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Welcome and Orientation

Before you begin school, you will have an appointment with the ISP Counsellor at your school.  At this time, you will have an opportunity to learn about what to expect when you attend our schools and ask questions. During the first 2 weeks of school you will also be invited to an Orientation Session where you will also have a chance to get to know other international students and we will discuss homestay, school and life in Canada while also doing a fun activity.

Preparing for a New School Year

You will need to be prepared with school supplies for school.  You will need binders, lined paper, writing utensils, math kits,
scientific calculator, and storage items including a backpack, lunch bag and food containers.  Your homestay can help you purchase these items.  For the first few days of classes, bring writing utensils and paper and find out what you need for each class.

You can bring your own electronic device to school for educational purposes. You are expected to use devices responsibly, and only with the permission and direction of teachers or other staff. Students are required to use the school’s wireless network, which can be accessed at no cost while at school. If you are bringing your own device to school, be sure to protect it with a secure password and purchase a protective case.

What is school like in Canada?

  • Students are encouraged to ask questions to gain a better understanding of class content and to expand thinking. Students are active participants in the learning process.
  • The relationship between teachers and students may seem less formal than in some other countries. You will find that teachers will engage in casual conversation with students, and it is acceptable to ask your teachers for help when you need it.
  • In Canadian classrooms, group work is an important part of learning. It helps students learn about teamwork, tolerance and compromise. Collaborative learning is included in the assessment and evaluation of your class mark.
  • Teachers will often use discussions as a part of teaching and learning. Students are encouraged to participate in class discussions, and to develop their opinions and ideas related to new knowledge and thinking.
  • Students’ marks include not only their knowledge of content, but also how they are able to analyze and solve problems, and determine conclusions. Teachers will evaluate students by asking them how they arrived at their final answer.

School Expectations

Attendance in School

Academic success is dependent upon regular attendance in all classes. If you are to be absent or miss a class for any reason, your host family or
custodian is expected to call the school to provide a reason for your absence. If a student is consistently absent without consent, consequences could include
loss of credits and suspension from school.

Code of Conduct

Each school has a Code of Conduct policy on the school website and Qualicum ISP students are expected to adhere to these policies plus the policies set in place with the ISP program.  International Students, their parents and/or their agents will receive written warning for misbehaviour, missing classes without consent or failing courses. Students who do not follow the school’s Code of Conduct or the Qualicum ISP expectations may be asked to leave the program without reimbursement if they do not show signs of improvement.  The Qualicum ISP student handbook is available on the iCent app.

After-School Academic Support

  • After-school tutoring by a qualified teacher is available. Check with your school counsellor 

Tips for Academic Success

  • Always ask questions if you don’t understand something about the lesson or assignment. Teachers expect students to ask questions as lessons are being taught and as students work on assignments. If you stay quiet, the teacher will think that you understand the task. Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher for help.
  • Teachers will record attendance and document students as late if they do not go to class at the expected time. If you are not able to attend class, notify the school in advance and explain the reason. It is also important to talk to your teacher when you return to class, so that you can complete any missed work.
  • Hand in assignments on the day that they are due. If you are not able to complete the assignment on time, talk with your teacher before it is due. If you miss a deadline, it is important to speak with your teacher to discuss your options.
  • Final marks are based on assignments, presentations, discussions, group work, tests, exams or final independent study projects.
  • Your academic success will depend upon your ability to attend class and manage your time. Organize your time so that you can complete your school/homework assignments and practice English.
  • Remember that it is also important for you to balance your schedule to include relaxation and time for friends.