School Immersion in Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island – 12-18 years old – 1 semester or 1 academic year

Our high school program on Vancouver Island is designed for motivated students aged 12 to 18 who are seeking a unique and unforgettable experience in Canada.

You attend school for either one term, one semester, or one full academic year at a Canadian high school in the Cowichan Valley School District. Canada’s education system is renowned for being one of the best in the world, and during your time here, you’ll live with a local family. This program offers a true linguistic and cultural immersion at the heart of Canadian life.

The highlights of the destination include:

  • Vancouver Island, one of the most beautiful regions in British Columbia.
  • Cowichan, ideally located halfway between the capital Victoria and the city of Nanaimo.
  • A warm and 100% English-speaking community.
  • Personalized support for international students.
  • An organized program of activities for international students.

Why Canada ?

Canada is the second largest country in the world, it is also one of the most outstanding in terms of geographical diversity. It’s primarily a wonderful destination or those wishing to study there for multiple reasons:

  • The Quality and standard of living is among the highest in the world
  • Educational system is recognised for its excellence and its compatibility with the European system
  • Friendliness and hospitality of its people
  • Rich in culture
  • Safe environment with stunning landscapes and countryside

The United States and Canada are vast countries where geographical distances are significant. Cars are the primary means of transportation, and public transportation networks are generally less developed, except in some major cities. International students coming from Europe, where public transportation networks are more developed, may need to adapt to this difference when studying in North America. They might need to revise their transportation habits by planning their journeys according to the available transportation options.

Vancouver Island in British Colombia, is well known for its mild climate (the temperature barely goes below -2 degrees in winter), a unique quality of life, the proximity of the city of Vancouver (1h40 with the ferry), the opportunity to participate in many outdoor activities (skiing, surfing, sailing, golfing, ice skating, horseback riding…) and join many cultural events and sports (theater, concerts, perfomances, sport events…)

The location of the Cowichan Valley is ideal. It is half way between Victoria and Nanaimo, the 2 largest cities of the island. This means you can benefit from all the services and shopping of the big cities, only 40 minutes away, and enjoy at the same time a safe and friendly environment. The community being 100% English-speaking you will be able to fully immerse yourself into the English language.

What do our students think ?

The schools

Your placement will be in a selection of 4 secondary schools in the Cowichan Valley district. Each school is unique in culture and the opportunities available and has between 300 and 1500 students per year. The experience will be even more authentic due to the fact that these schools are host to very few foreign students.

In each school there is a team of counselors and tutors who will assist the students and international coordinators who will follow the students during their stay. The teachers and staff at the school are friendly and will help the students to achieve their goals.

Placement is made by our local partner in one of the communities in and around the city of Duncan, taking into account availability and the choice of your own:

  • Chemainus Secondary School: hosts 300 students, located in the town of Chemainus a 15-minute drive north of Duncan. This town close to the ocean is known for its world famous outdoor gallery of murals. It is part of a provincial initiative to be a zero waste school. The entire school population is working together to reduce waste by recycling.
  • Cowichan Secondary School: hosts 1500 students, located in the centre of Duncan. This school has a proud history of accomplishments in academics, fine arts and sports. It has a reputation for competing in mathematics competitions and their sports teams have won many provincial championships.
  • Lake Cowichan Secondary School: hosts 320 students, located in the scenic town of Lake Cowichan a 20 minute drive west of Duncan. This is a beautiful lakeside area, well known for outdoor recreation like boating, fishing and hiking. Lunchtime activities are a key part of school life. There are organised games, sports and movies in the school theatre.
  • Frances Kelsey Secondary School: located in the the town of Mill Bay, it is a modern building located in a beautiful rural community close to the ocean. It offers a unique self-directed learning model where students progress through curriculum with the guidance of a teacher advisor. Students are instructed in both the traditional classroom and also have flexible time to work with teachers one on one.


