Our program is available for all motivated students aged 12 to 18 who wish to spend one semester or one year in a Canadian high school (secondary education) of the Cowichan Valley district and share a Canadian host family's day-to-day life.
You can choose your school depending on the subjects and/or activities that you wish to take. There are a whole host of different possibilities. If you complete the last year of secondary education you will be able to acquire a High School diploma if desired.
Why Canada ?
Canada is the second largest country in the world, it is also one of the most outstanding in terms of geographical diversity. It's primarily a wonderful destination or those wishing to study there for multiple reasons:
- The Quality and standard of living is among the highest in the world
- Educational system is recognised for its excellence and its compatibility with the European system
- Friendliness and hospitality of its people
- Rich in culture
- Safe environment with stunning landscapes and countryside
Vancouver Island, situated in British Colombia, is well known for its mild climate (the temperature barely goes below -2 degrees in winter), a unique quality of life, in the vicinity of the city of Vancouver (1h40 with the ferry), the possibility to join plenty of outdoor activities (ski, surf, sail, golf, ice skating, horseback riding...) and join many cultural events and sports (theater, concerts, animations, sport events...)
The location of the Cowichan Valley is ideal. It is half way between the cities of Nanaimo and the capital city of Victoria. This provides all the services and shopping of a large city only 40 minutes away and the safety, slower pace and total immersion on an everyday basis in a smaller, 100% English-speaking community.
The Canadian educational system
Canadian students study for minimum 12 years (Primary School + Secondary School). This program gives foreign students the possibility to attend a secondary school, from grade 8 to grade 12.
A school year is divided in two semesters. As a foreign student, you can integrate in a class for one semester or for one or several school years and ultimately gain a Canadian High School diploma.
Some courses are offered for one semester. Students have also the possibility to change subjects during the school year depending on level and availability.
Schools offer a variety of sport, cultural and social activities. The school gives you an unique chance to do activities that you have never done before and to join in the daily life of Canadians students of your age.
Your placement will be in a selection of 4 secondary schools in the Cowichan Valley district. Each school is unique in culture and the opportunities available and has between 300 and 1500 students per year. The experience will be even more authentic due to the fact that these schools are host to very few foreign students.
In each school there is a team of counselors and tutors who will assist the students and international coordinators who will follow the students during their stay. The teachers and staff at the school are friendly and will help the students to achieve their goals.
Placement is made by our local partner in one of the communities in and around the city of Duncan, taking into account availability and the choice of your own:
- Chemainus Secondary School: hosts 300 students, located in the town of Chemainus a 15-minute drive north of Duncan. This town close to the ocean is known for its world famous outdoor gallery of murals. It is part of a provincial initiative to be a zero waste school. The entire school population is working together to reduce waste by recycling.
- Cowichan Secondary School: hosts 1500 students, located in the centre of Duncan. This school has a proud history of accomplishments in academics, fine arts and sports. It has a reputation for competing in mathematics competitions and their sports teams have won many provincial championships.
- Lake Cowichan Secondary School: hosts 320 students, located in the scenic town of Lake Cowichan a 20 minute drive west of Duncan. This is a beautiful lakeside area, well known for outdoor recreation like boating, fishing and hiking. Lunchtime activities are a key part of school life. There are organised games, sports and movies in the school theatre.
- Frances Kelsey Secondary School: located in the the town of Mill Bay, it is a modern building located in a beautiful rural community close to the ocean. It offers a unique self-directed learning model where students progress through curriculum with the guidance of a teacher advisor. Students are instructed in both the traditional classroom and also have flexible time to work with teachers one on one.
Schools in the Cowichan Valley district offer high quality teaching in the field of Sciences. In addition to the (compulsory) ESL classes, you can choose 4 subjects per semester. Every school offers a wide selection in various fields. Some examples:
- Academic courses: maths, sciences, foreign languages, ...
- Journalism, Writing and Yearbook
- IT, animation and computer graphics
- Applied Skills: robotics, foods, textiles, fashion designs, woodwork, metal work, ...
- Music and Art: jazz, guitar, photography, drama and theatre, ...
- Forsenic Science: "crime scene investigation" and technique practice
- Search and Rescue: survival skills
- Rock Climbing
ESL classes and the permanent support from a tutor for each international students are included in the schooling and are specifically aimed at students who do not meet the required minimum level to attend classes in English.
Activities / excursions
The school offers a wide selection of activities, in sports, arts or leisure clubs accessible to everyone.
Moreover, our partner organises its own activity program (they have their own ski club and golf course) for foreign students (about twice a month), which enables everyone to discover the area and meet other international participants in a friendly atmosphere. Field trips (to Vancouver, another town of the area/province, Spring Break) are also scheduled in September, October, April and May.
The Canadian Host Families
Your host family is the defining feature of your study abroad experience, helping you become fully accustomed to the culture and feel part of the local community.
