International Student Orientation Week provides new international students to the district with a comprehensive overview of the International Student Program. Orientation is mandatory for all new international students and provides a vital opportunity for students to prepare for their school program.

Students will have an English language assessment, receive information about the district, community, medical insurance and program of studies. All students will have a school tour, meet staff and students from their school, and can participate in activity/excursions provided free of charge by the International Office. Secondary school students will also meet their school counselor and choose their courses.

Orientation is usually the week before schools starts, Monday to Friday.


January 2017 Intake – Elementary

New Elementary Student Orientation Schedule

February 2017 Intake – Secondary

New Secondary Student Orientation Schedule

Field Trip Consent Form – For Secondary Students

September 2017 Intake

New Elementary Student Orientation Schedule

New Secondary Student Orientation Schedule

Field Trip Consent Form – For Secondary Students

Pre-Departure Booklet

Living Arrangements

  • Students are to reside in Burnaby or along its borders.
  • Students are to reside with an adult 25 years of age or older.
  • Elementary students Grades Kindergarten – 5 are to reside with a parent.
  • Elementary students in Grade 6 may reside with a relative (aunt, uncle, grandparent). Under special circumstances Elementary students in Grade 7 may reside in an approved homestay.
  • Parents/relatives who indicate that they will be residing with their child for the duration of the program must do so, or the student may be withdrawn from the program.


A large part of a student’s success in any of the programs is from living in a homestay. Students live with a Canadian family, practice their English on a daily basis in an immersion environment, and learn about Canadian culture.  Students have their own private bedroom but share the rest of the house with the family.  Three meals a day are provided.   Lunch is taken to school to eat on school days.  Students are integrated into family life.  The International Program and each family has its specific rules for international students living in homestay, including a strict curfew.

Homestays are located within a short distance from the students’ school, whether by walking or taking public transit.

The District refers homestay requests to the Langara College Homestay Program. Students may choose to use another homestay agency but the District is not responsible for these arrangements. In all cases students must be 13 years of age or older in order to be eligible for a homestay placement.

School-based support

Burnaby schools are very proud of the welcoming and supportive environment they have created for students. Our schools offer numerous support services. The following is a sample of some of the services students can take advantage of:

  • student counselors;
  • youth workers;
  • community health nurses;
  • career preparation and work experience counselors (secondary only);
  • peer mentoring programs;
  • after-school tutoring and homework programs; and
  • pre-school childcare (at select elementary schools).

For our international students we have created a specialized support program to ensure their success, including:

  • assistance through the application process;
  • extensive international student orientation;
  • Vice Principal of International at every secondary school:
  • International Student Liaison based at each school;
  • homestay placement and health insurance;
  • international student activities & excursions held throughout the year; to Whistler, Victoria, Rocky Mountains and more.
  • pool of multilingual staff members to provide translation and cultural support;
  • and student buddy program (at select schools).

We realize that support is also needed for parents of international students. We work to ensure that parents are kept informed of their child’s progress. We hold information nights for parents and custodians. Final report cards are forwarded home, and parents are encouraged to contact us to discuss their child’s program.

Higher Education Night

The Burnaby International Office organizes an event for its international students once a year where representatives from a variety of post-secondary institutions across Canada and the US present their programs. Students have the opportunity to talk one-on-one to the representatives about application criteria and procedures, scholarships and other opportunities for further studies.

Post-Secondary Guidance

Our International Counsellor delivers a series of information sessions and workshops for our international students who are planning on studying at the post-secondary level.

Workshops include: Applying to Canadian Universities, Applying to U.S. Universities, SAT Preparation, and more.

Medical Insurance Notice

With the recent changes to MSP premiums, Burnaby international students enrolled on MSP will also be enrolled on guard.mePLUSBC insurance. As there are several services not covered by MSP, we are excited that students can have access to these added benefits. Click here for a summary of guard.mePLUSBC benefits.

For further information on guard.mePLUSBC, including information on any exclusions, please email If you have questions about the International Student Program, email

Enrolment in the Burnaby International Student medical insurance program is mandatory, including those eligible for guard.mePLUSBC. If parents desire to purchase additional insurance for their child, they are welcome to do so; however, this will not exempt their child from enrolment in the Burnaby International Student medical insurance program.

Medical Insurance

Medical insurance is mandatory in British Columbia. Every international student must have this coverage while studying in Burnaby. International students on a Study Permit are entitled to medical and hospital benefits through the government Medical Services Plan (MSP). The Burnaby School District will administer payment of medical insurance premiums for all students enrolled in the International Student Program. Medical Insurance will be provided to students starting the Saturday before orientation week and ending the last day of the last month of their school program (unless the student has been withdrawn or withdraws before that date). Students residing in British Columbia before the start of orientation week or after the last month of their school program will be required to arrange for their own medical insurance. The payment for medical insurance is assessed and paid along with the tuition fee.

International students not on a Study Permit will be placed on a private medical insurance plan through StudentGuard.

For more information on MSP – Click Here

For more information in StudentGuard – Click Here