We all know that Vancouver is one of the most recognizable cities in the world, but have you ever heard of Coquitlam? It’s a city within Metro Vancouver, which has been rated as one of the most liveable cities ever, and it’s also consistently rated by the British Columbia Ministry of Education as one of the best school districts in all of British Columbia. In addition to a strong education system, however, Coquitlam also has a lot to offer for international students who are curious about what it’s like to live in a diverse and inclusive community that is surrounded by the great outdoors.
About the Coquitlam School District
Located just 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver, the Coquitlam School District (School District No. 43) stands as a prominent educational institution in British Columbia, proudly holding the position as the third largest school district in the province. Nestled in a safe and affluent community, SD 43 has cultivated a tradition of academic excellence spanning over 56 years, and currently maintains a student body of over 31,000 individuals distributed across 70 schools. The district’s commitment to modern education is evident in its new high-tech schools, which have been equipped with up-to-date facilities to ensure that students are well-prepared for the demands of an increasingly digitized education.
Why Coquitlam SD?
Notably, the majority of international students who graduate from Coquitlam schools proceed to enroll in college or university, a testament to the district’s commitment to guiding students toward their future goals. With a remarkable 97% graduation rate, SD 43 continues to set a standard for educational excellence in British Columbia, boasting a network of elementary schools, middle schools and secondary schools—all of which are dedicated to helping shape the academic journeys of its diverse local and international student populations.
Coquitlam’s schools and educators
SD 43 currently has 45 elementary schools, each of which serve students from Kindergarten to Grade 5.
There are also 14 middle schools that serve students from Grade 6 to 8. Some school districts do not have middle schools, but Coquitlam’s middle schools provide students a smooth transition from elementary to secondary school.
Serving students throughout Grade 9 to 12, Coquitlam’s 11 secondary schools offer a variety of excellent programs such as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and French Immersion. These programs are aimed at students who wish to challenge themselves academically and learn in a faster, more rigorous environment. Many high school students also join sports programs like basketball, soccer, volleyball and tennis.
Whether it be an elementary, middle or secondary school, SD 43’s teachers are government-certified educators and considered to be among the best teachers in Canada. All Coquitlam schools follow the B.C. Ministry of Education-approved curriculum, so students will learn the same topics in similar formats and settings, regardless of which school they go to. International students whose first language is not English will receive ELL support from certified teachers.
SD 43 program offerings
International students can take part in a variety of programs that have been specifically designed for them. These include:
- Full-year program
- For elementary, middle and secondary levels
- September to June (10 months)
- Half-year program
- For elementary and middle levels
- 6 months long, with September or January start dates
- Short-term programs (summer- and winter-intensive ESL programs)
- Summer: July and August
- Weekly programs available in 1-8 week options
How to apply
- Submit application form, application fee, copy of passport and official transcripts for approval
- Successful applicants will receive a Letter of Offer. Upon receiving the letter, submit tuition fees and custodianship documents
- Successful applicants will receive a Letter of Acceptance. This letter will be used later when applying for a study permit
- Upon arrival in Coquitlam, students will report to the International Education Office with their passport and study permit to activate medical coverage
Like local Canadian students, international students will be following the B.C. curriculum and take courses such as:
- Social studies
- Fine arts
- Career and technology studies
- Electives (home economics, fine arts, etc.)
Upon graduation, International students will receive the B.C. Dogwood Diploma, which marks the completion of Grade 12. The diploma is recognized all over the world and can be used when applying to universities and colleges.