Canadians are famous for their hospitality, tolerance and openness.
Our partner organisation's host families are carefully screened and regularly inspected. Families take an active interest in choosing a student to host and sharing their homes, lives and culture with their guests.
The local coordinator
The local coordinator is an experienced member of staff who knows the host families and is in regular contact with the students and their host parents throughout the duration of the programme. They regularly organise meetings to ensure that your experience is going smoothly, both with your host family and at school. Your local coordinator is on hand to lend assistance in case any should arise, and are your first point of contact on the ground.
Our partner organisation's local coordinators are all experienced and fully qualified to assist international students on the ground, offering support and assistance quickly and efficiently should any issues present themselves.
An emergency number will be given to you to use in case of any emergencies.
Dates & Prices 2020-2021
Schoolyear: From September to June
Semester: From September to January or from February to June
Includes taxes, registration fees, classes, room and boardEnrolment
|Classes, room and full board, taxes, and registration fees|
|Duration||Price without flights||Price with flights|
|Academic year||17,650 €||18,950 €|
|Semester||9,950 €||11,250 €|
- English level assessment and interview
- All documents required to obtain a visa
- High School registration for a semester or a school year
- Supervision during the stay by the local correspondent
- Accommodation in host family, full board (lunch box on school days)
- Local transportation
- Personal assistance, support and advice from our local correspondent
- Medical insurance
- Personal support to parents throughout the stay
- Regular contacts and assessment reports
- Official certificate of attendance and courses transcripts.
- Round-trip flight if chosen, from Brussels, Paris or Geneva airport (please contact us for prices if you do not leave from these airports
- Round-trip transfers from the arrival airport to the host family
Prices do not include:
- Excursions and leisure activities
- Admittance fees to leisure or sports clubs
- Visa fees
- Pocket money: around $250-300 per month
Conditions of participation
- Must be aged between 13 and 19 at time of departure
- Minimum English level: we accept all levels, students under level A2 will receive extra ESL tuition in parallel to their regular classes.
- Must have achieved good school results the last 2 years
- Must have the will to make new friends and to share the daily life of a host family
- Must demonstrate motivation, maturity and adaptability
Do you fit the criteria for participation? Think this high school abroad program is for you? Then send us a Registration form as soon as possible.
You will then receive a pre-confirmation form and we will invite you to confirm your booking by paying a deposit of €90 in order to begin to process your booking.
We will then invite you to come to our office in Brussels or Paris for a full interview. This costs €90 and must be paid at the latest on the day of the interview if we have not yet received a deposit. The interview fee is non-refundable and is deductible from the final cost if enrolment is confirmed.
If the interview is successful, we will send you the relevant documents to be completed and ask you to pay a deposit of minimum €1500 (25% of the total price). This includes recommendation letters from your teachers, your medical history and other information needed to process your booking.
The deadline for submitting the aforementioned folder is :
- 03/30 for departures in September
- 10/31 for departures in February
Later dates may be possible depending on the availability in the schools. However We strongly recommend booking at least 3 months before departure for a better preparation of the stay.
Late bookings occurring after the indicated deadline will be subject to a €200 express handling fee.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information on the application process.
In order that your exchange runs as smoothly as possible and that you stay informed about the different elements of the programme, you have the option of attending two information and orientation meetings.
The first is organised by Easy Languages in Brussels , during the month of June. It allows students using Easy Languages to meet each other and share questions and experiences between them and the office team. It's also at this meeting that final administrative formalities are tackled.
If you do not live in Brussels, you can meet our team in Paris or Canada. Otherwise, we can schedule a telephone meeting to explain you the procedures and details of the program.
The second meeting takes place in Canada , within the first 15 days following your arrival. You will be contacted by your local correspondent who will be able to answer all of your questions.
Duration and Visa
The school year is divided in two semesters. As an international student, you can take classes for one semester (start in September or February) or for a full academic year. If you go for 1 semester, you will simply need to fill in a travel document "ETA" (Electronic Travel Authorization) to download from https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada.html
For a full school year, you must obtain a student visa that will be issued to you for the length of stay. We provide you with all the necessary documents to obtain it and assist you in the process. You can find all information on the website: https://www.canada.ca/fr/immigration-refugies-citoyennete/services/etudier-canada/permis-etudes/presenter-demande.html
WARNING : Since 31/07/2018, when you apply for a visitor visa, study or work permit (except U.S. nationals), or permanent residence you will need to give your fingerprints and a photo. Fingerprints taking costs $CAD 85. You can go to one of these official locations to give your biometrics:
- visa application centres (VACs) worldwide (find your VAC here )
Click here for more information.
Depending on the location, you may need to make an appointment.
This information is valid for citizens of the European Union. Non-EU nationals please check this page for more information.
Health Insurance and Assistance
Health cover and assistance are included in the price of course and are valid for the entire duration of your stay.