International Students


Common Questions

Process, Fees, and Deadlines

What is the cost to study in Calgary?

All costs to study can be found at this link |

Are there extra fees charged for studying in Calgary?

It is the student's responsibility to meet all of the other costs associated with attending a Calgary Board of Education school (for example, school books and supplies, special course materials, resource fees, and activities). More info:

What are your academic requirements?

All student applicants must be in good standing at their current school. Applicants must also be able to show history of good attendance and work habits.

Students applying for Grade 12 should know the following:
To be successful, you need to have a high level of English proficiency in all areas (reading, writing, speaking, listening).
If you are wanting to graduate with an Alberta High School Diploma, it will take more than one year of study. Experience shows it takes a minimum of two years and sometimes longer. You may need to eventually leave the high school and pursue your studies at the post-secondary level.

Can my child start school any time during the school year?

Elementary and junior high programs (7-9) are 10 months in duration from September to June. Please note that applications will be accepted throughout the school year (up until March) but placement will not be guaranteed after September. High School programs are based on a school year of two semesters/terms. The first semester begins in September and the second semester begins in February.

Is there an application deadline?

  • September intake application dates:  First Monday in November to last Friday in April
  • February intake application dates:  First Monday in May to last Friday in September

Late applications will be accepted space permitting. However, if a student requires homestay placement, early applications are encouraged.

How long does it take to get the letter of acceptance?

In most cases, applications take two weeks to process.

What length of time is the letter of acceptance issued for?

Acceptance to our schools is for a maximum of one year only. The CBE will make every effort to offer continued registration in subsequent years if requested but as space is limited, we cannot guarantee future availability.

School and Grade Placement

How can I choose a school? What is the best school?

Global Learning has designated a number of schools that are the best for international students. Each of these high schools has an international coordinator to help international students with their academic and social programs. Check our website for a current listing of these schools. Please note that not all schools are able to receive international students (e.g., certain schools are full). At the Calgary Board of Education, all schools have the same curriculum, the same teaching standards and are comprehensive schools. This means that most programs are offered at all schools. You can be assured that wherever you go to school you will receive a great education.

How will a school be chosen for my child?

Schools are chosen based on the Calgary address, space and program availability. You may request a specific school and we will make every attempt to accommodate your request. However, Global Learning reserves the right to make the final placement decision. Please note that not all Calgary schools can accept international students.  Also note that space can change over time so renewal is subject to a yearly review.

How does my child travel to school?

Visit the following link for transportation information.

Will the CBE accept my high school courses from my local school?

The CBE will evaluate your transcripts and, if the courses you completed are equivalent to high school courses here, you will be granted credit for those that are required for an Alberta high school diploma.

What grade will I be placed in?

Students are placed age appropriately into a grade and then upon further assessment of the student, some course/grade adjustments may be made as necessary.

How do I know which courses to take?

A course advisor at your new school will help you to plan your program based on your English level, your interests and your goals. We would look at the courses you finished in high school in your country and the marks you received. If the grades you completed are equivalent to high school courses here, you would be given a test to see if you could be placed in the next level. Our courses have prerequisites so one level must be finished before a student can enter the next level. 10 is level 1, 20 is level 2 and 30 is level 3. You need to take English 10, then 20 and then 30.

I want to take the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program. Will I be accepted?

New international students are not eligible for the IB program. However, once you have been at school in Calgary for a year or more, you may be eligible to apply providing you meet the high academic standards required for the program.

Homestay and Living Arrangements

Am I required to live in Calgary while my child studies?

If your child is in elementary school (aged 12 and under), he/she must have a parent living in Calgary for the entire duration of his/her studies or live with someone who has been verified to be an immediate family member. Please contact us for further details. Please note: if you are living in Calgary with your child while he/she studies, your child is not required to have a custodian.

Can Global Learning arrange homestay accommodations for my child?

Global Learning is partnered with Canada Homestay Network who arranges for homestay accommodations if your child is between 15-19 years of age. For details and application information visit the Canada Homestay Network website.


What responsibilities does a custodian have?

