The Saskatoon Public Schools' Program for International Students offers opportunities for international students to learn English and study a standard Canadian academic curriculum at selected respected high schools in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Canadian and international students aged 13 to 20 study Grades 9 to 12. The curriculum is geared toward university preparation. Graduates from our program are eligible to enter colleges and universities upon completion of the program and are considered well prepared for the higher level academic demands of Canadian and American universities. Students are well cared for by families in our homestay program.
Saskatoon Public Schools offer short and long term programs designed to suit many kinds of international students.
Short term programs last for one or two semesters and are intended for students who want an academic experience combined with a language and cultural experience. Students' marks are revalidated for re-entry into their home schools.
Long term programs are for students who want an academic program that will lead to a complete Saskatchewan Grade 12 Diploma. Such students should be prepared to stay from two to seven semesters depending on their age and the number of high school courses the student has passed in the home country.
In both short term and long term programs, international students may study ESL if required and regular academic classes at the same time. Those at the beginner level will spend two hours a day in ESL courses and three hours in credit courses with Canadian classmates. As each student's working ability in English improves, he or she will progress into a full-time academic program fully integrated with Canadian students.
Our schools are well known for maintaining high standards of teaching in math and science programs, fine arts, drama, and athletic programs. Saskatoon was recently awarded the number one ranking for educational opportunities across Canada by an American publication. Our advantage over programs in centres like Vancouver and Toronto is lower tuition and living costs, and more personal attention in a relatively small program. Also students who join us with a study permit are eligible for free government health coverage.
All international students must live with homestay families approved by the international program unless given permission by the program coordinator, for example, to live with relatives. Students are asked to complete a personal profile form so the homestay coordinator will be able to match them with suitable families. The SPS also arranges custodianship for students under 18.
Students can expect their first semester to be very challenging since the constant sound of English will seem strange and school procedures will all be new. Students can count on the program staff to help them with every part of adjusting to life in Saskatoon. The SPS employs a full-time international program coordinator who can address concerns of a personal, academic, and financial nature. Each student is assigned a personal advisor who monitors the student's progress in all areas of school life. A homestay facilitator works closely with students to ensure good relationships develop with the homestay family, while the homestays themselves provide a safe environment in which to build friendships with Canadian families. New students are given a comprehensive orientation on the day before school opens.
From the beginning, students' future plans for study and their career goals are taken into consideration when designing a schedule of courses in both the long term and short term programs. A specialist counsellor from our student services office works with international students to help with applications for university and scholarships.
Intramural: All students may participate in numerous noon hour sporting activities for fun and exercise.
Intercollegiate: International students are eligible to compete as members of school teams if they have sufficient skill to be selected by school coaches.
Every student can make use of the athletic facilities in the school. Gymnasiums, a weight room, tennis courts, and extensive playing fields are used for the elite school teams and for recreational use. Every Grade 9 and 10 student is required to participate in physical education.
School teams include Girls: Volleyball, Soccer, Cross Country Running, Basketball, Badminton, and Track and Field. Boys: Football, Volleyball, Soccer, Cross Country Running, Basketball, Wrestling, Badminton, and Track and Field.
Optional activities like Bowling, Horseback Riding, Hiking, Curling, Ice Skating, Downhill Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Swimming, Rugby, and others can be arranged by individuals, by families, and by school activity leaders. Numerous intramural sports are held year round.
There is a range of activities, which are part of the normal life of our school, such as dances and other socials, dress up days, and other activities to increase school spirit.
Canadian and international students consider the extra curricular clubs and activities to be one of the most important features of school life. These include Model United Nations and Debate, Outdoor Education (canoeing and camping), Child Hunger Charity, Yearbook, Student Publications, School Ambassadors, Drama and Musical Productions, and Culturescape Multicultural Festival.
As international students gain confidence and experience in their new environment, these clubs will offer them great ways to make friends and to learn about new interests.
Almost 100 computers are networked in computer classrooms, the library, and special areas including ESL classrooms and arts areas. Four different types of courses teach various types of computer use including programming, business applications, computer drafting, and computer graphics. In addition, English literature and social studies teachers promote the use of computers for research and for the preparation of professional looking formal assignments. All students have access to library computers for research, document production, and Internet searches.
Students and the school community have been fortunate through the years to enjoy numerous concerts, dramas, and musical productions. These result from a rich combination of private interest and lessons by students with dedicated leadership from teachers. As part of the regular curriculum, students can choose from among a variety of fine arts courses such as Drama, Band, Visual Art, Guitar, Choral, Photography, and Media Studies.
In addition to the academic program, the SPS has special programs designed to integrate students with handicaps into the mainstream school community. One program is for those who are deaf and blind, while another teaches life skills to mentally handicapped students.
The University of Saskatchewan is the destination for the majority of SPS graduates. The school's International Student Office and the U of S International Admissions Office communicate frequently to ensure that students receive up to date information about programs and entrance requirements.
In addition to the foreign language programs, students are able to participate in exchange programs with France, Germany, and Japan.
Campus tours may be arranged by contacting the Program for International Students Office at (306) 683-8430.
All new students will receive a campus tour as part of their orientation.
To summarize, we feel that our relatively small program is able to offer international students much more personal attention (than a very big city) and consistent support in the classroom and outside. Saskatoon is a safe, welcoming university city with relatively few non-Canadians, so our students can learn English naturally and quickly.
Modified on April 03, 2008