The West Kootenay International Program has been welcoming international students for almost 25 years in BC, Canada. Our schools take advantage of our spectacular natural environment to offer learning opportunities that focus on career competencies, which students will benefit from throughout their entire lives. Academic classes are often based in real world project-based challenges. Our international students benefit from the world class education offered in the Kootenays and are fully immersed in an English-speaking environment. This opens opportunities to quickly make friends and embrace Canadian culture right from the start.
Being in one of Canada’s mildest climates, allows for students to enjoy all our outdoor activities year-round. International students can participate in skiing, biking, hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding and more; there are so many outdoor activity possibilities when living and learning in the Kootenays. The Kootenay Lake School District has intensive academics, sports academies, outdoor opportunities and the arts, all within smaller, safer and more personalized communities.
Homestay placement is something at which we excel. We run our own homestay program and know our families well. Host families are carefully selected to ensure our international students have the most rewarding experience. Our international staff personally checks in on students twice monthly and reports back to partners monthly.
Counselling services are offered to support students with university applications, as well as course selection and social/emotional support. The Kootenay Lake International program has a pathway agreement with our local post-secondary institution, which has transfer agreements to many top Canadian universities.
The SD8 Kootenay Lake - Outstanding Academics, Unlimited Opportunities.
We are known for our:
- Outstanding education within individualized classrooms
- Full English immersion
- Opportunities, electives, academies and extra curricular activities
- Mild climate - four seasons with an average winter temperature of +0.6
- Unlimit outdoor adventures- skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, golf, water sports
- Welcoming and safe communities and schools
- Direct pathway to post-secondary with not entrance exam required
Our communities have all the big city amenities, with none of the big city problems.
Come and join us in the West Kootenays where you will find unlimited opportunities.
Learn more about our unique communities:
The town of Creston offers spectacular mountain views, a mild climate and many great things to see and do in and around the Creston Valley. Nestled between the Purcell and Selkirk Mountains, the Creston valley boasts a healthy agricultural community and is home to many farms and orchards and where agriculture continues to play an essential role in the town today. Creston and the nearby East Shore of Kootenay Lake communities also boast a number of flourishing artist studios and galleries.
For more information, visit: www.creston.ca
PCSS – Prince Charles Secondary School – Short and Long Stay
PCSS is located in Creston BC- https://www.creston.ca/
Prince Charles Secondary - https://pcss.sd8.bc.ca
Total Enrollment 491
International Students 9
Course Selection https://pcss.sd8.bc.ca/node/38198, AP courses
Electives Sports teams, woodworking, mechanics, technology, photography
Highlights Safe, clean, equestrian possibilities, small town, excellence in visual arts, Indigenous Education integration
Sports, Clubs, Academy – Cross country running, soccer, basketball, volleyball, badminton, curling, track and field, YETI Outdoor Program, Media Arts Studies, Advance Placement academics
The YETI Outdoor program is open to any Grade 10-12 student who is currently enrolled in a full course load at Prince Charles Secondary School. Mountain Biking, Nature Photography, Climbing, Camping, Paddling and a variety of outdoor certifications make this program a natural draw for our secondary learners in Creston.
The program presents elective courses that are worth 4 credits each. (per/100 hours of activity). Essentially, 4-6 weekend activities and activity prep are required to earn the four credits.
Academy fees may have an additional fee.
With origins as a logging town, Kaslo boasts a rich and colourful history, with many heritage, arts and cultural attractions and activities. The Village of Kaslo is the largest community on the main body of Kootenay Lake, a picturesque location and the oldest incorporated community (1893) in the Kootenays. Situated on the lake and surrounded by mountains, it provides plenty of opportunity for outdoor adventure.
JV Humphreys, Kaslo, BC – New Facility –Short and Long Term Available
Total Enrollment 215
International Students 1
Electives Sports teams, woodworking, mechanics, technology, foods
Highlights Safe, clean, outdoor opportunities, on the lake, small town, close to mountain biking, beach, curling
Sports/Clubs/Academy – soccer, basketball, cross-country running, volleyball
The Outdoor Adventures Fall & Spring Course with Ms. Broadfoot (BCs award winning educator) is designed to introduce students to a broad range of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, rock climbing, canoeing and survival skills, as well as trip and safety planning for a multi-day excursion. In the spring students will receive their Lakewater Level 1 paddling certification as a part of the course, which will include a 5 day canoe and hiking trip on Slocan Lake, in Valhalla Provincial Park. Last year students in this class hiked the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail along the southwest coast of Vancouver Island.
Outdoor Adventures Winter Course
The Outdoor Adventures Winter course focuses on exposing students to the brilliant ski and snowboard culture of the Kootenays, as well as winter safety and survival skills. Students visit with Stellar Heli Ski to learn about the business side of skiing, which includes a tour of the helicopter and practice using transceivers. The course also includes an Avalanche Safety Training day and a Winter Survival Workshop with local experts. The overall favourites of the course however, are our trips to Whitewater where students take lessons and get a chance to improve and perfect their skills on the hill.
