In Canada, the school year runs from September to June. There is a two-week break in December and a two-week break in March. Children can enter kindergarten as young as age five. The Vancouver School Board operates the public elementary and secondary schools in Vancouver. These schools offer elective programs in business, visual and graphic arts, choir, orchestra, physical education, drama, and languages. For more information, visit the Vancouver School Board website.
Many schools offer English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for their students as part of the regular curriculum. For information about these programs, contact the Immigrant Services Society of BC at 604.684.2561.
If your study permit is valid for at least one year and you are enrolled at a publicly funded institution such as UBC, your minor children (18 years of age and younger) are eligible to attend elementary and secondary school as if they were Canadian residents. They will not be required to pay international student fees. You should begin the enrolment process for your children as early as possible after your arrival in Vancouver. You will need the following to enroll your child in school:
- Passport stamp or visitor record indicating the day your child entered Canada
- Copies of the parents’ study or work permits
The following documents should be translated into English (if necessary):
- Immunization documents
- Birth certificate
- Copies of school report cards, grades, and evaluations from the past two years
For more information, visit the Vancouver School Board website or the IRCC website.