Friday 15th December 2017

About The Program

Richmond International Education (RIE) welcomes international students to enter Grades 8 through 12 at Richmond School District No. 38 secondary schools, and under certain circumstances, Kindergarten to Grade 7 at selected Richmond public elementary schools in the City of Richmond in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia (BC). The program gives international students the opportunity to study alongside Canadian students in the British Columbia public education system. Richmond School District #38 is the 5th largest school district in the province of British Columbia, employing 3500 staff and with an annual operating budget of over $227,000,000 CAD.



Richmond secondary schools offer a wide range of academic, technical, business, athletic, artistic, and specialty course options. Many international students who come to Richmond are planning to complete their secondary school education with a view to entering a Canadian university or college. Students should be aware that there are specific provincial course requirements that all secondary students must meet in order to graduate from a BC secondary school a Dogwood Diploma.

The length of time required for graduation will depend upon the following factors:

  1. the applicant’s assessed English Language Learner (ELL) Level;
  2. the applicant’s chosen program of study;
  3. the applicant’s ability to meet the graduation requirements.

There are counselors available at each school to assist International Students in course planning to meet these graduation requirements and the specific requirements for admission into a college or university program of the student’s choice. Length of time to achieve a BC Secondary School Graduation Certificate, a “Dogwood Diploma”, will also be contingent upon the amount of transfer of credit assigned for prior learning outside of BC. Please note that the completion of a secondary diploma will not guarantee acceptance into colleges or universities. Only students who successfully complete their program of study and meet the necessary entrance requirements at their chosen postsecondary institution will be eligible for admission into university and college programs in Canada and throughout and the world.


Each applicant’s acceptance into Richmond International Education programs and subsequent placement in a secondary school will be determined by:

  1. the applicant’s educational background and present academic standing as indicated on the transcripts, and
  2. the applicant’s social, emotional, psychological, and behavioural suitability, and
  3. the availability of space in Richmond International Education programs. All applicants must also comply with and maintain compliance with all Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requirements and receive the appropriate documents to enter, study, and remain in Canada.


Application packages are accepted on a continual basis throughout the year. Submit a fully completed application form, supporting documents and the non-refundable application fee of $200 CAD to the RIE Office. The list of supporting documents and the application procedure are listed on page one of the application form. Seat availability is limited and assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is advisable for applicants to complete the application procedure as quickly as possible. Applicants should also keep in mind the IRCC application process can take up to 3 months to complete. Under normal circumstances, all fully completed application packages will be processed and within 5-10 business days.

Failure to include original documents or certified copies, or otherwise incomplete application packages will result in a delay in the processing time. All original documents will be returned to the applicant. In addition to the required official documents, submitting other supporting documentation such as a study plan, references, certificates of achievement, and a hand-written letter from the student, indicating why he/she wants to study abroad in Richmond, are recommended.


Except for the ELL class schedule, which is based on individual need, International Students take the same classes as domestic students. Typical subjects include English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, History, Computer Programs and Physical Education.

Students may enter the program in September and February. Students assigned to a semester school will normally commence their program in September or February and complete 4 courses per semester. Students assigned to a linear school will usually begin their program in September and will be assigned 8 courses at the beginning of the school year and complete them at the end of the school year in June.

In addition to the wide range of courses in the academic, technical, information technology, the arts, and business fields, each school offers a number of innovative courses and programs at all grade levels including opportunities for enrichment. All schools offer specialized courses in Modern Languages, Physical Education, Technology, as well as Visual and Performing Arts. Unique courses and programs offered include: Broadcasting and Recording Arts Technology, Engineering, all levels of Computer Assisted Design and Drafting (CADD) courses, Environmental Biology, Computer Animation, Desktop Publishing, and Music Composition courses , sports academies, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate-Senior Years (IB-SYP) and International Baccalaureate-Middle Years Program (IB-MYP).

Richmond secondary schools offer a multitude of extra-curricular activities in music, drama, sports, citizenship, and other areas of personal development.

The public school system in Richmond includes approximately 11,000 secondary students and 11,000 elementary students. All secondary schools in Richmond are full service schools offering a wide range of programs to meet the needs of students enrolled in grades 8 through 12. All students are provided with program opportunities to fulfill their intellectual, human, social and career development needs. Richmond’s graduating students have demonstrated their academic excellence at a provincial level by winning a significant percentage of provincial government scholarships, leading the province in graduation and completion rates, postsecondary acceptance rates. Our graduates are able to qualify for admission to prestigious universities throughout the world.


Richmond International Education employs a Homestay Coordinator to organize and facilitate an efficient Homestay program to provide support for host families and International Students requiring a local homestay. Living with a Canadian family is an excellent and enjoyable way to experience Canadian culture, build proficiency in English, become part of a local Canadian family, and integrate into the local community.

All schools that host International Students have advisors, administrators, and counselors who are available to counsel students in both academic and non-academic matters.

International students can take part in a wide number of extracurricular school activities, including sports, band, choir, theatre, and social justice clubs and interact with other students sharing common interests. Within the Richmond community there are also many multicultural activities, community centres, libraries, outstanding and convenient public facilities and transportation options, as well as information services to assist non-native English speakers.