For more information visit: www.kaslo.ca
Nelson, known for its small town with cosmopolitan personality, is situated on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake in the heart of the Selkirk mountains. With easy access to nature, residents and visitors enjoy alpine and nordic skiing, mountain biking, hiking, boating, golf, and other outdoor pursuits. Nelson also has an active arts and culture scene with a thriving small business community. Nelson's offbeat Victorian town is home to hundreds of heritage buildings, numerous good restaurants, bustling coffee shops, and sidewalk cafes.
For more information, visit: www.nelson.ca
LV Rogers Secondary School – minimum 5 month stay (Sept. and Feb. acceptance)
LV Rogers Secondary - https://lvr.sd8.bc.ca
Total Enrollment 800
International Students 54
Course Selection https://lvr.sd8.bc.ca/students/course-selection/grade10-12
Electives Sports teams, woodworking, mechanics, technology, culinary skills, band, visual arts, Science/Technology/Engineering/Math, French, Spanish,
Highlights Safe, clean, outdoor opportunities, cafeteria, on the lake, small city,
access to community activities, tennis, close to skiing, band and mountain biking, Winner of the Garfield Weston Award from the Fraser Institute in 2008- 2009 for academic excellence, award winning jazz band, qualified ELL teacher and class, International Program staff member on site
Sports/Clubs/Academy Photography, visual arts, textiles, band, cooking, French, Spanish, drafting, woodworking, technology, and recreation leadership, Volleyball Academy/Mountain Biking Academy/Dance, Academy/Advance Placement/Rugby Academy/Adventure Tourism
Dance - The dance program is under the direction of Jennifer MacMillan. Ms. MacMillan holds a BFA with a Major in Dance from Simon Fraser University (CAN) and a MA in Teaching Dance from the University of Surrey (UK). She is also a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and a member of the British Columbia Dance Educators' Association. She is passionate about and committed to bringing high quality dance education to students within the public school system.
Dance students in grades nine through twelve attend classes four days weekly and train in ballet, modern, jazz and hip hop. Beyond technique and performance, dance education at LVR includes developing a theoretical base in dance history, choreography, literacy, health, anatomy, world dance as well as dance related careers.
Other Academies – Rugby, Volleyball, Mountain Biking, Coding and Computer Technology,
Salmo is an active community with many services and attractions, a vibrant arts community and challenging, fun recreational activities year round. It is centrally located at the junction of the Crowsnest Highway and Highway 6. Once a small mining town during the gold rush of 1896, the town has a strong community spirit where local residents and visitors can participate in a great outdoor lifestyle with excellent hiking, skiing and golf, while enjoying close proximity to urban amenities
For more information, visit: www.salmo.ca
Salmo Secondary School - www.salsec.sd8.bc.ca
Total Enrollment 163 (Gr. 7 – 12)
International Students 2
Electives Sports teams, woodworking, mechanics, technology, sewing, cooking, French, ski days
Highlights Safe, clean, outdoor opportunities, cafeteria, rural, close to skiing, on bus route to Nelson, 5 min to Salmo Ski Hill with night skiing, smaller class sizes for individual attention.
Sports/Clubs/Academy Tourism course, basketball, cross-country running, volleyball
Located in the Selkirk Mountains, the Slocan Valley includes many towns as well as a number of unincorporated communities that run along the 100km valley. A draw for tourists and residents looking for a slower pace, the Slocan Valley is rich in history with a number of historic and heritage sites. Sandy beaches along the Slocan River and Slocan Lake, numerous trails, spectacular views, and access to Valhalla and Kokanee Glacier Provincial Parks make the Slocan Valley an ideal all-season recreation destination. The town of Slocan located on the shores of Slocan lake is a gateway to Valhalla Provincial Park, a picturesque place with several activities, such as rock climbing, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, and a skate park.
Mt. Sentinel School - https://mtsentinel.sd8.bc.ca
Total Enrollment 261 (Gr. 7 – 12)
International Students 4
Course Selection https://mtsentinel.sd8.bc.ca/students/course-selection
Electives Sports teams, woodworking, mechanics, technology, sewing, cooking, Russian, French, Forestry Program (college transfer)
Highlights Safe, clean, outdoor opportunities, cafeteria, rural, close to skiing, on bus route to Nelson
Sports/Clubs/Academy Performance and Media Academy, soccer, basketball, cross-country running, volleyball (provincial champions),
Performance and Media Academy
Mount Sentinel Performance and Media Academy (Academy PM) is a cross-curricular program that is designed to prepare students to enter post secondary education or a career in the film, theatre, game and digital media industry. This program includes a rotating selection of credits but always includes:
A social studies/upper level social studies elective
Design of Performance Media (Board Approved)
Production of Media (Board Approved)
An upper level elective such as Film, Scriptwriting, Acting, Theatre production, etc.
This program is one full semester in length and offers students an opportunity to work on major, student led projects and showcases such as film festivals, theartre productions, gallery displays. We also work hand in hand with industry partners as much as we can to give students an authentic opportunity to work in an industry which they see themselves pursuing after high school.
This program requires an application, interview, and reference process.