International students in Delta School District come from over 35 countries, are all ages, and bring extensive and unique perspectives to our schools. They may live with parents, local relatives, or Canadian homestay families. They come as individuals or as part of structured school groups or foreign government scholarship programs. They may come with generally impressive backgrounds in leadership and a variety of unique interests. Since international students go through a screening process, they should exhibit solid academic and behavioural results. If this is not the case, schools should contact the international department for support, which may ultimately result in student dismissal. Delta has international students who have won myriad scholarships, awards, and international contests. They excel in the arts, sports, and other areas. They come from a variety of socio-economic spheres, with many scholarship winners, and have often travelled extensively. They bring a vibrant flavour to the district. The international program offers full year programs, short term, and summer programs. There are sister school exchanges and agreements with a variety of foreign Ministries of Education and provincial governments.
Country of Origin
Delta’s international students come from a variety of countries: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hong Kong (China), Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sierra-Leone, Slovak Republic, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Venezuela and Vietnam.
All international students are screened before acceptance into the school district. Criteria include solid academic results in the previous three years of schooling, good work habits/behaviour, and current teacher recommendation. Students who demonstrate failing courses and those who disclose challenges of an academic, behavioural, or physical nature that require additional services and support are not accepted into the program.
Students who begin to demonstrate difficulties at school upon arrival are supported through the international program department, placed on a contract, and may be ultimately dismissed. Schools should report any difficulties to the international department so that support can be provided. Visiting students who break the district code of conduct will be dismissed with no refund.
Most international students are highly motivated and strong academic achievers in their home country.
Full Year/One Semester Program:
Open to students in grades K-12. Students in this program join regular classes for one semester, a full year, or longer. Secondary school students may intend to graduate in BC, or they may simply be here for a cultural experience. Generally, students from Asia will wish to graduate with a Dogwood diploma, while students from Europe and South America intend to return to their home country for graduation. Individual study plans may differ. International coordinators at each secondary school will know the intent of each student.
Elementary students may be here with a parent or relative. In some cases, intermediate elementary students will be living here under the supervision of a special guardian, agent, or their overseas school teacher. Primary students are not accepted without a parent. Some elementary students may be here as part of a group from their school. Generally, elementary students intend to study in Delta for one to two years. They do not usually intend to graduate in BC, as their intent is solely to improve their English skills and to learn about the Canadian culture. There may be specific goals, such as gaining entrance into a prestigious high school in the home country, which demands a certain level of English proficiency. Some students enjoy the Canadian educational experience and change their plans to stay for longer than expected periods, including graduation. Elementary students are mostly Korean, Japanese, or Chinese. There is an occasional elementary student from Europe or South America, usually because of a local relative in the area.
Short Term Programs:
Students in this program usually come with a school group or on an overseas government scholarship. These students will have overseas teachers or chaperones accompanying them. These chaperones may provide useful assistance in maintaining appropriate student behaviour or work habits (or help with host families) and are happy to be utilized. While these students may join a variety of regular programs, there is not a focus on academic mastery in content areas. The students are here for a cultural exchange and hope to improve their English skills in a Canadian environment.
Open to students in Kindergarten to grade 12. Summer programs range from one week to eight weeks, with a variety of different options. Students may study English in the morning only, take full day English classes, or study English in the morning with afternoon sightseeing activities. Group sizes may be 15 to 100 students. Summer students are mostly visitors who come for a few weeks to explore Canada, learn English, and have a holiday. Some students have enrolled in the regular full year program and come early to improve their English and prepare for their September classes. Students on an overseas government scholarship are more serious, and study intensively in custom-designed courses aimed at English enhancement.
Secondary international students on graduation plans will usually take summer school credit courses with Canadian students, in order to facilitate a more timely graduation.
Some Delta schools may decide to work with a school in another country on a variety of projects such as pen pal activities or student exchanges. Some overseas sister schools send students to Delta for one semester and have ongoing relationships.
Goals/Motivations of International Students
1) They wish to acquire a high level of English proficiency.
2) They want to gain a profound understanding of Canadian life or culture.
3) The quality of education is a main attraction. The Canadian education system has a valued reputation world-wide and many families pool their resources to enable their children to have the opportunity to study in Canada. There is the sense that studying in Canada will provide better future opportunities in both post secondary and employment areas.
4) The majority of students on a BC graduation plan intend to study at a North American university or college.
5) Some international families apply or are in the process of applying to be landed immigrants and permanent residents of Canada. They may send their children on ahead in order to prepare.
6) Canada is a destination of choice, as it is seen as a safe country with a clean, natural environment, and friendly, inclusive people.
Benefits to Delta Students
The presence of international students enriches the educational experience for many of our regular students. There is a growing global trend to have students educated in a country other than their birthplace. This is perceived as a way of enhancing a student’s potential in the future global community. While Canadians generally do not send their children abroad, we receive the same benefits by bringing the world to us.
Our international students play a positive leadership role in the Delta School District. Many international students receive very high marks and are recognized by their schools and post-secondary institutions with awards, scholarships, and bursaries. Approximately 90% of Delta’s international grade 12 students are accepted into a North American university each year. Each student also brings a wealth of cultural background and experience that is invaluable to a school community. International students act as peer tutors, they do volunteer work in the community. They join school and community sports teams, and foster new clubs and interests. They add a unique perspective in class discussions and group projects.
Benefits of the International Program for Schools and Community
1) Opportunities for students to experience cultural enrichment and gain a global perspective
2) Opportunities for students to become involved in sister-school exchanges and other projects
3) Opportunities for local families to host visitors and make world-wide connections
4) Opportunities for teachers to work in summer programs, travel on exchanges, and improve personal practice by interacting with visiting educators
5) Additional funds generated to support school programs and enhance opportunities and materials for Delta students and staff
Positive Impacts of International Programs for Canada
1) International students return to their home countries with an understanding of Canadian people and culture – the foundation for future academic, political, social, and economic linkages
2) International education provides a chance for an exchange of ideologies and philosophies among our global youth and teachers which will have myriad future impacts
3) International education has a significant economic impact on local communities, governments, and schools
4) International programs create an enhanced opportunity for research and learning among staff and students
5) Studying in Canada increases the potential for qualified immigrants (who have already adjusted to our environment and customs) to decide to become Canadian citizens and enhance the economic prosperity and cultural vitality of the country
6) International education allows for a tangible contact between individuals and cultures in this increasingly virtual world