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The Top Private Boarding Schools in Canada for International Students

13.5 minute read
"Are you looking to study abroad in one of the most prestigious international schools in the world? Canada is the all-time favorite destination for international students who want to gain an international study experience."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jul 12, 2021
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Are you looking to study abroad in one of the most prestigious international schools in the world? Canada is the all-time favorite destination for international students who want to gain an international study experience. 

Canada offers the best on-campus programs, easy to get study permits, and several options to extend your temporary residence.

Every year, Canada’s international student population grows. As of 2020, Canada was hosting 642,000 international students. It is the third most popular destination for international students, just behind the United States and Australia. 

Canada offers a diverse range of study programs, private and public institutions. It also offers several integration programs to assist international students adapt better like second language programs to improve their English. 

Now, if you are looking to get a secondary education in Canada, then you should consider private schools. If you are considering working for a short period of time in Canada for an internship or short-term employment, then you should consider the International Experience Canada (IEC). Canada offers the IEC program for young foreign nationals from 36 countries that have a bilateral agreement with Canada to travel to and explore Canada and gain work experience.

What’s Different About Canadian Study Permits That’s Helpful to International Students?

Why Are Private Schools Beneficial for International Students?

What Are the Benefits of Private Schools Compared to Public Schools?

  •Size of Classroom

  •School Governance

  •Teacher Certification

  •Quality of Education

What Are the Differences Between Private Boarding Schools and Private Day Schools?

Which Are the Most Prestigious Top 10 Private Boarding Schools in Canada?

  •Brentwood College School

  •The Bishop Strachan School

  •Appleby College

  •Ridley College

  •Albert College

  •Bronte College

  •Trinity College School

  •Columbia International College

  •Shawnigan Lake School

  •Rosseau Lake College

What Are the Canadian Visa Programs Available to International Students?

  •Study Permit

  •Student Direct Stream (SDS)

What Are the Canadian Visa Programs Available to International Graduates?

  •Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

  •Two “PR” (Permanent Residence) Pathways for International Graduates

  •Express Entry

  •Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

What Are the Canadian Visa Programs Available to International Entrepreneur Graduates?

  •Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa (FGSVS)

  •Alberta International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS)

  •International Graduate Entrepreneur Category (SINP)

  •International Student Entrepreneur Pilot (MPNP)

  •Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream (NBPNP)

  •International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream (NSNP)

  •International Graduate Entrepreneur Category (NLPNP)

What’s Different About Canadian Study Permits That’s Helpful to International Students?

What’s different about a Canadian Study Permit is that it authorizes students to work on-campus or off-campus for 20 hours per week during the academic season and full-time during scheduled breaks. This helps thousands of students to support themselves during their studies in Canada without applying for a temporary work permit.

International graduates are students who graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada for a study program that lasted at least 8 months or 2 years. They are eligible for a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). A PGWP is an open work permit that allows international graduates to gain valuable Canadian work experience and qualify for several immigration programs such as Express Entry.

Why Are Private Schools Beneficial for International Students?

While there are many benefits of getting your secondary education from a public institution, private schools offer a better learning environment and a higher standard of education. Many international students prefer private boarding institutions as it saves them from the hassle of finding accommodation outside of campus.

Parents often prefer enrolling their children in private schools if they desire to give the child a specific peer group based on discipline, culture, religious background, philosophical beliefs and by networking with similar circles of economic status.

What Are the Benefits of Private Schools Compared to Public Schools?

Size of Classroom: 

Public schools have overcrowded classrooms. Most public schools usually have a 30:1 student-teacher ratio while in private schools class size is limited to only 15-20 students. Many parents prefer private institutions for this reason alone.

School Governance: 

Public schools use public funds to develop their study programs or curriculum. Oftentimes, budget cuts can severely affect the functions of these programs. Private schools are not restricted by budget cuts as they do not rely on public funds. 

They are free of government interference and can develop their curriculum as long as the parents agree with the intellectual, religious, or philosophical basis and direction of their programs.

Teacher Certification: 

In all public institutions, teachers are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree and some form of certification from the federal state, or provincial government. However, teachers in private schools are usually highly qualified with graduate degrees and higher-level certifications. Private schools usually have Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs that require highly qualified teachers.

Quality of Education: 

While there are many quality public schools, many parents in Canada prefer private schools for a better quality of education. A study by Harvard University also found that private school students on average performed better in standardized tests compared to public school students.

What Are the Differences Between Private Boarding Schools and Private Day Schools?


