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Why the Kootenays?

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:

  1. Outstanding education within individualized classrooms
  2. Full English immersion
  3. Opportunities, electives, academies and extra curricular activities
  4. Mild climate - four seasons with an average winter temperature of +0.6
  5. Unlimit outdoor adventures- skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, golf, water sports
  6. Welcoming and safe communities and schools
  7. 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: