International Students

The highest quality education in a a safe and culturally accepting environment

Come Join Our Family!

International students are an integral part of our student body at St. Andrew's Regional High School.

Students are welcomed and quickly become part of our student body while improving their English, making friends and learning about Canadian culture.  Island Catholic Schools offers a safe and culturally accepting environment where students receive the highest quality learning experience from our knowledgeable and experienced staff.

Since international students form only a small percentage of our total student population, students enjoy benefits that they may not find in larger schools such as:

  • More opportunities to make new Canadian friends with our Conversation Partner Program.
  • Students are fully integrated into regular classes which helps them learn English at a faster rate.
  • The school can custom fit learning programs to suit individual student needs.
  • Students are able to practice their English by attending our monthly international activities with their conversation partners.

For more information contact our Director of International Education Mr. Michael Durkan. 

International Student Program Options

Please note that St. Andrew’s has partnered with CHOICE Education Group for ALL students applying from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Please contact Cindy,, for instructions on how to apply and current tuition rates. Agents are invited to contact Cindy to discuss recruiting options.

We understand what a big decision it is to send your child overseas and we are here to support you every step of the way.

University Pathway (2-5 years)

The University Pathway provides the opportunity for qualifying students to obtain a BC Ministry of Education Graduation Certificate (Dogwood).

St. Andrew’s Regional High School has a well established and long standing history of preparing international students for post secondary education.  We are dedicated to seeing our students achieve success through our first class academic program.  Offering a smaller school size, a welcoming and close-knit community, a caring and supportive homestay program, and exceptional dedicated teachers, our University Pathway students are provided with all the tools and resources they need to excel and be admitted to top universities here in Canada, the US and around the world. 
***Please refer to our Entrance Requirements for this program.

Full Year/One Semester Study Abroad

This program allows students to be fully integrated with Canadian students in core subjects as well as electives.  ESL class or support is still offered, however the student’s English language proficiency should be at a sufficient level for the appropriate grade.  Students can tailor their studies to suit their individual interests and career goals. In addition to required courses, students can choose from a wide range of elective subjects in fine arts, accounting and applied skills.  Classes are based on the BC public school curriculum and includes the core subjects of English, mathematics, social studies (history), science and physical education. Please refer to our Entrance Requirements for this program.

Students applying from China - please contact for information on how to apply and current tuition rates.
Students applying from all other countries - please contact

Hear From Our Students

“In less than a year St. Andrew’s became my family. I graduated, established great connections, explored, and grew, all while being in a loving, welcoming, and faith based environment. I will forever cherish and be thankful for this experience.”

Laura, Graduate 2023, Mexico

Entrance Requirements

All students are required to fill out the international application form.

Students will also be assessed through report cards for their last two years, written recommendations from their principal and English teachers and an interview with school administration when possible.

UP students must have completed the British Columbia Ministry of Education equivalent prerequisites to be awarded transfer credits and enter the grade to which they are applying for. 

Students will also be assessed through report cards for their last two years, written recommendations from their principal and English teachers and an interview with school administration when possible.

Students applying to the Study Abroad program must have completed the British Columbia Ministry of Education equivalent prerequisites to enter the grade to which they are applying for. 

Short Term Program

Students applying to the Short Term program are required to fill out the international application form and submit a copy of the first page of their current passport.  Transcripts are not required but the student must have a sufficient level of English to participate in the grade level they have applied for.

English Language Support

We offer one block of ESL instruction and additional after school support for English language assistance. All other classes are taught in English with the exception of any language classes such as French and Spanish. All students will be assessed on their English skills in order to place them in the appropriate courses. For information on the courses offered at St. Andrew’s please refer to the course selection handbook

There are a number of qualified tutors available for students who need additional help. The International Department can arrange tutor services for students in need.

In some cases students may be asked to take an English language proficiency exam in their home country during the application process. 

Students must meet Canadian Immigration requirements.  For citizenship and immigration forms and a list of Canadian embassies, consulates or visa offices, please visit the Canadian government web site below.


Submit An Application

All applicants are required to submit the following:

Please send the completed application form and all supporting documentation to:

Island Catholic Schools International Student Program 
880 McKenzie Avenue
Victoria, BC  V8X 3G5
Email: Mr. Michael Durkan


Interview With the Director of International Education

After the application form, required supporting documentation, and application fee have been submitted, the Director of International Education will contact you to arrange the next step in the admissions process, a Skype interview.  Following this interview, an English Proficiency Test may also be required at all grade levels.



After review of supporting documentation and assessments, applicants who are serious in their interest in St. Andrew’s are given consideration for admission. It is the school’s policy to advise prospective families of admission acceptance as soon as possible. Notification of acceptance is sent via letter which will include the invoice for international student fees. Once the tuition fees have been received by ICS, a letter of confirmation stating that tuition fees have been paid in full will be issued for immigration purposes. 


Immigration Canada requires that all international students under the age of 18 appoint a custodian to act in their parents place.  This is a legal requirement that must be met in order for the student to reside and study in Canada.  If you wish, Island Catholic Schools is able to act as the student’s custodian, please refer to the International tuition fee schedule for the cost of this service.


When it is clear St. Andrew’s is not the right fit for the student, or will have difficulty being admitted because of limited space, prospective parents are immediately advised. These difficult decisions are made with careful consideration and with the best interest of the student in mind. If an applicant is not granted a place due to availability of space, the student will be automatically wait-listed and may be reconsidered in light of unexpected enrollment changes in the late spring and summer.

