Preparing to study at a high school in Canada involves both academic and personal preparation. What you do to prepare will depend partly on which kind of secondary school program you have chosen, and on the specific requirements of the particular school.

International students applying to high school in Canada should begin planning early. Because requirements or assessment tests may vary from secondary school to secondary school, the more time you give yourself to prepare, the easier your application and acceptance processes will be.

  • Try to do your best. Keeping your grades up always help your application. Admission requirements, however, vary between schools: some have minimum academic requirements; others judge each application on a case-by-case basis. Because there is no universal standard, doing as well as you can now is a good way to be prepared.

  • Build relationships with teachers and others at your school. Some high schools in Canada request a reference from a school official (such as the principal) or your teachers. This also means you want to stay out of trouble at school and avoid any kind of disciplinary record.

  • Work on your language skills and find out about potential testing requirements. Different schools will also have different English or French language proficiency requirements. Some will require a minimum ability to speak English or French, while others will test students to place them appropriately. Some may even have no language requirements at all. It is very important that you clarify this requirement with your school, as that requirement will change what you need to do in your own country.

    Personal preparation can be as important as academic preparation. There are many things you can do to prepare yourself for life and study in Canada.

  • Get more familiar with the language of the region you will be studying in (English or French). You can do this by reading English- or French-language books, magazines, newspapers or even comic books, either in print or online. You can practice your conversation with any English- or French-speaking friends. You can watch English or French TV and films.

  • Research the extra-curricular activities that are offered by the school you wish to go to, or that are available in the local community. You may find your favourite sport or other activity, or you may find something new that looks interesting. Either way, it will help to get you involved in your new community, and showing that you are ready to get involved will improve any application.

  • Get in contact with other international students already studying at the school you wish to attend. The school's administration may be able to put you in touch with current students who can share their experiences and advice with you. You might also want to find out if there's anyone in your home community who has done a similar study abroad program that you can talk to.