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Canada is North America’s quiet gem, packed with natural beauty, from mountains and glaciers to secluded lakes and forests. But Canada’s allure isn’t just the great outdoors; Canada has clean, safe cosmopolitan cities, friendly and multicultural, you’ll experience it all! Canada is lauded as one of the world’s most livable countries. Whether your interests are river rafting or live theater, Canada won’t disappoint.

In its vastness, Canada ranks as the world’s second largest country (after Russia). Yet 90% of its citizens live within 100 miles of Canada’s southern border, which abuts the United States. Canada, after all, stretches far into the Arctic, with winters everywhere that are long, dark and harsh—and they get worse the farther north you go. This is why 89% of Canada remains uninhabited, with more than half the land covered by forests.

Nonetheless, Canadians have a standard of living comparable to that of the United States, and though Canada’s lifestyle at first glance seems similar to its neighbor’s, in fact, Canadian culture is less brash. You’ll find that the French people of Quebec, known as Québécois, are very proud of their language and heritage. The country offers a friendly but reserved mosaic of heritages that includes British stolidity, French vivacity, native Inuit customs and even Chinese traditions, especially in Vancouver, which has the largest Chinese population of any city outside Asia. Canadians patiently tolerate this lively social jumble, especially because all of its cultures share a passion for ice hockey.

Canadian teenagers love clubs and activities involving sports, orchestra, newspaper and drama. Student government is also an important and becoming more influential in school policies. You may be surprised by how many teenagers in Canada have after-school jobs, such as babysitting or working at a local coffee shop.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Between 15 and 19 years old
  • English and basic French
  • Students that have concluded their secondary education are also welcome

What's included in your experience

  • Airfare
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Host Family Placement
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • School Placement
  • Medical Insurance
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Visa Application Assistance
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • Orientations during your time abroad
  • Access to Alumni Network
  • Continuous Support
  • Worldwide Presence
  • 70 Years Experience

What you are responsible for

  • Vaccinations
  • Visa and Passport Fees
  • School Uniform
Johanne Breum Larsen Canada 2014-15IMG_0632

Language and school

English and French are the official languages of Canada. Some schools will offer introductory language classes, however we encourage AFS students to arrive with at least a basic knowledge of French (if you are staying in Montreal) so that you can participate in the regular curriculum. Local schools are very comprehensive and try to meet the educational needs of all school-age children in the community, often in one building.


Your Accommodation

You can choose to stay at an English Montreal Boarding School or with a host family in Eastern Ontario. Here, you will probably live in a small town, in the countryside or even on a farm. Parents in Canadian families usually share household responsibilities, and children help out with everyday chores and preparing meals. Many Canadian families are also quite diverse, so you may be living with multiple cultures under one roof. Because reliable public transportation options are limited, families will plan in advance to make sure everyone gets a ride.

Let AFS Guide your intercultural adventure

Kick-start your future with AFS and discover who you really are, make new lifetime friendships and immerse yourself in a fascinating intercultural experience.

This programme begins at your home country with a pre-departure orientation and continues with orientations, other supported learning activities and facilitated conversations which will help you maximize your experience, cope with the challenges of navigating a new culture and community as well as gain knowledge, skills, and a global understanding throughout your time abroad, and as you return to your home country. AFS volunteers will be there to support and guide you and your host family the whole way through.

Find out more