Schools in the Cowichan Valley district offer high quality teaching in the field of Sciences. In addition to the (compulsory) ESL classes, you can choose 4 subjects per semester. Every school offers a wide selection in various fields. Some examples:

  • Academic courses: maths, sciences, foreign languages, …
  • Journalism, Writing and Yearbook
  • IT, animation and computer graphics
  • Applied Skills: robotics, foods, textiles, fashion designs, woodwork, metal work, …
  • Music and Art: jazz, guitar, photography, drama and theatre, …
  • Forsenic Science: “crime scene investigation” and technique practice
  • Search and Rescue: survival skills
  • Rock Climbing

English Courses

ESL classes and the permanent support from a tutor for each international students are included in the schooling and are specifically aimed at students who do not meet the required minimum level to attend classes in English.

Activities / excursions

The school offers a wide selection of activities, in sports, arts or leisure clubs accessible to everyone.

Moreover, our partner organises its own activity program (they have their own ski club and golf course) for foreign students (about twice a month), which enables everyone to discover the area and meet other international participants in a friendly atmosphere. Field trips (to Vancouver, another town of the area/province, Spring Break) are also scheduled in September, October, April and May.

Canadians students typically study for a minimum of 12 years, similar to our system. This program offers foreign students the opportunity to attend a local public high school. In the Canadian province of British Columbia, secondary education spans 5 years, from Grade 8 to Grade 12.

The school year is divided into two semesters. As a foreign student, you can join a class for one semester or a full academic year.

There are two different school systems in Canada: the semester system and the linear system. The former involves taking 4 courses in the first semester and another 4 courses in the second semester, while in the latter, students take 8 courses throughout the year.

In many Canadian schools, there is a wide range of subject choices. It’s a unique opportunity to explore new areas or enhance your favorite subjects.

Some courses are offered for a semester, giving students the chance to switch subjects halfway through the year.

The choice is equally important in sports, cultural, and social activities. School will be a unique opportunity to flourish in unknown subjects and activities. But it will also be the perfect opportunity to integrate into Canadian life and get to know young people your age.

Your host family is the defining feature of your study abroad experience, helping you become fully accustomed to the culture and feel part of the local community.

Canadians are famous for their hospitality, tolerance and openness.

Our partner organisation’s host families are carefully screened and regularly inspected. Families take an active interest in choosing a student to host and sharing their homes, lives and culture with their guests.

The local coordinator is an experienced individual who is familiar with host families and schools. They hold office hours once a week at each school to ensure that everything is going smoothly. They are available to answer any questions that may arise once you’re there, assist you with various procedures, and can react quickly in case of any issues. They will be your main point of contact on-site.

Additionally, you will be provided with an emergency contact number so that you can reach someone locally in case of urgent problems.

In order that your exchange runs as smoothly as possible and that you stay informed about the different elements of the programme, you have the option of attending two information and orientation meetings.

The first is organised by Easy Languages in Brussels , during the month of June. It allows students using Easy Languages to meet each other and share questions and experiences between them and the office team. It’s also at this meeting that final administrative formalities are tackled.

If you do not live in Brussels, you can meet our team in Paris or Canada. Otherwise, we can schedule a telephone meeting to explain you the procedures and details of the program.

The second meeting takes place in Canada , within the first few days following your arrival. You will be contacted by your local correspondent who will be able to answer all of your questions.

  • Must be aged between 12 and 18 at time of departure
  • Minimum English proficiency required: None. If your level does not allow you to immediately follow an English program, you will have integrated English as a foreign language courses in your program. However, we recommend having completed at least 2 years of school English to fully benefit from the courses and activities, especially for those going for less than one academic year.
  • Having achieved good academic results in the last two academic years.
  • Being willing to make new friends and share the daily life of a host family.
  • Showing motivation, maturity, and adaptability.

Do you fit the criteria for participation?

