Overview / Brochures

Click above for a Video Overview of the International Student Pathways Program 

Welcome to the District School Board of Niagara, a K-12 publicly funded school district in Ontario. As the International Education Coordinator of the DSBN, I invite you to live and study in one of the most scenic parts of the world that is home to the famous Niagara Falls. The Niagara Region is located one hour from
Toronto's international airport. 

Our schools are staffed with government-certified, highly dedicated teachers and have superb facilities. Host families are well-screened and supervised by professional homestay organizations in the area.

The DSBN invites all nationalities worldwide to study!

dsbn-international-brochure---final0927_Page_01   DSBN International Brochure 2021-22 



Why Study at the DSBN

As an English language learner, you will be immersed in classrooms consisting of 85-95% native-English-speaking students and will have access to a comprehensive level of English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) support. You will benefit from this environment whether you attend for long-term academic study or for short-term cultural learning.

If high-school graduation is your goal, you will earn the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) rated in the top 15% of high-school diplomas among developed countries around the world, according to the PISA results (OECD, 2014).  The OSSD is widely recognized for admission to universities and colleges across Canada, the USA, and worldwide.   Click here to learn more about Ontario's Strategy for K-12 International Education. 

Enjoy living in one of our safe and more peaceful communities that offer good transportation services, up-to-date medical facilities, magnificent natural beauty, and proximity to Toronto and to the US international border. More information can be obtained at Why Study at the DSBN 

Program Options

The DSBN invites you to study in a long-term academic or semester-long academic/cultural program. We offer:

  • Placement into Secondary School for students seeking to obtain the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). 
  • Placement into Elementary School for students seeking to attend academic study at Elementary School
  • Placement into Elementary or Secondary School for a semester-long cultural or language experience.

Click here for more information about our Program Options

Our Schools


Secondary schooling in Ontario is comprised of Grades 9-12 and student ages are typically 14 – 17 years. Courses are offered at different levels to suit the needs of students depending on their future plans, whether for university, college, or the world of work.

ESL support services are offered at all secondary schools; however, there are four (4) secondary schools that provide comprehensive ESL support services for international students. They are: St. Catharines Collegiate (St. Catharines), Westlane Secondary School (Niagara Falls), and Welland Centennial Secondary School (Welland).

Click here for secondary school profiles.

Elementary schooling in Ontario is comprised of Kindergarten to Grade 8 and student ages are typically 4-13 years. ESL support services are offered at all elementary schools; however, there are nine (9) elementary schools that provide a full complement of ESL support for international students. For a list of these schools, go to ESL site schools. For more detail about DSBN schools, go to Our Schools  

School Placement Options

In the school placement process, you will need to consider the two following factors in identifying the appropriate school placement as an international student:

Your Need for ESL Support. The DSBN designates 4 of its secondary schools and 9 of its elementary schools as locations which offer a comprehensive level of ESL support for international students.  Click here for more information on Our Schools

Your Address in Niagara. The DSBN requires that you attend the Regular school or the school with ESL support for international students that is designated according to your address. Click here for more information on School Placement Options

Student Support & Homestay Services

The DSBN provides a high level of student support through our professional school personnel. Moreover, DSBN works closely with student service providers in the community who regularly provide services such as homestay placement and supervision, custodianship for minors, settlement, regular communications with parents, access to healthcare insurance, airport transfers, and arranged group excursions.

Click here for more information about Student Support & Homestay Services


Overview 2A custodian is required to be arranged for students under the age of 18 living in Niagara without a parent. The custodian must be at least 19 years of age, a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, and be living with or within a reasonable distance away from the student..

Click here for more information about Custodianship  

How to Apply (New and Returning Students)

International students (New or Returning) can apply directly online OR obtain the PDF Student Application Form and submit it.

For Returning Students to the DSBN
You must complete and submit a Returning International Student Application Form
Click here for more information on How to Apply

For New Students to the DSBN
You must complete and submit an International Student Application Form for New Students. The steps to apply are:
Step 1 Submit Application Form, Transcripts, and non-refundable Application Fee all together
Step 2 DSBN reviews applications. If approved, DSBN issues a pre-acceptance email
Step 3 Pay full Tuition Fees as outlined in the pre-acceptance email
Step 4 DSBN issues Letter of Acceptance (LOA) which indicates fees being paid

Click here for more information on How to Apply

Arrival and Orientation
All NEW students to the DSBN must make and attend an appointment to visit the DSBN Welcome Centre before starting school. Returning students to the DSBN are not required to make an appointment at the Welcome Centre before starting school. 

The steps for arrival and orientation are:
Step 1 Arrange for Arrival with Custodian or Host Family
Step 2 Attend Orientation and Assessment at the Welcome Centre
Step 3 Register, attend school orientation (if applicable), and start school
Click here for more information on Arrival and Orientation