Kootenay Lake School District


The International Student Program in SD8, – Nelson, BC, allows international students the opportunity to study alongside Canadian students in the BC public education system.  Our schools offer a wide range of courses in academics to lead to a university entrance, technical, applied and visual arts, career preparation and business fields.  We provide exceptional integrated academic programs for students at all grade levels.  

ESL support classes with a pull out system are a vital part of helping students to quickly build their English Language Skills.  Counselling services are offered to support students with university applications as well as course selection and social/emotional support.  One of our high schools, LVR, offers courses in Honours English, Advanced Placement English, and Math Calculus.  This school also offers FREE after school ESL support to students by a trained TOEFL teacher and offers an AVID program to students – (Advancement via Individual Determination) which is a course for students who want to be successful in high school and attend a high quality university in Canada, the US or anywhere in the world.  This program stresses all of the skills needed to excel in an academic environment. 

Program Established: 1999

Programs Offered: Full Year, 1 Semester, Short Term, Winter Camp,

Specialized Programs: French Immersion, Advance Placement Courses, Dance Academy, Volleyball Academy, Basketball Academy, Film and Media Academy, Yeti (outdoor education) Academy, ATLAS (Adventure Tourism, Leadership And Safety – full year for Gr. 12s), Mountain Bike Academy, Outdoor Adventures

Language(s) of Study: English, French

Total number of schools: 8

Total Students: 5400

Total International Students: 75

International Students Accepted for Grades: 6-12

Nearest Airport: 3 flights scheduled each day from Vancouver to Castlegar and one each day from Calgary to Castlegar. Castlegar is a 30 minute car ride to Nelson.

Nelson and Creston are small cities with BIG opportunities for international students. These two small cities are nestled in a mountainous region that surrounds a large lake. Each city is made up mostly of professional people who have come to this area from all over in order to raise their own children in a safe area with excellent schools and great art and music opportunities.

This nostalgic area where nature blends with the subtle hint of economic development, soothes the soul as it bring to life the spirit that has slipped away from so many large, metropolitan cities. Thanks to the moderate climate here, you can ski with out freezing in the winter and play on the beach without scorching in the summer. Come soothe your soul and energize your spirit in Nelson, BC Canada!

All of our students are required to live with a homestay family during their entire time enrolled in our educational program. Homestay is more than just food and a room. It is a chance to take part in all aspects of family life and Canadian culture. Our students repeatedly tell us that they feel they really do have a “home away from home” and a connection with their warm, caring, Canadian family. All of our homestay families are carefully screened to ensure the best possible experience for our students.

A staff of 4 homestay employees for the school district do the screening, interviewing, a home inspection, and ensure that a criminal record check is complete for a family is placed in our database to await a match with a student. Families provide furnished private rooms, meals, and the opportunity for students to practice their English language skills with native speakers of the English language.

Being in one of Canada’s mildest climates, allows for students to enjoy all our outdoor activities year-round. International students can participate in skiing, biking, hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding and more; there are so many outdoor activity possibilities when living and learning in the Kootenays. The Kootenay Lake School District has intensive academics, sports academies, outdoor opportunities and the arts, all within smaller, safer and more personalized communities.

Entrance Dates: September & February

Application Deadlines: No deadline               

Application Fee: $350

Full Year Tuition Fee: $14,000

1 Semester Tuition Fee: $7,500

Annual Homestay Placement Fee: $750

Homestay Monthly Fee: $900

Maintenance Monthly Fee: $100

Annual Health Insurance Fee: $1500

Annual Custodianship Fee: included in the tuition fee

All funds are in Canadian dollars

General Inquiries Email: Kootenay.international@sd8.bc.ca

Website: international.sd8.bc.ca

Mailing Address: 811 Stanley Street

City: Nelson

Province: BC

Postal Code: V1L 1N8

Phone: 250-505-7015

Fax: 250-505-7007

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