Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose to study at the DSBN in Niagara, Canada? 

The Niagara Region provides a safe and peaceful living environment, high proportion of native-English-speaking students in schools, high-quality Ontario curriculum, wide variety of professional teaching and support services, magnificent natural beauty including the famous Niagara Falls, many historical sites, and close proximity (one hour) to/from Toronto’s international airport and to the U.S.A. international border.  See Why Study at the DSBN section.

May I attend any school of my choice? 

The school you choose will have the appropriate level of ESL support for your needs AND will fall within the designated boundary of your home address in Niagara. See School Placement Options section.

What ESL support will I receive? 

Although all schools of the DSBN have ESL support from a visiting teacher on a regular basis, DSBN designates 4 of its high schools as ESL-site schools offering ESL credit courses and 9 of its elementary schools offering a full-time level of ESL support.  Your English proficiency is assessed at the Welcome Centre and you are then placed into the appropriate classes.  See Our Schools section.

At what grade level will I be placed? 

You will be placed in the same grade level as DSBN students of the same age; however, grade placement may be changed where appropriate and approved by the Principal.

Are there any age limitations on students? 

Students must be at least 10 years of age to study here without being in the care of a parent.  Students must be no more than 20 years of age as at December 31 of their final school year.

May I attend school for a short term? 

The minimum period of stay is one semester or term (i.e., 5 months).  The DSBN also accepts agent- or school-organized groups of international students for short-term cultural camps of 2-3 weeks. See Group Cultural Experience section.

Where will I live while studying at the DSBN? 

You will stay with a caring and responsible Canadian homestay family or with an immediate relative or family friend.  For homestay services, see Student Support& Homestay Services section.

Who offers homestay services for DSBN students? 

The DSBN does not provide homestay or custodian services. We encourage families to do their own research and make their own arrangements. Some students and their families choose living arrangements with relatives; others select agencies to coordinate living arrangements. The DSBN does not recommend any agency, as the selection of a student service provider is the sole responsibility of the parents.  For a list of some local service providers, see Student Support & Homestay Services section. Families may also consult other service providers on their own or use their own resources.

Who Qualifies as a Custodian for Minors? 

Students under the age of 18 years and living in Niagara without a parent, must live with a Niagara family and also have a legal custodian designated to act in the place of the parent.  The custodian must be at least 19 years of age, a permanent resident or citizen of Canada, and reside with or within a reasonable distance from the student.

How do I apply to become a student at the DSBN? 

Submit a completed student application form along with transcripts/school records for the current and 2 previous years, and pay an application/administrative fee and full tuition fees.  If approved, a Letter of Acceptance will be issued within 15 business days.  See How to Apply section.

Do I need a study permit? 

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, if the main intent of coming to the DSBN is to study longer than 6 months, a study permit will be required.  If the main intent of coming to the DSBN is to study in a program that starts and finishes within 6 months, a study permit is not required to attend the DSBN.

How do I obtain a study permit? 

Study permits are issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in Canadian Embassies and Consulates around the world.  To apply for a study permit, visit the CIC website in the home country or if in Canada, visit: or to extend a study permit, visit: 

What is the weather like in Niagara? 

There are four beautiful seasons in Niagara which are each about 3 months in length.  In the Spring, it’s warm and wet, in the Fall, it’s pleasant and colourful, in the Summer it’s hot and sunny, and in the Winter, there is snow but with many beautifully sunny days.  All our schools, homes, and public spaces have central heating and the air quality is consistently high.  Varied seasons allow for a wide range of exciting outdoor activities!

When can I arrive in Canada? 

You should plan to arrive 1-2 weeks ahead of the start of school to get settled in.  You will attend your previously-scheduled registration and assessment at the DSBN Welcome Centre before going in to the school to register and start school.  See Arrival and Orientation at Welcome Centresection.

May I work while I am studying at the DSBN? 

Students attending high school are not permitted to work while studying in Canada.  See guidelines on the website for Citizenship and Immigration Canada