Sunshine Coast School District

The Sunshine Coast International Program provides a unique opportunity for students from around the world to learn in beautiful, natural setting close to the urban centre of Vancouver on Canada’s West Coast. We have a safe and welcoming environment where diversity is celebrated. Our schools provide excellent academic programs with a high level of technological integration combined with a focus on personalized learning and support for student success.

In addition to a full set of academic courses, we offer a variety of unique options for students. Outdoor Education and Leadership provide options for personal development. Fine arts courses include: Band, Choir, Visual Arts (Painting), and Drama. “Applied Skills” courses provide opportunities for students that will help them as they start to consider where their academic path may lead them. Our Applied Skills courses include such things as Television, Video Production, Textiles, Cooking, and Carpentry.  We also offer Apprenticeship-level courses for student at our schools in collaboration with Vancouver Island University for Professional Cook, Carpenter and Automotive Service Technician.

Access to Vancouver is quick and easy by ferry and bus. Our schools often participate in activities in Vancouver for cultural events or academic field trips, while our sports team participate in the North Shore league against teams in North and West Vancouver. School clubs and sports include such activities as: Volleyball, Basketball, Rugby, Ultimate, Track and Field, Mountain Biking, Ski and Snowboard. Our ski team races at Whistler/Blackcomb Mountain. Our Mountain Biking trails are some of the best in the world.

We pride ourselves on being a scenic coastal community, with small-town charm, close to the big city.

Program Established: 2002

Programs Offered: Full Year, 1 Semester, Short Term

Specialized Programs: Sports, Fine Arts

Language(s) of Study: English

Total number of schools: 12

High schools for international students: 3

Total Students: 3100

Total International Students: 24

International Students Accepted for Grades: 10-12

Nearest Airport: Vancouver International Airport

The Sunshine Coast stretches between mountains and ocean over its entire length. Recreation opportunities include canoeing, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, hiking and mountain biking. We got some of the best trails and ocean access in the world.

Gibsons is a scenic and peaceful community on the west coast of Canada, where the ferry from Vancouver arrives.  It features a beautiful harbour, numerous shops and restaurants, and an extensive network of walking, cycling, and mountain biking trails that are second to none.  There is also a movie theatre, public library, shopping mall, public art gallery and recreation centre. Elphinstone Secondary, with 500 students in grades 8-12, is located here.

Sechelt takes its name from the Coast Salish Shishalh people, who first settled the area thousands of years ago, and it means “land between two waters.”  The community’s central location on the Sunshine Coast makes it a natural hub for business, culture, and tourism.  Local shops and restaurants are surrounded by scenic mountain and seaside views, and there is also an aquatic centre, public library, shopping mall, and arts centre. Chatelech Secondary with 460 grade 8-12 students is located here.

Pender Harbour is a tight-knit community just a short drive north of Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast.  International students may live anywhere from Halfmoon Bay to Madeira Park or Egmont depending on their individual homestay placement.  There are several beautiful lakes in the area, an annual jazz festival, and several artist studios. Pender Harbour Secondary is our smallest school on the Sunshine Coast, and with 80 students in grades 7-12, provides a unique opportunity to learn in a “flex schedule” school where students have more choice and opportunity around how they learn in a self-directed manner. This school is also home to the local recreation centre and houses a modern pool and weight room for student access during the day.


International homestay experiences allow students to emerge more knowledgeable and understanding about life abroad, and more confident in their own abilities and achievements. Participants will have an experience that will be one of the most valuable in their lives and return home with memories that last a lifetime.

Each family has a strong interest to welcome an international visitor into their home and is eager to provide a friendly, supportive and nurturing environment. Families believe that hosting a student is a rewarding and unique experience that will not only enrich the life of the young student, but that of their family’s as well. All of our homestay families speak English as their first language.

All homestay families have been carefully screened and selected for their enthusiasm and ability to provide excellent hospitality. They go through an interview process and fill out a family profile. Our coordinators make customized selections with much care and attention to the students’ and families’ needs, requests, hobbies and personalities.

Whether you are studying in Canada for a semester or a full year, you will create incredible bonds with your homestay family. This experience will give you a real sense of what it is like to live as a high school student in Canada. Your families will help you adjust to the new school system, teach you about your community and encourage you to join in school and community activities to fully immerse yourself in all that your city or town has to offer. Our host families create strong bonds and forge long-lasting friendships with their “host sons and daughters.” It truly is a rewarding experience.

Our Program Coordinator provides an orientation to the Sunshine Coast and schools at the start of each students’ program. We also hold family celebrations during the year with a chance to say hello to new students and good bye to students at the end of their time here.

Outside of school there are many opportunities to explore. Activities include sports, parks and trails and the arts. You can take part in festivals and events throughout the year.

Our program coordinator organizes regular activities at no cost based on the interests of the participants each year. Typical trips we’ve offered in the past years include Vancouver museums, and both the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Cypress Mountain on Vancouver’s North Shore. Locally we take students on an aboriginal paddle and discovery session in Sechelt Inlet each year, along with hiking on Pender Hill,  a boat tour in Pender Harbour and a guided mountain biking trip on local trails.

Entrance Dates: September & February

Application Fee: $250

Full Year Tuition Fee: $12,000

1 Semester Tuition Fee: $6,000

Annual Homestay Placement Fee: $550

Homestay Monthly Fee: $1,125

Annual Health Insurance Fee: $900

Annual Custodianship Fee: $1600/year or $800/semester

All funds are in Canadian dollars

General Inquiries Email: international@sd46.bc.ca

Website: international-education.sd46.bc.ca/

Mailing Address: 494 South Fletcher, PO Box 220

City: Gibsons

Province: British Columbia

Postal Code: V0N 1V0

Phone: 604-886-4487

Fax: 604-886-4652

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