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International students

International students from all over the globe choose to study at the Ottawa Catholic School Board. Choosing to study here offers students the opportunity to learn about other cultures and make new friends while receiving quality education. We welcome international students at all grade levels in all of our schools, from Kindergarten to Grade 12. The educational experience we offer is highly regarded within Canada, and provides unique opportunities for growth and learning. Students can also take advantage of our opportunities to explore pathways in French, and we have an incredible selection of other program choices at the high school level. There is something for everyone.

Welcoming and inclusive environments

We proudly embrace diversity and welcome students from all countries. We make a special effort to help international students adjust to life in a new country. The OCSB’s Family Welcome Centre for Newcomers is an outstanding orientation resource available to all international students and their families, especially for those whose home language is not English. The centre’s caring, experienced, and knowledgeable staff are well positioned to assist families make the transition to life in Ottawa as part of the OCSB community.


Welcome to Ottawa, Canada

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Our schools are special places to learn

Our nationally recognized model for integrating technology in our classrooms helps create digitally responsible citizens. Our focus on the environment and our commitment to social justice and Catholic teachings help produce conscientious graduates who are keen to make a difference in this world. Our schools are special places to learn and grow. Come and study at the OCSB. The OCSB partners with MLI Homestay to offer home stay placements for international students. We are a member of the Canadian Association of Public Schools – International (CASP-I). View our profile on their website for more information about our International, Student program.

Supporting a strong grasp of the English language

Living in Ottawa allows international students to immerse themselves into an English speaking community. This helps develop English language skills at a much faster rate. English as a Second Language (ESL) support is provided in all of our schools from Kindergarten to Grade 8. In Grades 9 to 12, students requiring ESL instruction will attend one of our five high schools which offer ESL courses. Their school will depend on the area they live in and their individual ESL needs.

Diverse opportunities after completing high school

Studying with the OCSB opens up so many doors for life after high school. Even if students join us for their last two year’s of high school, it can have a huge impact for those moving onto university or college in North America. Studying here also helps international students get further ahead in their post-secondary studies, as the Ontario credits earned will be easily recognized by post-secondary institutions.

Our approach to a faith-based education

Our high schools are open to students of all faiths and cultures. This makes the experience for our international students a welcoming one. And, for other parts of the world where Catholicism is common, being able to study in a faith-based environment is important. All of our students receive an education designed to develop the whole person. Students learn about social responsibility, positive values, and respect for all faiths and cultural backgrounds.

How to apply as an international student

The Ottawa Catholic School Board proudly embraces diversity and welcomes students from all countries. We welcome international students at all grade levels in our schools, from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Students from abroad enjoy this opportunity to learn about our culture and make new friends while receiving a quality education in Canada.

Step 1 – Submit your application form and fees

International students wishing to study in Ottawa should first complete an online application form. During the application, you will be prompted to submit a $300 non-refundable application fee.

Step 2 - Make arrangements for payment

International students pay annual tuition fees in order to attend one of our quality OCSB schools. These fees cover the costs of important programs, such as English as a second language (ESL) instruction, if needed. The fees also help pay for essential transportation services, given that the student’s residential address meets eligibility requirements. Transportation will be also provided to our high school ESL Centres, even if they are outside the student’s attendance boundary. All payments should be made payable to the “Ottawa Catholic School Board” and should include the name of the student on the method of payment.

Kindergarten to Grade 8 $12,000 plus $386 for medical insurance = $12,386 per year
Grades 9 to 12 $13,000 plus $386 for medical insurance = $13,386 per year

Step 3 - Get your letter of acceptance for a study permit

Once you have completed the application form and paid the necessary fees, we will issue a letter of acceptance. International students need this letter in order to obtain a Study Permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. A study permit is required for all fee-paying international students.

Step 4 - Visit the Family Welcome Centre for Newcomers

Accepted international students will be directed to our Family Welcome Centre (FWC) for an assessment to ensure they receive program options appropriate to their needs.