The custodian acts as the parent to the child and takes on the same responsibilities that the parent would have. Please see our custodianship guidelines.

Who can I choose as a custodian for my child?

A custodian should be at least 25 years of age and must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Please use caution in choosing a custodian. The custodian should be someone who has the best interests of your child in mind.

If I will be living in Calgary with my child while he/she studies, do I still need to arrange custodianship?

No. If you are living in Calgary with your child, no other custodian arrangements need to be made.

Study Permits

How do I apply for a study permit for my child?

Please visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website for Study Permit application information for your country.

What if the student cannot get the study permit before school starts?

If the student is unable to get a Study Permit before school starts, please contact Global Learning to discuss further options. It may be possible for the student to begin classes late or it may be necessary for the student to delay their arrival until the next semester. However, every effort will be made to accommodate the student in an educational program as soon as possible.

I am a parent who will be coming to Canada to study and my children will be accompanying me.  Will I need to pay international student tuition for my children?

This will depend on the program of studies you are taking.  Please contact the Welcome Centre at with your institution’s letter of acceptance. They will then verify if you will be required to pay tuition for your children.

Arriving in Canada

For students in elementary and junior high: Please contact Global Learning by email at to arrange an assessment appointment as soon as the student’s arrival date is confirmed (do not wait until the student arrives in Calgary to make this appointment).

Please provide the following information in the e-mail:

  • Student’s Legal Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Name of School
  • Home Language
  • Custodian’s Contact Information
  • Educational Background

Please bring the student’s Study Permit to the appointment at the CBE Welcome Centre office, located at the CBE Education Centre, 1221 – 8 Street SW. A parent or custodian must accompany the student for the duration (2-3 hours) of the appointment.

High school students: Visit the home page of our website and look for the Orientation link where you will find the orientation session details along with the school coordinator’s name and contact information.

High School Graduation Diploma

What are the requirements for a high school diploma?

To get a basic high school diploma in Alberta you must have 100 credits.

The credits must include the following:

  • English 30-1 or 30-2 AND
  • Social Studies 30-1 or 30-2 AND
  • Mathematics 20-1 or 20-2 or 20-3 AND
  • Science 20 or Science 24 or Biology 20 or Chemistry 20 or Physics 30 AND
  • Physical Education 10
  • Career and Life Management (CALM) AND
  • Earn 10 credits, in any combination:
    • Career and Technology Studies (CTS) courses
    • Fine and Performing Arts courses
    • Second Languages courses
    • Physical Education 20 and/or 30
    • Locally Developed and Authorized courses in CTS, fine arts, second languages AND
  • 10 credits in any 30-level course (in addition to English 30-1 or 30-2 and Social 30-1 or 30-2) from:
    • 30-level Math, Science, Fine Arts, Second Languages, or PE
    • Advanced Level (3000 series) CTS courses
    • 30-level Locally Developed and Authorized courses
    • 30-level Green Certificate Specialization courses

How long will it take me to complete a high school diploma?

This depends on several things like your level of English upon arrival, your prior courses of study, when you arrived, and what your graduation expectations are. However, in most cases, students who require English Language Learning programming (ELL) will take longer to complete the requirements than a student who was born in Canada. Many students take four years to complete high school with a diploma.

Which universities will accept my Alberta high school diploma? What do I require to enter university?

Alberta high school diplomas are recognized around the world. Students from the CBE can apply to any university or college and will be accepted based upon the marks of certain required courses. For example, the University of Calgary requires students applying to a general program to have:

  • English 30
  • Social Studies 30
  • Three of:
    • Math 30
    • Biology 30
    • Chemistry 30
    • Physics 30
  • Any other 30 level courses

All students wanting to go to university must complete the highest level of English in high school (English 30-1) with a mark of 75% in order to enter university. Then they must complete four more 30 level academic courses (senior level). All students in Alberta must complete a Canadian based course of Social Studies (history and geography), which covers Canada's government and Canada's role in the world. The two other required courses are Physical Education 10 and Career and Life Management (CALM) 20.