Preparing for high school in Canada can make a big difference to both your application and academic experience. What you do to prepare will depend partly on the type of secondary school and the specific international program you have chosen.

International students applying to high school in Canada should begin planning early. Application requirements, such as documentation and assessment tests, vary from high school to high school; therefore, giving yourself the most time possible will ensure that you have time to gather everything the school might require.

  • Keeping your grades up always help your application. Academic admission requirements vary between schools, and since 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 current school. Some high schools in Canada request a reference from a school official (such as the principal) or one of your teachers. To make sure you get a good reference, you should also do your best to avoid any kind of disciplinary record.

  • Work on your language skills and prepare for potential tests. Different schools will also have different English or French language proficiency requirements. 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. There are many online resources to help international students work on their language skills, including websites that provide practice tests.

    Personal preparation can be as important as academic preparation when it comes to pursuing study in Canada.

  • Familiarize yourself 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. Practice your conversation with any English- or French-speaking friends, and 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 where the school is located. Having a plan to get involved in your new community can help you integrate more quickly and therefore make the most of your time in Canada. Showing that you are ready to get involved may also help your high school application.

  • Contact other international students already studying in Canada, and possibly even at the specific school you hope to attend. The school's administration may be able to put you in touch with current students who can share their experiences and advice. You might also want to find out if there's anyone in your home community who has done a similar study abroad program; that person might have some insights of to help you prepare for high school in Canada.