| APPLYING TO MIDDLE SCHOOL IN ALBERTA
| Applying to middle schools in Alberta is a process with several steps. In Alberta, school districts are responsible for accepting applications and admitting international students; therefore, your application must be sent to the appropriate school district in charge of the school(s) you are interested in applying to. Some steps will differ from district to district, so be sure to contact the school district for their specific directions. However, here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:
Step 1: Choose a school
Your first step is to research Alberta middle schools--often called junior high school--and school districts, and decide which district will give you the education you are looking for.
Step 2: Double check the entry requirements
Different programs at different middle school types will have different entry requirements, such as minimum grade, minimum age, letters from officials at your present school, a certain level of English, certain scores on specific language tests (TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS, CAEL, etc.).
Step 3: Find out when and where to apply
This step is the one that will differ the most between school districts. You should contact the school district directly to get a copy of the form or an introduction to their application process. They may require transcripts or other supporting documents from you, including certified translations, if necessary. Be sure to find out about application deadlines, and give yourself plenty of time to fulfill this step.
Step 4: Pay your application fees and any other fees
Many school districts will require you to pay an application fee and sometimes all or part (a tuition deposit) of the year's tuition before they will send you a letter of acceptance. As the letter of acceptance is absolutely required to obtain a Canadian student visa, this step is very important. Most institutions will refund your payment if for some reason a student visa cannot be obtained.
Step 5: Apply for your study permit
Once you have your letter of acceptance, you can begin applying for your Canadian student visa, also called a study permit. This permit is required for all international students whose studies in Canada will last more than six months. The permit is issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The application process for this permit may take some time. Again, it is very important to leave enough time before the beginning of the school year (which usually starts in September) to apply for and receive your study permit. Be sure to find out about guardian requirements for minors.
Once you have your letter of acceptance and your study permit from CIC, you are ready to begin your middle school study in Alberta.