  1. Then send us a Registration form as soon as possible.
  2. Upon reception, we will send you a provisional confirmation, outlining the total cost of the program, a request for a payment of 100€ (for the language test and motivation interview), as well as the complete registration dossier for the chosen program. We will also ask you to send us a copy of your school reports from the past 3 years.
  3. We then invite you to come for the language test and interview at our offices in Brussels or online. This costs 100€ and is payable upon receipt of the pre-confirmation. This amount is non-refundable but deductible from the total balance of the stay in case of final registration and acceptance into the program. A first part of the received dossier will need to be completed and brought with you at the time of the interview.
  4. We will confirm the result to you no later than 8 days after our interview.
  5. If the interview is positive, we ask you to pay a deposit of 25% of the total amount of the stay (with a minimum of 1500€) and to complete all elements of the dossier, including recommendation letters from your teachers and other necessary information for the assessment of your application on-site. As soon as it is complete and we have received the payment of the deposit, we will forward it to our partner.
  6. The final acceptance into the program is granted by our partner.
  7. Once your application is accepted, our partner begins the search and selection of a host family and proceeds with the registration at the school.

The deadline for submitting the aforementioned folder is :

  • 03/30 for departures in September
  • 10/31 for departures in February

Beyond these dates, it is still possible to enroll depending on the availability of schools. However, we recommend that you register at least 3 months before the deadline for better preparation of the stay.

For any dossier that needs to be processed urgently (after the deadline), a supplement of 200€ will be required.

Contact us for more information on the registration process.

Candidates who do not meet the age or level requirements are invited to meet with us to discuss other possible options.


Departures are generally scheduled for late August/early September for stays of one trimester, one semester, or one academic year. Another departure is also scheduled for late January/early February for stays of one trimester or one semester.

Your family or local coordinator will welcome you at the airport and drop you off there at the end of your stay.

Once the registration is accepted and confirmed by our Canadian partner and your study permit application, if applicable, is approved, we can arrange your trip to Canada for you, if you wish.

The reserved ticket includes the fewest possible stopovers and is changeable.

In the event of a change, airline change fees apply (these vary depending on the airline, usually around €200) + any fare class difference.

If you prefer to book your trip yourself, we will provide you with all the information needed to make the reservation.

ETA & Study Permit
The school year is divided into two semesters. As a foreign student, you can take courses for one semester (in September or February) or for a full academic year, as well as for 3 or 4 months.

For a full academic year stay
You will need to obtain a study permit, which will be issued for the duration of your stay. We will provide you with all the necessary documents for its obtention and assist you in the process. All information can be found on the website:

Attention! Since July 31, 2018, nationals of different European countries must undergo biometric data collection to obtain a study permit. There are 2 centers in France, in Paris and Lyon. For Belgian nationals, the centers in Paris or Düsseldorf are the closest. This process costs $85 CAD. More information can be found here:

You will also need to complete the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) travel authorization, which you can fill out directly on the website:

For a stay of one semester or less
You will only need to complete an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) travel authorization, which you can fill out directly on the website:

These instructions apply to citizens of the European Union and Switzerland. For non-EU nationals, please refer to

Health cover and assistance are included in the price of course and are valid for the entire duration of your stay.

Dates 2024-2025

Schoolyear: From September to June

Semester: From September to January or from February to June

Prices 2024-2025

Includes taxes, registration fees, classes, room and board

WPCS 42.0.3
Tuition, accommodation, full board, taxes, and registration fees
DurationPrice without flightsPrice with flights
3 months 8.095 9.995
4 months 10.695 12.595
1 Academic Semester (5 months) 12.795 14.695
1 Academic Year (10 months) 21.945 23.845

Prices include

  • English level assessment and interview
  • All documents required to obtain a visa
  • High School registration for a semester or a full academic year
  • Supervision during the stay by the local correspondent
  • Accommodation in host family, full board (lunch box on school days)
  • Local transportation
  • Personal assistance, support and advice from our local correspondent
  • Medical insurance
  • Personal support to parents throughout the stay
  • Regular contacts and assessment reports
  • Official certificate of attendance and courses transcripts.
  • Round-trip flight if chosen, from Brussels, Paris or Geneva airport (please contact us for prices if you do not leave from these airports)
  • Round-trip transfers from the arrival airport to the host family

Prices do not include

  • Excursions and leisure activities
  • Admittance fees to leisure or sports clubs
  • Visa fees
  • Pocket money: around $250-300 per month
  • International flights depending on chosen option

WPCS 42.0.3