Beautiful nature, open spaces, great outdoors and wild animals. Canada is the world’s second largest country where people are friendly and living is easy. It is easy to understand why the country is attracting a growing number of international high school students. In Canada, you find beautiful coastlines with sandy beaches, magnificent islands and metropolitan cities with beautiful architecture and amazing food. From Quebec to British Columbia, in big and vibrant cities like Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver you will see that Canada has it all!
High School Classic
High School Classic is the traditional high school exchange programme, chosen by most of our students. It is the perfect programme for those who long for a genuine high school experience abroad and who are willing to embrace all the surprises it can bring. Here’s how it works: based on your profile, we find you a suitable host family and school, and the best part is, it can be anywhere in Canada, from the Rocky Mountains to the lakes of Ontario! If you’re open to adventure and are willing to let yourself be surprised by your exchange experience, this is the programme for you.
High School Select
Canada is known worldwide for its schools, so no matter where in Canada you find yourself, you will be in a great school. However, not all schools offer the same, so if you have specific subject requirements STS Select is the choice for you. If you need a particular subject, want to make sure you can join a top-level hockey academy, or just want a very specific location in Canada, we can help you through our Select programme.
High School Select is the high school programme that suits you who want to be able to influence your exchange experience by choosing what city, and what school you would like to attend. We help you tailor your exchange just the way you want it. Perhaps you have specific subject requirements, after- school activities or sports you want to practice, or maybe you merely dream about living in a particular city or state in your chosen country. We offer a wide range of schools through this programme and together we will create the best high school experience possible for you.
Order our brochure now and read all about STS High School, our destinations and a very special period abroad that could be the adventure of your life!
Right now you will get the Christmas edition of our inspiring brochure, complete with printable STS Christmas cards!
A bonus language
Canada is a bilingual country, meaning it has two official languages. English is the most common, but for a large part of the population French is the native language. As an exchange student in Canada, you may get the opportunity to learn both. The STS Classic programme allows you to request an English or French speaking school, but it is important to be open to either, as your host family may speak a different language than what the school uses. With STS Select you can choose a full English, French or bilingual experience.
Area: Nearly 10 million km2 Population: 35 million Capital: Ottawa Largest city: Toronto Official language: English and French Currency: Canadian Dollar Country Code: +1
School life in Canada
Digital media, adventure tourism, horse riding or ice hockey. Yes, those kinds of classes can be on your schedule if you go to high school in Canada. The Canadian school system has an excellent reputation. Great results from the international PISA survey can confirm the high level of education. There is usually a close relationship between teachers and students, creating a positive atmosphere that will help you feel welcome and right at home.
The Canadian school year
The Canadian school has 12 grades, with high school beginning year 9. Most exchange students are placed in year 10, 11 or 12. Your placement will depend on your age, previous grades and local school rules. The school year starts in September and ends in July, with a Christmas break in December and spring break in March. In addition to these, you will have several long weekends off, perfect for exploring your new home.
The perfect schedule
Do you want to speak English or French during your exchange year? That is up to you. We offer schools in both English and French speaking areas. To have the possibility to influence the rest of your schedule, our STS Select programme is the programme for you. Upon arrival in Canada, you will meet with a counsellor who will help you prepare the perfect schedule.
Living with a host family
Canadian families are open to cultural difference and love to make you feel right at home. They all go through the same quality screening and motivation check. The language spoken in your host family will depend on where in Canada you are placed. Some families speak English, some speak French, some are bilingual, and all are welcoming and friendly!
Sports and outdoors
If your schedules are compatible you may go with your host mom or dad to school. Otherwise you will probably go by school bus. Just like any family around the world, there will be days where your schedules are compatible and you sit down for breakfast together, while other days it may not work out that way. Many students are very busy with afternoon activities either through the school teams and clubs, or with friends. But most evenings you will meet for dinner and do the usual chores together. If your family is the sporty kind – not uncommon at all in Canada – you might exercise and watch games together. Other typical family activities are weekend outings and excursions.
Who can go: 15–18 years on arrival
Departure month: January/August/December
Language requirements: Good English skills. Some schools in French speaking areas require prior French knowledge
Visa: Yes. Additional cost
Choice of destination: Yes, with STS Select. With STS Classic you can only request to attend an English or French speaking school
STS Welcome Camp: Yes, STS Welcome Camp included
School year: August–June
School day: Usually 09.00 – 15.30
Subjects: Compulsory and optional
Trips in the country: Depending on school and area
Canada was one of the best experiences of my life, the people, culture and opportunities are amazing, I am very grateful to have had the best experience possible. / Bella Dickison
Outdoors and outside of school
Canadians are rightly proud of their big nation’s mountains, forests, lakes and rivers. And they know how to enjoy nature all year round. The country is known for ice hockey but it is a winter sports paradise in a broader sense. Curling, dog sledding, ice fishing, luge, skating, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling... you name it. Bring your winter clothes and join the fun!
When the snow melts in spring there will still be plenty of things to do outside. Spring and summer time is perfect for camping, hiking, canoeing or kayaking in cool mountain rivers. Other popular sports are soccer, baseball, American football, golf and tennis. Needless to say, Canada is the place to go if you are sporty and love to spend time outside. Canada is also the place to go if you enjoy big cities, beatiful architecture, and cuisine from around the world! The metropolitan cities of Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa are as varied in scenery as they are in culture! You will find concerts, festivals, shopping, and everything else you expect from big city living!
STS Welcome Camp
Finish with a road trip
Before leaving the country where you have spent your high school year, take the chance to get to know it really well and join one of our extremely popular road trips.
Air fares to host family and back
Full board in a host family
Accommodation in an approved host family
STS Welcome Camp
Emergency support 24/7
Personal assistance and contact person from home country and host country
Pre-departure orientation in your home country
Meetings and material to prepare you and your parents
School spot in a public high school
STS bag and t-shirt
STS Ambassador Club
High School Classic
High School Select
1 Academic year
Don’t forget to check out our Video Scholarship Challenge. Send us a video explaining why you would be a great exchange student and get the chance to receive a scholarship for your high school exchange. Find all information and instructions here
Yes, no matter where you go, we have a local representative at your location. It is the local area representative who works to approve our host families, have contact with schools and will be your supporter and advisor during your exchange year.
The easiest way to apply is to visit the page of your favourite destination and click the "Apply now" button. Your application is not binding, and you make your final decision once you have been accepted.