succursale Lennoxville, Sherbrooke, Quebec, J1M 1Z8 Canada
Tel: + 1 819 566 0227
Tuition: $15,340-$48,380/year + one-time $750-$4,000 enrolment fee
Bishop’s College School was founded in 1836 and today serves 215 students from 24 countries, with a faculty of 35 educators. BCS offers grade 7/Form II to grade 12/Form VII. BCS is a private boarding school offering bilingual studies, Advanced Placement programs, and an ESL program for international students. 37% of the students at BCS are international. BCS offers financial assistance and needs-based scholarships.
Address:450 Dufferin, Standstead, Quebec J0B 3E0 Canada
Tel: +1 819 876 2702
Stanstead College is a co-educational private boarding school in Stanstead, Quebec offering grades 7 to 12. Stanstead instructs 200 students, with an average of 12 students per class, based on Quebec’s Ministry of Education’s guidelines. Stanstead offers an English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Scholarships, financial aid, and interest free loans are available.
French Schools in Quebec
Chinook International Program
Address: Box 90, Hazlet, Saskatchewan, S0N 1E0 Canada
Tel: +1 306 678 2133
Tuition: $9,700/5 months, $16,600/10 months
The Chinook International Program offers international students the chance to improve their English and develop the skills and coursework necessary to enter a Canadian post-secondary institution. Held in Hazlet, Saskatchewan, students can enroll in the program’s long term (1 year) or short term (9 week) semesters, in which ESL instruction is tailored to meet students’ needs.
West Island College International Class Afloat
Tel: +1 902 634 1895
Tuition: $30,000-$33,000/half year, $44,000-$48,400/full year
West Island College International is a private boarding school offering university and college preparatory classes. Class Afloat allows students to earn secondary or post-secondary school credit while sailing to twenty ports on four continents. Class Afloat offers instruction to students in grades 11, 12 and junior college; successful students earn a Nova Scotia high school diploma. The school is also a Quebec Ministry of Education approved partner of CEGEP Marie Victorin, and students may pursue a Quebec-based programmed in their 12th or 13th year of study. Class Afloat’s university students are enrolled with Acadia University, Nova Scotia. Sailing experience is not a requirement for admission, however, fluency in English is. Financial aid is available.
By Jess Gerrow, who traded city life in Canada for island life in the Mediterranean two years ago. She is a postgraduate marketing student, blogger, and freelance writer.