Private Boarding Schools

Private Day Schools

Saves food, food preparation and housing costs of the minor children

Overall tuition fee is significantly lower

Saves parent’s time as it frees them from dealing with school and other activities

Allows parents to be actively involved in child’s day-to-day activities

Allows students to invest completely in their school life and academics

Allows students more freedom while still investing time for school and extracurriculars

Allows children to interact with a diverse group of new people

Allows children to maintain their current friendships

Enhances family time as reuniting with parents allow them to appreciate the time spent together

Allows children to have different social groups while maintaining lifelong friendships

Allows children to be self-independent and prepares them for life in university

Allows parents to guide their children during adolescence

Helps the child keep stability if the family is always moving

Allows less sudden changes in the child’s life


Which Are the Most Prestigious Top 10 Private Boarding Schools in Canada?

   1.) Brentwood College School:

Brentwood College School is considered one of the best boarding schools in Canada. It is a progressive, co-education boarding school for Grades 9 to 13. Located on the oceanfront on Vancouver Island, Brentwood offers students a warm, friendly, and diverse community of international students from over 30 countries.

For international boarding students, the annual tuition is $82,000. Brentwood offers many programs such as the BEAT (Brentwood Environmental Action Team) to get you involved in the community. There are also sports activities and outdoor pursuits: camping, hiking, and kayaking which allow you to experience Vancouver island's beautiful nature first hand.

The boarding experience includes an advisor system, houseparenting teams, prep (homework time), house events, outings, and activities as well as peer counseling to ensure a thriving learning environment for students.

   2.) The Bishop Strachan School:

The BSS is an only girls school with over 140 years of experience in helping young women become leaders. It is located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The BSS offers day and boarding schools for students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12. 

With state-of-the-art facilities and a highly qualified faculty, the BSS offers every student the opportunity to explore and mature in a creative and challenging environment. 

The BSS hosts students from Africa, Mexico, the Middle East, Asia, and many other parts of the world. It offers countless clubs, extracurricular activities, an emphasis on community service on top of a full curriculum with several Advanced Placement classes. International student boarders are charged $65,850 as the tuition fee.

   3.) Appleby College:

Appleby is a co-educational boarding school. Located on a beautiful 60-acre campus in Oakville, Ontario, it is one of the best boarding schools for students in Grades 7 to 12.

Appleby hosts international students from over 40 countries around the world. It offers a dynamic curriculum with the main focus on arts, athletics, and community service.

International student boarders are charged $81,110 as tuition and boarding fees. Appleby has the Residential Life Programme which seeks to fully integrate students from all over the world and promote understanding across different cultural, linguistic, and national backgrounds.

   4.) Ridley College:

Also located in a picturesque place in Ontario, Canada, Ridley College is just an hour’s drive from Toronto. It is situated on 36-acre land that includes educational, residential, and recreational facilities. With more than 700 students from 60 countries, Ridley College has the largest boarding programme in Ontario and the third largest in Canada.

Ridley College is especially famous for its acclaimed alumni which includes the famous aviator engineer Frederic Baldwin, Professor of Medicine JI Bell, and Oscar nominee Hume Cronne among others. 

Ridley is the only co-ed independent boarding school in Canada. It is also one of only three in North America authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum programme. The tuition fee for Ridley College is somewhere between $52,700-$58,700.

   5.) Albert College:

Situated in Belleville, Ontario, Albert College is one of the top boarding schools in Canada, highly preferred by parents who have witnessed a genuine change in their children after enrolling them in the school. Albert College is a co-educational boarding and day school from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12, with boarding students representing 20 nations from around the world.

Founded in 1857, it is one the oldest independent and co-educational schools in Canada. Above all, the institution values integrity, individuality, compassion and inclusiveness in its curriculum. The tuition fee for international student boarders between grades 7-12 is somewhere between $65,500 to $71,500.

   6.) Bronte College:

Bronte college is one of the most affordable boarding institutions in Canada. Located in suburban Mississauga, the college is a private International Baccalaureate (IB) World School that offers Grades 9 to 12 for day and boarding students. Bronte College collaborates with the University of Guelph to provide college-level courses to high school students. 

It grants the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) to students who complete Grade 9 through 12. In addition, the college offers various Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma programs for Grade 11 and 12 students. For international student boarders, the tuition fee ranges from $22,300 to $24,500. 

   7.) Trinity College School:

Trinity College school is one of the oldest and respected private institutions in Canada. The school offers a co-educational day & boarding program for grades 5-12. The school is famous for its effective curriculum and high-quality faculty.

Currently, the college hosts 550 students from over 30 countries, all between the ages of 14- 18 years. The main focus of this school is to prepare students for admissions to top colleges in Canada and the United States.

The curriculum includes creative development, communicative and social skills, leadership, and career guidance. The school is acclaimed for having 100% of its students successfully enter their selected universities, with many winning personal scholarships.

