Why You Should Study at a Canadian High School

Within Canada, high school has become a place where students can reach their full potential and explore the kind of person they want to be. With an excellent quality of life, and an exceptional education system, for students looking for the best education they can possibly get, Canada is the ideal choice for secondary studies. Overall, here are six reasons why international students should consider choosing Canada to start or continue their high school education.

1. A modern classroom

Computers set up in a classroom

In a world that is constantly changing, those who fall behind are often left struggling to find work or keeping up with modern demands. Within Canada, the well-funded, public education system allows for a quality learning environment no matter what school a student is placed in. 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, there are many schools that have the “Chromebook One to One” initiative in which incoming students are given a chromebook that they can keep for the rest of their high school careers. With an increased access to technology, students are regularly practicing the digital literacy skills essential for the workplace and their post-secondary studies. Canadian secondary education is one of the few education systems in the world that has the capacity and ability to implement solutions that keep learners focusing on relevant skills and ideas that will truly help them succeed.

2. Relevant and engaging coursework

Woman working on laptop

One of the main issues within education is that students feel that they are not learning what they want to in high school. From course availability to the curriculum, there are many factors that can impact a student’s desire to study passionately during their secondary education. Within Canada, each province offers a relevant, engaging curriculum with a wide variety of choices for students to select across all disciplines. Not only are students studying for what will prepare them for post-secondary studies, they are also able to take unique courses that will give them the ability to succeed in whatever field they choose to. Each school and school board has a set of programs that are designed to meet varying student interests. 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 regardless of what pathway they are going into (college, university, apprenticeship or the workplace). Each course addresses and builds upon skills that allows them to critically think about current events, and form their own educated opinions. With every lesson carefully planned out, the content and ideas learned from Canadian courses prepares them significantly for their future career. For example, some schools may focus solely on Canadian and international issues and integrate this into every course. In biology, they may analyze the ethical issues related to stem cell research while 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 as they can solve problems more effectively and creatively.

3. Cooperative education and internship programs

Student working in woodworking shop

In addition to a challenging and engaging curriculum, students have the opportunity to supplement their studies with real world work experience. Although the structure of cooperative education varies from province to province, students are able to volunteer or work within the community for high school credit across Canada. In participating in the school’s cooperative education program, students are able to shadow future careers that they want to have, and test out whether they are confident in pursuing that occupation in the future. Internships are a great way to practice one’s skills in an applied setting where theory is not the main focus of learning. From research assistant to construction worker, there are thousands of opportunities for students to explore their future job!

4. Exceptional and highly qualified staff

Woman writing on chalkboard

As an overall profession, teachers are highly regulated by each province and are only able to teach within the areas they are qualified for through their post-secondary education. What this means is that in Canada, students will not be getting a English teacher teaching mathematics at the secondary level. A vast majority of the teachers that teach in Canada genuinely care about their students and will do everything they can to support their students’ learning. This may include spending that extra hour to get a student resources to succeed or giving up a lunch to help a student understand how to do a problem.

In addition to the amazing teachers available, schools have support staff that can help students beyond their academics. While many teachers available to talk about personal concerns, there are professionals that 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 the best way they can.

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.

5. An optimized learning environment

Students working on group project

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 practice learning through different methods.

As a general 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 a wide variety of sources, learning is approached from many different angles. Students have the chance to put theory to practice, be 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.

6. Strong, internationally recognized credentials

Student receiving diploma

A primary issue within international education is that not all secondary diplomas are equal. The value of one nation’s secondary studies is often looked down upon in comparison to another’s. 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 allow universities and colleges to convert grades into their local systems very easily. Students undergoing this program can also get transfer credits for their higher level subjects that they study.

If you are looking to study in Canada after high school as well, having a Canadian high school diploma will significantly increase your chances for admission in comparison to an international diploma. Since Canadian schools recognize and can easily evaluate the rigor of your education within its own system, this means that your grades will be evaluated at face value rather than being scaled and converted disproportionately.

If you are looking to 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!

Interested in applying to a high school program in Canada? Click on the following link and start exploring programs that are suitable for YOU!

Dawson Phan, Marketing Assistant at ApplyBoard