Choosing a high school in Ontario means choosing between a wide range of quality secondary school options. However, there are ways to help make the decision easier: evaluating your choices according to specific categories and making a check-sheet for each school you are interested in can be a great way to compare schools and find the one that best suits your academic and personal needs.
Some key things to consider when choosing a high school in Ontario:
Curriculum and programs offered: Given the broad range of choices, it's a good idea to consider the school's curriculum, including what specific programs and courses they offer, such as languages, arts, sciences, or programs such as International Baccalaureate or University Preparation.
Academic requirements, language requirements and student support: Consider the minimum grades the school requires, as well as what language-test scores the school accepts. Additionally, check to see if the school has good language support services for international students.
Location: Consider the weather and climate of your potential Ontario locations, as well as the benefits and challenges of small towns, mid-sized cities, and larger cities.
Size and culture: Be true to yourself and consider what learning environment is best suited for you as a student in a new environment (for instance, whether you'd feel more comfortable in a smaller, more personal environment or a large, bustling campus). You should also consider the "culture" of the school, meaning its religious affiliation, program focus, history and mission statement.
Cost: Consider living expenses, tuition fees and all other potential costs, including uniforms, transportation (if you are staying off-campus) and school supplies.
Scholarships, awards and financial aid: Depending on the kind of high school you choose, there may be monetary awards and scholarships for international student academic achievement, or financial aid based on a student's need.
Other international students' experiences: Sometimes other international students and their families can give you very practical advice and information. The school may publish "success stories" about other international students, and you can also search online resources (such as social networking sites) that can help you connect with other international high school students who have studied in Ontario.