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High School in Vancouver Island, Cowichan Valley

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Highlights:

  • 12 to 18 yrs
  • From one semester to one full academic year
  • Benefit from the excellence of the Canadian educational system
  • Possibility to obtain a diploma
  • Wide variety of subjects and extra-curricular activities
  • Safe environment and top quality standard of living

Program

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.

Schools

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.

Courses

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

English Courses

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.

Host Family

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

Dates 2020-2021

Schoolyear: From September to June

Semester: From September to January or from February to June

Prices 2020-2021

This programme contains classes Accommodation included Meal includedSupervision 24h supportThis programme requires a flight
Programmes Prices -

Includes taxes, registration fees, classes, room and board as described

Click here to pre-register
Classes, room and full board, taxes and registration fees
DurationPrice without flightsPrice including flights
Academic year1765018950
Semester995011250

Prices include:

  • 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

Practical Information

Conditions of participation

  • Must be aged between 13 and 18 at time of departure (students cannot turn 19 during their stay)
  • Minimum English level: we accept all levels, students under level A2 will receive extra ESL tuition in paralell to their regular classes. However, we advise at least 2 years of English studies to be able to fully enjoy the lessons and activities of the program, in particular for those participating for less than a full academic year
  • 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

How to apply

Should you fulfill the participation requirements:

  1. Fill out rapidly our easy on line pre-application form.

  2. Upon reception of your booking you will receive a provisional confirmation featuring the total amount due for the stay, a payment request of €90 (to cover the fees of the language test and the personal motivation interview) and a complete application file to the chosen program. You will also be requested to send us a copy of your school reports over the last 3 years.

  3. We will then ask you to come and take a language test and personal motivation interview at our offices in Brussels or Paris. This will cost an amount of €90 payable before the day of the interview. This amount is non-refundable but is deductible from the total amount of your stay after the final registration, should you be accepted on the programme. The first part of your registration file will have to be completed and handed to us upon your interview.

  4. We will confirm you the result of the tests at the latest 8 days after the interview.

  5. If your level seems adequate, you will be asked to pay a deposit representing 25% of the total amout of your stay (with a minimu of €1,500) and to finish completing all the elemnts of your file, in particular your teachers recommendation letters and other information requested for the final validation of your file by the local school. As soon as your file has been completed and the deposit paid, we will tranfer it to our local partner.

  6. Final acceptance to the program is validated by our partner.

  7. Upon validation, our partner starts the selection and recruitment of your host family and proceeds to the school application.

Application deadlines

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.

Pre-Orientation Meeting

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 or Paris, between the end of May and the beginning 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 cannot come to neither Brussels nor Paris, 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 about your stay.

Duration of the stay 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.

Our Programmes: Canada

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