Travel the world on a tall ship, or spend winter term in London. Visit the natural, historical, artistic, and scientific wonders of Europe, Australasia, and Central America. Live and learn within a developing community, or spend a term living and studying on the campus of Oxford University. That's just a small taste of what international travel schools offer, and for periods ranging from a single term to the entire high school career.
Certainly, the options offered by world travel schools are as vast as they are impressive. These are schools that build their programs beyond the traditional bricks-and-mortar model. Some move frequently from destination to destination, building lessons around them while also providing the full range of secondary instruction. Others are less peripatetic, moving only between terms, allowing students to spend a period of months living, learning and engaging with a single community. In all cases, students move between destinations as a group, providing a sense of continuity and allowing for the development of meaningful peer and mentor relationships. Throughout, they are supervised with the same round-the-clock attention that you'd find in any boarding school setting.
It's not for everyone, though certainly no instructional model is. That said, travel schools offer more than just a chance to appease a sense of wanderlust. Whether travelling abroad to help a community in need, to build language skills, or to develop a truly international sensibility, these programs provide unequaled opportunities to broaden knowledge and understanding through first-hand, lived experience.
On this page we cover international travel schools. For a complete guide to private schooling, including information about admissions, please see our introductory guide.
Class Afloat - West Island College International (est. 1984)
Class Afloat - West Island College International offers leading experiential education opportunities for Grade 11, 12, University and GAP year students. Students attend classes aboard a majestic tall ship, exploring over 20 ports of call worldwide. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$36,000 to $57,500|
A+ World Academy (est. 2015)
A+ World Academy is a boarding school on a Ship. Up to 60 students in grades 11 and 12 live and work the 90 year old Norwegian Tall Ship, ‘Sørlandet’, while they take AP classes and travel the world. [View profile]
Our boarding school guide has advice specific to finding boarding schools in Canada. For insights that are more general (on how to evaluate school options) we recommend you review our hub on choosing a school.
Private school expos are ideal launching pads for your school-finding journey. All expos are held in the fall at a number of centres across Canada. There are three expos hosted in Ontario, one in Toronto, one in Halton-Peel, and one in Ottawa. Expos are also held each fall in Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary. All are opportunities to speak with administrators from leading boarding schools within the regions in which the expos are held.
Word-of-mouth is another powerful tool in your school-finding arsenal. The Our Kids private school discussion forum allows you to discuss your options and debate topics around gifted education. You can use our community of parents, educational experts, alumni, and schools to help answer your questions and stimulate your thinking.
Attending open houses is obviously a great way to learn more about a school and get a feel for the environment. For some advice on open house visits, go here. For questions to ask that are specific to boarding programs, refer to our main boarding school hub.
Broadly speaking, the cost of boarding reflects the cost private school tuition in general, though with premiums added to cover housing and meals.
Many schools offer financial aid, including scholarships and bursaries. Financial aid is needs-based, and financial aid programs are created as a means of broadening the student base and attracting students, independent of means, who will contribute most to the culture of the school. Generally speaking, the larger and more expensive schools provide the most aid.
You can read more about financial aid and scholarships in our dedicated guide.
Below you'll find the range of costs at international travel schools:
|Tuition (baording school)||Students receiving financial aid||Grade eligibility for financial aid||Avg. aid package size (annual)|
|Class Afloat - West Island College International||$36,000 to $57,500||11 - 12|
Average class size
Special needs support
|Class Afloat - West Island College International||Traditional||Standard-enriched||Supportive||8 to 10||No support|
|A+ World Academy||Traditional||Standard-enriched||Rigorous||No support||Medium integration|
|Class Afloat - West Island College International|
|A+ World Academy|
Graduation requirements, as well as the degrees offered by international schools, varies based on focus, curriculum, and affiliation. For example, students attending Neuchâtel Junior College earn credits toward completion of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Other schools—including Carlsbad International School, the International School of Asia, Karuizawa (ISAK), and THINK Global School—offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) toward the fulfilment of the IB diploma.
The International Baccalaureate is a two-year advanced secondary school curriculum that was founded in 1968 and is now taught in schools in more than 140 countries, including many alternative institutions in Canada.
The IB curriculum was created for students aged 16 to 19. It is intended to provide a well-rounded, high quality, advanced course of study that delivers the basics of high school education while challenging students to apply their knowledge and skills through collaboration, discussion, and communication.
In order to earn an IB diploma students complete a course of study in six core subject areas (language and literature, language acquisition, individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, and the arts) an essay of up to 4000 words, and sit standard, externally assessed exams. In addition to coursework, students are also required to complete two formal projects and a minimum of 50 hours of community service.
Each of Canada's universities is free to sets its own admissions standards and to assess each candidate based on their own internal criteria. There is no national university entrance exam or governing body overseeing university admissions. As a result, admission criteria can vary widely, even between universities within Canada. Students are required to contact colleges or universities directly to find a list of admission requirements and deadlines, and to submit transcripts in support of their application.
While the specific details of recognition can vary between universities—or, in some cases, even between faculty within a university—the IB diploma is widely accepted as an admission credential if the scores earned meet certain targets. In some instances, IB courses and exams are recognized for transfer credit within an institution, used in fulfillment of university degree requirements and/or fulfilling course prerequisite requirements.