It was one of the first schools in Canada selected to offer the innovative Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone diploma. For international student boarders, the tuition fee is charged at $68,500.

   8.) Columbia International College:

The Columbia International College is famous for offering educational programs relevant to students from all around the world. It prepares students to enter any university, offers them resources to develop their academic and linguistic skills, and learn to be the citizens of the world.

The school offers the largest teaching staff and the largest total care-support team of all Canadian high schools to provide unmatched, around-the-clock care to all students.

Every year, 1800 international students are accepted from over 70 countries. Based on the statistics, every year 100% of the graduates are selected by prestigious universities and around 70% are accepted into top colleges in Canada located in Toronto, Ontario, UBC, Waterloo, Alberta, McMaster, McGill.

After effectively working with international students for over 30 years, the college has designed a Total Care Education System. This system helps every student from an academic, sporting, creative and psychological point of view. International students in Grade 7-12 are charged a $21,600 tuition fee.

   9.) Shawnigan Lake School:

The Shawnigan Lake School is one of the biggest, co educational boarding schools in Canada. Located on the West Coast of British Columbia on an abundant 380-acre land, the school provides a safe and peaceful learning environment with beautiful gardens and laws and excellent educational facilities.

The school is located in the most convenient location, very close to the touristy metropolitan area of Vancouver. For international students, the yearly tuition is charged at $67,900.

   10.) Rosseau Lake College

The Rosseau Lake College is a well-known and respected boarding school in Canada. Located in Ontario on the shore of Lake Rosseau, the school provides a calm and safe environment with beautiful landscapes and year-round activities to keep the students entertained. 

The school hosts a lot of outdoor sports and activities including open-air lessons, sports exercises, art sketches, picnics, hiking, and environmental expeditions. 

The school offers a unique study experience to international students who want to enjoy their time learning surrounded by diverse natural landscapes. 

Based on the statistics, 95% of all graduates successfully enroll in their selected universities. 

The class size is very limited. The ratio of teacher to student in every class is 1:8. In 2020, 100% of all graduates were accepted at their top schools of choice. The graduation class of 29 students received 98 offers from 24 universities and colleges across Canada and internationally. Over $100,000 in merit-based university entrance scholarships was awarded. For one semester, international student boarders are charged a $31,550 tuition fee.

What Are the Canadian Visa Programs Available to International Students?

The following Canadian Visa Programs are available to international students: 

Study Permit: 

Most international students require a temporary study permit to study in Canada. A study permit authorizes you to study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. 

Student Direct Stream (SDS): 

The Student Direct Stream is for international students from China, India, the Philippines, Morocco, Senegal, Pakistan, or Vietnam. It is an expedited study permit that will be processed within 20 days for applicants who meet the requirements.

 What Are the Canadian Visa Programs Available to International Graduates? 

The following Canadian Visa Programs are available to international  graduates:

Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP): 

A PGWP is an open work permit for international graduates who completed a full-time study program that lasted at least 8 months at a DLI.  

Two “PR” (Permanent Residence) Pathways for International Graduates: 

Canada launched two new PR pathways for French-Speaking and Non-French Speaking International Graduates on May 6, 2021. The non-French-speaking stream will invite 40,000 new applicants till November 5, while the French-speaking stream has no such cap. 

Express Entry: 

International graduates with Canadian work experience can qualify for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) managed by the Express Entry system. It is the fastest and most popular way to immigrate to Canada

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP): 

9 Canadian provinces and 2 territories offer their own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) which include several immigration streams for international graduates. 

For example, the province of Ontario offers 3 immigration streams under its Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) for international students and graduates including:

 What Are the PNP Streams Available to International Entrepreneur Graduates?

Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa (FGSVS): 

The Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa (FGSV) is offered for international graduates who want to establish their business in the province of Alberta. 

Alberta International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS): 

The Alberta International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS) is for recent graduates from designated post-secondary institutions in Alberta. 

International Graduate Entrepreneur Category (SINP): 

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Category is for international graduates with a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) and substantial capital to establish a business in Saskatchewan. 

International Student Entrepreneur Pilot (MPNP): 

The International Student Entrepreneur Pilot is for international graduates who want to establish their own business in Manitoba and can meet the terms of their Business Performance Agreement. 

Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream (NBPNP): 

The Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream is an immigration pathway for international graduates with a PGWP and 1 year experience in operating a business in New Brunswick. 

International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream (NSNP): 

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is for recent graduates from designated learning institutions in Nova Scotia. Applicants must own and operate a business on their PGWP for at least 1 year to qualify for provincial nomination. 

International Graduate Entrepreneur Category (NLPNP): 

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Category is for recent graduates who have completed a 2-year study program from Memorial University or the College of North Atlantic in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

 

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