How to Pursue International Education in Ontario

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More and more international students are attending Ontario public schools

Ontario public schools are renowned for providing an excellent education, and increasingly more international students and their families are recognizing the benefits and value of an education in Ontario. The Ontario Curriculum is widely recognized as one of the best in the world.  Currently, over half of all the approximately 34,000 Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) international students studying in Canada have chosen Ontario as the place to pursue educational goals. Studying in Ontario leads to many pathways for further study in Canadian universities and colleges, and also may serve as a pathway to apprenticeships and to working and living in Canada.

The Ontario government has developed a long-term commitment to international education initiatives in Ontario’s Strategy for K-12 International Education, 2015, which states as one of its many goals:

“To provide the best environment for students, and to encourage them to continue their education through the K-12 and postsecondary levels and to stay to live and work in Ontario, the strategy will provide:

  • excellent educational programs that meet the needs of international students
  • high quality programs for the care, safety, and well-being of international students
  • managed and responsible growth of the international education sector.”  (p. 22-23)

OASDI Public and Catholic School Districts

OASDI --- the Ontario Association of School Districts International --- represents 38 public school boards in the Canadian province of Ontario that host international students from kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12).

The member school districts of OASDI are recognized for providing high quality educational programming and encouraging student achievement in a learning environment that is welcoming and safe.  The participating school districts value the role of international students in bringing diverse intercultural perspectives, and in this way, the recent  increases in the numbers of international students  coming to Ontario is mutually beneficial ---a “two-way” street --- since there is a cross-cultural transfer of understanding and learning taking place between the international students and the Ontario students.

How to enroll as an international student in an Ontario public school?

Each of the OASDI member public school boards has individual admission and application processes for international students. Use the interactive map of the Province of Ontario to determine which area of the province is preferable, and check which school boards in a specific area accept international students.  Refer to school board websites to find information about international student programs. In most cases applications can be submitted online or by mail.

While there may be some differences in the process and the specific forms required amongst school boards, most of the school board websites will include information about the following:

  • Admission Requirements (e.g., academic requirements, English/French language ability, accommodation requirements, application deadlines, etc.)
  • Application Process (e.g., certified and translated report cards, letters of recommendation, application forms, Homestay application form, application fees, etc.)
  • Acceptance Letter (followed by submission of required forms such as a Custodianship Form, Immunization Record Form, Medical Insurance Form, etc.)
  • Study Permit (following a Final Letter of acceptance and issued by the nearest Canadian Embassy, Canadian Consulate or High Commission)
  • Fee Payment 
  • Arrival in Canada
  • Assessment, Orientation, and School Placement

OASDI Member English School Boards    

Central Region

Eastern Region

North-Eastern Region

Northern Region

Southern Region

Western Region

Need more information about publically-funded schools in Ontario?