Application Instructions - Vancouver School Board

Application Requirements

Apply online at :

  1. Complete an application in the application portal
  2. Upload all transcripts/school records from the current year and the last two years (in English). NOTE: Photocopies of transcripts and school records must be certified with a school stamp. Failure to comply will result in a delay or a return of the application
  3. Upload immunization record with English translation in the application portal
  4. Upload Elective Course Requests form (secondary students only) – please download from the application portal
  5. Upload Participation agreement – please download from the application portal
  6. Non-refundable application fee of CDN$400.00 – please follow payment instructions in the application portal


Admission Criteria

Acceptance into the International Education Program (the Program) is by invitation and is based on overall academic achievement. Each applicant’s acceptance into the Program and subsequent placement in a school will be determined by:

  1. the applicant’s educational background and present academic standing as indicated on the transcripts/school reports.
  2. the availability of space in the Program.

Apply as early as possible, because space in the Program is limited, and processing international applications requires several weeks. All applicants will be acknowledged and applicants will normally be advised within 10 working days whether or not they have been offered placement in a Vancouver school.



Registration and Orientation

All accepted students will be required to confirm their arrival in Vancouver with  the international education office prior to school attendance. Students will attend an online district orientation and assessment.  Course selection and timetabling will take place during the school orientation. Students commencing school studies in September should plan to arrive in Vancouver in mid-August.




Many schools in the Vancouver public school district accept international students. A brochure that contains profiles of all secondary schools can be downloaded from the Program’s website. Elementary school placement is limited to appropriate programs and grade level availability.


Applicants may indicate a preference for a particular school or schools, or may ask the Vancouver School Board (VSB) to place them in appropriate schools. The VSB will try to accommodate the applicant’s preference for placement, provided that the requested school has space and an appropriate program. The VSB reserves the right to make the final decision regarding the applicant’s school and program placement.



Grade Placement

The VSB will place the student into the final appropriate grade upon reviewing the student’s age and transcripts, according to the student’s age-grade correlation as follows:


Elementary: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Secondary: 8 9 10 11 12


Grade placement based on age of the student as of December 31.

Grade K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Adult
Age 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18+



School Placement

Placement of international students is subject to assessment by the Program officials and is subject to available and appropriate spaces and programs in schools.  Students will normally be placed in age appropriate grades.  Students 18 years of age or older are normally placed in adult education centres.


International students will be placed in a regular academic program and may receive English Language Learning support based on assessment results and available programs. International students are not eligible for designated programs and services (e.g. special education or restricted enrollment programs) or alternate programs.  If students are found to have special needs after enrollment in the Program, the VSB will not be able to accommodate those needs and the student must withdraw. 




School Fees for 2024-2025 school year 
Application Fee (Non-refundable) C$400
Assessment Fee (Non-refundable; for secondary students only)


Tuition Fee per year (September to June the following year)


Compulsory Medical Fee C$1,400/year

* Tuition fee will be increased for 2025-2026 school year.  Details will be available in August 2024.


Book and lab fees are included; however, students will need to pay textbook deposit, locker rental, yearbook and some minimal materials fees depending on their timetable. Fees for the full school year are to be paid by certified cheque, money order or bank transfer payable to the Vancouver School Board. This payment is due upon receipt of the student’s placement letter.



Homestay Accommodation  

Secondary Student aged 13 or older may participate in a homestay program, or live with a relative or family friend.  The Vancouver School Board does not offer homestay placement nor custodianship services.  The Vancouver School Board follows the B.C. Ministry of Education K-12 International Student Homestay Guidelines.  Parents are responsible to ensure that their child's accommodation arrangements meet these requirements.


If you need assistance to find homestay accommodation, a list of current homestay providers for the VSB international students is available from the international office:  Please inquire to the homestay provider regarding host family availability, fees, policies and application procedures.  After the student is placed at a school, your homestay provider will be able to give you an information package including application information.  If you do not have a custodian, you can request that your homestay provider also provide a custodian for your child.




Secondary School Applicants:  

Parents of all secondary students are required to appoint a custodian 25 years of age or older, in the Vancouver area, who will take responsibility for their child and will ensure that his or her accommodation and other living necessities such as food, clothing and transportation are provided.  Students must live with a responsible adult who is their custodian or their homestay parent.  Your child’s custodian must follow the VSB Custodian Agreement terms and sign the form, available upon your child’s confirmation of acceptance.


If you do not know anyone living in the Vancouver area who can act as custodian, you can arrange for your homestay provider to act as custodian for the student.


Elementary School Applicants: 

All elementary students must live with a parent or immediate adult family member: grandparent, aunt or uncle while studying in the Vancouver school district.  The parent is the custodian of the child.



Study Permit

Applicants must obtain a study permit before leaving their country of residence to attend school in the Vancouver public school district. It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain a study permit from the Canadian Embassy, or Canadian Consulate in the country where the applicant resides. Please consult the Embassy office for detailed information.



Health and Accident Insurance

Comprehensive health and accident insurance is mandatory in British Columbia. Every international student must have this coverage while studying in Vancouver. International students are entitled to medical and hospital benefits through the government Medical Services Plan (M.S.P.). It is the VSB’s requirement that its international education program administer registration of provincial medical insurance coverage for all students enrolled in the Program.  The annual payment is assessed and paid with the tuition fee. Private medical insurance will be provided for the first three months, and limited additional private medical insurance with be provided for the rest of the school year.