Frequently asked questions - Elementary and high school in Canada

Deciding to pursue elementary or high school in Canada is an exciting choice. Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about studying in Canada that should help answer your questions.

For additional information on studying in Canada, you can also visit EduCanada’s general FAQs for international students.

1. Where can I find information about elementary and high schools in Canada?

In Canada, provinces and territories are responsible for their elementary and high schools, both within and without their geographical borders. There are numerous private, independent and publicly-funded elementary and high schools available in Canada. Learn more about Canadian elementary and high schools in Canada.

2. Where can I find information about host families or boarding schools?

Both public and independent (private) elementary and high schools offer homestay programs, however only some independent schools offer the boarding option. Learn more about student accommodation options.

3. What is the difference between a public and independent (private) school?

Public schools are managed locally by the region’s school board or board of education. Most public schools are co-educational and offer day programs to students. Many public schools offer specialized programs as well. Some enrol international students and have home stay programs that provide accommodation for students from abroad.  Visit for more information about studying in Canadian public schools.

Independent schools (also known as private schools) are independently funded to a varying degree and have more freedom in the admission of students and designing their curriculum but they still need to register and meet guidelines set by the provincial Ministry of Education. Classes are often smaller with lower teacher-student ratio, and may be boys-only, girls-only or co-educational. Students may be required to wear uniforms. Some offer full boarding services and/or home stay program. Visit for more information about studying in a Canadian boarding school. Learn more about public and private schools in Canada.

Elementary and high schools in Canada campaign

1. What is Global Affairs Canada’s involvement in this campaign?

Global Affairs Canada is responsible for supporting the international education sector through the promotion and branding of Canada (EduCanada) as a leading destination for international students and researchers. Global Affairs Canada is working in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Public Schools – International (CAPS-I) and Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) to help attract international students to Canada in order to develop a skilled workforce to advance inclusive economic growth in Canada. Global Affairs Canada will not be collecting any personal information from you. Global Affairs Canada may use Google web analytics for statistical purposes only.

Submission of your email address is voluntary and constitutes your consent for disclosure of your email address by CAPS-I and CAIS to their member schools and school districts/boards across Canada. Your email address will be used for statistical purposes and will be provided to educational institutions in Canada to improve communication with you.

2. How was I identified for this campaign?

Through Facebook analytics, your profile has been identified as someone that may potentially be interested in studying or conducting research abroad at a Canadian educational institution or school. Global Affairs Canada is not targeting you directly. Facebook Ads allow businesses and organizations to connect with the people who are most likely to be interested in their products and services. Google works hard to make sure their ads are as relevant as possible.

3. How do I stop receiving these types of ads?

Users who choose to interact with us via the Internet and social media can learn more about the terms of service and privacy policies of these third-party service providers and those of any applications used to access them. For more information please see Facebook Data policy and Google Privacy Policy

4. How will the information provided on the form be used and by whom?

The information you provide on the form will only be used by the Canadian schools and school districts/boards that are members of CAPS-I and CAIS. They may choose to follow up with you in order to provide you with further guidance and answer any further questions you may have about studying at their educational institutions or schools.

5. Links to other websites and ads

From time to time, Global Affairs Canada may post or display links or ads for websites that are not under the control of Global Affairs Canada or the Government of Canada. These links are provided solely for the convenience of the users. Neither Global Affairs Canada nor the Government of Canada is responsible for the accuracy, currency or reliability of the content on these sites. Global Affairs Canada does not offer any guarantee in that regard and is not responsible for the information found through these links or ads, nor does it endorse the sites, businesses/products/services and/or their content.

Users should also note that information offered by non-Government of Canada websites that are not subject to the Official Languages Act and to which Global Affairs Canada links, may be available only in the language(s) used by the sites in question