January 25-27, 2022 Grad Photos
February 22, 2022 Grad Photo Retakes
March 10, 2022 Grade 12 Retreat
June 27, 2022 @ 6:30 pm Awards Night
June 28, 2022 @ 6:30 pm Grad Commissioning Mass
June 29, 2022 Grad Dinner Dance and After Grad

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in the school’s tuition rate? 
International Students receive the same instruction as Canadian students.  In addition, International students receive ESL tutoring after school and extra assistance in the Learning Center, if needed. 

Do you have to be Catholic to enroll at the school? 
Students do not need to be Catholic, but will be enrolled in Religion class which will help them understand the Catholic Faith. 

Are the students integrated with the Canadian students? 
Yes. To ensure that our International Students’ written and oral English language comprehension improves every day, the students are integrated within the classroom. Additionally, the students receive ESL help after school. 

Can the students graduate in BC? 
St. Andrew’s Regional High School is fully-accredited by the BC Ministry of Education. As such, students can graduate from the school with a Dogwood Diploma; which is required for post-secondary studies. 

Can International students be a part of the school’s extra-curricular program?
International students are encouraged to be a part of the school’s Athletic, Art, Music or other programs or clubs which will help their language comprehension and make new friends in Canada.


Homestay Information for Students

International students coming to St. Andrew’s High School are required to stay with a Canadian family approved by the school. We consider the homestay family a very important part of the International Student Program. Families provide not just room and board, but they become friends and guides in a new culture. It allows the student to improve his or her English at a faster rate, experience Canadian culture, participate in the everyday activities of a Canadian family and gain important skills in independence.

Where do we find our Host Families?
The St. Andrew’s Homestay Program advertises in the Catholic School Community, the Catholic Church Community and through word-of-mouth.  A family who wishes to host students submits a detailed application form, which is reviewed by our Homestay Coordinator.  The family will then be visited and interviewed to ensure it is a safe, caring environment for the student.  All adults in the family must submit an approved Criminal Record Check.

Host families are not necessarily a Mom, Dad and children your own age.  For example, a host family can be a single woman, a couple with no children, or perhaps a single Mom with children.  Although every effort is made to find a suitable host family within the Catholic community, this is not always possible.  The most important factor is their willingness to embrace someone from another culture, welcome them into their life and their home, and help guide and support them through their time at school.

The student might be asked to contribute to the daily running of the home, for example, cleaning their own room, helping to clear up after dinner, do their own laundry, just like a participating member of the family.  The student will receive three meals a day, but the student may be expected to prepare his/her own breakfast and lunch.  The Host Family will teach the student how to do this and supply the necessary food items.

The Homestay Coordinator is able to provide on-going support to international students within the St. Andrew’s Homestay Program in the event of any problems or concerns.  The Homestay Coordinator makes weekly check-ins with international students at school, and can always be contacted by cell phone or e-mail.

High school students will be required to pay a monthly rate per month (please see the International Student Fee Schedule for current rates) to the host family as of the first day of the first month of their school term until the last day of their last month of their school term.  It is the student’s responsibility to pay the host family on the first day of each month. 

Any additional days the student stays with the family, either before or after the assigned homestay period, will be prorated.

The Director of International Education and the Homestay Coordinator will host an orientation session for international students during their first week of school.  This will help familiarize the student with school and cultural expectations.

Homestay Information for Host Families

Thank you for your interest in the Homestay Program for Island Catholic Schools. Host families are a very important part of the International Student Program. Families provide not just room and board; they become friends and guides in a new culture. The main role of the host family is to provide a safe, comfortable home environment within which the student feels supported, at ease, and encouraged to use his/her English-speaking skills.  Many host families develop rewarding, long-lasting relationships with their students.  Being a homestay parent requires time, commitment and flexibility, but most of all kindness and understanding for a student far away from their natural parents.

Steps to Hosting an International Student

Understand your Responsibilities

Please read the Expectations for Host Families.  You will be expected to provide a student with the same support as a family member.

Fill out and submit an Application Form

Return form to: St. Andrew’s High School
                        880 McKenzie Avenue
                        Victoria, BC   V8X 3G5
                        Attention: Hilary Parker

Fax: 250-479-5356   scan/e-mail:

Home Visit

Following review of your application, you will be contacted by our Homestay Coordinator who will schedule an interview at your home.

Acceptance Requirements

If your application is accepted, we will require:

  • Signed Agreement Form
  • Criminal Record Checks for all residents of the household 18 years and older.  These will be considered valid for a period of five years.


A host family will receive a monthly fee for each student placed in their home.  We realize that for some families the host family remuneration is a welcome addition to their monthly budget, but at no time should a family rely on the remuneration to meet their monthly financial obligations.  We cannot guarantee the placement of a student in your home at any point in time, and we strongly caution any family to count on this “income”.  We need to be assured that you will not suffer financial hardship if a student is moved from your home or a student cancels their participation prior to arrival.


When feasible, the recruiting agent, the school, the Director of International Education and the Host Family Coordinator, will host an orientation session for homestay parents.  This will help to familiarize the homestay parents with cultural expectations, to meet other homestay families, and to become acquainted with the philosophy and programs at Island Catholic Schools.

Guide for Host Families

For details on all aspects of our hosting program, please read our Host Family Guide.

Do you have a question?

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Please contact us for further information, or a personal tour of our school.

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