Why You Should Study at a Canadian High School

An illustration of an international student sitting on a bench outdoors, studying at a Canadian academic institution.

Within Canada, high school, or “secondary school”, has become a place where students can reach their full potential. With an excellent quality of life and an exceptional education system, attending a Canadian high school is the ideal choice for secondary studies. You may be asking yourself “How do international students receive high school admission in Canada?”

The good news is, we’ll answer how to receive high school admission in Canada for international students in the article. We’ll also explore six reasons why international students should consider choosing Canada to start or continue their high school education. Keep on reading to find out!

An illustration of a laptop.

1. A Modern Classroom

In a world that is constantly changing, those who fall behind are often left struggling to find work. Within Canada, its well-funded, public education system allows for a quality learning environment. As a result, Canadian high schools take note of the changing needs of the outside world and fund initiatives that allow them to keep up with the game.

For example, within Ontario, many schools are participating in the “Chromebook One to One” initiative. This initiative gives incoming students a Chromebook they can keep for the rest of their high school careers. With increased access to technology, students are regularly practicing the digital literacy skills essential for their future careers. Canadian secondary education implements solutions to keep learners focused on relevant skills to help them succeed.

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2. Relevant and Engaging Coursework

One of the main issues within education is that students feel that they are not learning what they want in high school. From course availability to the curriculum, there are many factors that can impact a student’s desire to study during their secondary education. Within Canada, each province offers a relevant, engaging curriculum with a variety of choices for students. This way, students are prepared for post-secondary studies and are able to choose courses in whichever field they choose. While some schools may focus mainly on Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering classes, there are many arts-focused programs that include the opportunity for students to take dance, graphic design, or even theatre.

A central part of the Canadian curriculum is that students are challenged to address real-world issues. Each course addresses and builds upon skills that allow them to critically think about current events, and form their own educated opinions. With every lesson, the content in Canadian courses prepares students for their future careers. For instance, in biology courses, they may analyze the ethical issues related to stem cell research. In economics, they may view the same issue from a market-based perspective. By being able to think in different ways, students will become valuable employees who can solve problems effectively and creatively.

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3. Cooperative Education and Internship Programs

In addition to an engaging curriculum, students have the opportunity to supplement their studies with real-world work experience. Students are able to volunteer or work within the community for high school credit across Canada. In participating in a school’s cooperative education program, students are able to shadow future careers that they want to have. Internships are a great way to practice one’s skills in an applied setting. From research assistants to construction workers, there are thousands of opportunities for students to explore their future careers!

Illustration of female student raising a hand in Canadian high school.

4. Exceptional and Highly-Qualified Staff

As an overall profession, teachers are highly regulated by each province and are only able to teach within the areas they are qualified for. What this means is that in Canada, students will not be getting an English teacher teaching mathematics at the secondary level. Many teachers genuinely care for their students, and often dedicate extra time and effort to help a student succeed.

In addition to the amazing teachers available, schools have support staff that can help students beyond their academics. There are professionals who can get students the help they need and connect them with the community. From child and youth care workers to special education staff, Canadian schools are there to accommodate students.

Furthermore, guidance counsellors are also available in every Canadian high school to help organize their students’ futures. Guidance counsellors are able to but are not limited to provide: course selection advice, career counselling, scholarship research, and much more! Need to organize your entire life out? Guidance counsellors are the most valuable resource for learning success in one’s secondary studies.

An illustration of hands high-fiving in a Canadian high school.

5. An Optimized Learning Environment

Unlike many schools internationally, Canadian high schools keep in mind that all students learn differently. As a result, Canadian high schools aim to address different types of learners in a wide variety of ways. Whether it is the structure of the school’s environment or the delivery of the curriculum by the teacher that is modified, the unique approaches to learning allow students to not only learn how they learn best but also practice learning through different methods.

As a whole, Canadian high schools value questions and inquiries more than the answers they produce. Students are heavily encouraged to investigate what they are learning and question the validity of the information. Since ideas come from different sources, learning is approached from many different angles. Students have the chance to put theory into practice, become creative in their ideas, and grow as people. To top it all off – Canadian high schools often have a physical environment that is safe, inclusive, and diverse – ensuring that the only thing that a student has to worry about is their studies.

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6. Internationally-Recognized Credentials

A primary issue within international education is that not all secondary diplomas are equal.  As a result, many schools will require international students to do additional tests or qualifications within their admissions processes. However, in Canada, each diploma, especially the OSSD, is recognized by post-secondary institutions across the world. The education system of each province is praised for their rigorous, quality-based delivery and as a result, their credentials are equally respected.

In addition to their basic high school diplomas, many secondary schools offer localized certificates or international programs that can support a student’s post-secondary application. For example, the International Baccalaureate is offered across many public and private schools across the nation. This diploma uses a standard system of marks that allows universities and colleges to convert grades into their local systems very easily. Students undergoing this program can also get transfer credits for the higher-level subjects that they study.

If you are looking to study in Canada after high school, having a Canadian high school diploma will significantly increase your chances for admission in comparison to an international diploma. Canadian schools recognize and can easily evaluate the rigour of your education within their own system, meaning your grades will be evaluated at face value.

If you are looking to study in the USA, Canadian secondary credentials are valued just as much as their own diplomas. There are also many SAT and ACT testing centres that allow you to meet their standardized testing requirements essential for admission into US colleges. With a quality Canadian high school education, the sky is your limit!

How to Receive High School Admission in Canada for International Students

Ready to find out how to receive high school admission in Canada for international students? It’s not as difficult as you may think!

Start by answering a few questions about your background and education on our AI-assisted platform, and you’ll be directed to potential Canadian high schools that are a great fit for you.

Ready to apply to a high school program in Canada? Click here to explore programs!


The most important stories in international education, backed by data