International Students

Situated in the mountains halfway between Calgary and Vancouver on the trans Canada Highway, the North Okanagan – Shuswap is the ideal location for International Students to experience Canadian culture and education. The Board of Education of School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap) values its longstanding International Student Program where students get to live and learn from each other.  The District has a proud history of reciprocal student exchanges and a long-standing twinning arrangement with Inashiki and Hokkaido, Japan.

Our rural environment provides wide-ranging educational opportunities in a safe, clean, and easily accessible community.  Transition to college is possible through our partnership with Okanagan College.  Canada in general, and the communities within School District No. 83 and surrounding areas, are safe places to live and learn.

Transportation to our area is facilitated through regular Greyhound bus service on the Trans-Canada Highway from Vancouver or Calgary, and through regular airline service through Kelowna International Airport, approximately 1.5 hour drive from Salmon Arm.

Our international students typically live in Salmon Arm, the largest community in School District No. 83.  Although some students prefer to live in one of the surrounding smaller communities , this is subject to the availability of ESL and appropriate school programs.

Students may choose from two programs:

Regular program leading to British Columbia high school graduation (Dogwood)

Students can enroll in programs leading to the regular high school graduation known as the Dogwood Certificate.  Specific standards in English and other subjects are required to graduate on this program.  Currently, students will have to follow the British Columbia graduation requirements which include English 12 or Communication 12 or TPC 12.  It is recommended to start with an orientation and language development time in Grade 9.

Short term Orientation to British Columbia program

Students can choose to enroll in a 5-month or one year program which allows them to experience life in a Canadian high school without the normal requirements of the Dogwood or graduation certificate.  This program is an orientation to life in a Canadian high school.

Each of the above programs can include an English as a Second Language (ESL) component taught weekly plus support from the Learning Resource Teacher in each school where requested.

All students are expected to follow the laws of Canada and the School District No. 83 “Student Code of Conduct”.

Tuition and other fees

Tuition Fee:  $10,000 (for 10 month school year); included are student activity fees, yearbook, souvenir PE strip (Tshirt and shorts).  *DOES NOT INCLUDE English as a Second Language (ESL) support.

  • Homestay Fee:  $700 per month, payable in advance
  • Medical Fee:  Comprehensive health and accident coverage is required by all International Students during their stay in British Columbia.  Fees are payable to the International Student Office who will register and manage the medical coverage for students while studying in the School District No. 83.  $800 per year
  • Administrative Fee:  $500  No administration fee for returning students.
  • Student Fees:  These are dependant upon the courses students choose.  Students who graduate will have a graduation fee in their Grade 12 year.
  • English as a Second Language:  $1500

Length of programs:

Regular Program:  Minimum of three years but four or more years preferred.  Students can start on an orientation basis in February or enroll in September the beginning month for our school year.

Short Term Program:  Five months or one year.

Application deadline for September entry is May 31st.

Application deadline for January/February entry is November 30th.

Resulting Certification

Dogwood Certificate:  Students must meet all British Columbia high school graduation standards (Grade 10 to 12).

Short Term Program:   A certificate of attendance is provided.  Students may choose to enroll in a range of courses to sample the Canadian high school environment and to improve their English language skills.

Custodian for Student

All parents are required to appoint a custodian over 25 years of age who will take responsibility for the child and will ensure that their accommodation and other necessities of living such as food, clothing, transportation and emergency needs are provided.


International students live in a homestay where they are encouraged to be fully integrated into the Canadian lifestyle.  All homestay residences are reviewed in advanced and approved by School District No. 83.  Criminal record checks are required of each adult regularly living in the homestay residence.  Students are expected to have their own bedroom with quiet study area, 3 meals a day and access to laundry facilities (full room and board).  Homestays are reviewed regularly.

Student Contract

Each student, parent and homestay parent is asked to sign a contract which details responsibilities for student, parent, and homestay parent.  For your information all schools in School District No. 83 are smoke-free; as well there is no alcohol, drugs or weapons allowed on school property. These policies are available on the school district website at  A copy of the School Districts’ Goals & Beliefs and the Student Code of Ethics also form part of the expectations.

Application Procedure

An application form is available here; packages can also be sent to interested parties. Applications and supporting documentation are reviewed and upon approval to the International Program, a Letter of Acceptance from the Superintendent of Schools and an invoice for tuition fees will be issued.  Immigration Canada requires the original Letter of Acceptance to be included in the applicant’s Study Permit application.  Fees are due and payable prior to registration in School District No. 83.  A copy of the Study Permit will be required at the time of registration in School District No. 83.

All applications are to be sent to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools/CEO.

Superintendent of Schools/CEO
International Student Program
School District No.83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap)
PO Box 129,  341 Shuswap Street SW
Salmon Arm, BC  Canada  V1E 4N2
Phone:  250-832-2157
Fax:     250-832-9428

All International Student applications should contain as much information as possible including:

  • Copy of Passport
  • Application form
  • Written paragraph by student in English on reasons for wishing to study in Canada, including recreation activities and hobbies, and preferred courses.
  • Written paragraph by parent stating why student wishes to study in Canada
  • School transcripts for the most recent two (2) years, translated into English
  • Recommendations of school personnel in home country: Principal reference,and
  • English teacher recommendation, or evidence of English level i.e. Secondary Level English Proficiency (SLEP) or TOEFL score if available
  • Written confirmation from financial instituation of sufficient finances to support overseas living
  • Doctor’s report with medical history attesting to health in English
  • Student Health History form 
  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Authorization for Treatment of a Minor form
  • Parental Consent for Publication of Student Personal Information (Media Release)
  • Appointed Custodian Registration form-temporary guardianship 2016 (this 2-part form must be notarized)
  • Preferred characteristics of Homestay family, in English
  • Copy of Study Permit
  • Medical coverage 
  • Other related information in support of the application.