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School Life

School Life

Canadian schools offered in Nanaimo are as follows.

• NDSS Nanaimo District Senior Secondary
• Dover Bay
• Wellington
• Cedar
• Barsby

No school rankings + 40 clubs

All offer excellent teachers and courses

20-30 international students graduate each year in Nanaimo

All schools offer

ELLEnglish Language Learners support – offered as an elective

Technology in all schools

Extracurricular electives: Woodworking, sewing, design, cooking and culinary arts and theatre

Students are placed by goals, and interests and must obtain a >60% average during the school year to pass

Advisors are located inside all the schools, and homestay coordinators work to match to students to the exact right programs that are best for them.

Nanaimo International Schools have the ability to remain hands-on because it is a small business, run by a team that truly cares about the students visiting Nanaimo.


5 month program either September – January or February – June

10 month program September – January


Contact our LivEnglish team for exact prices

Extra costs

Student tours
• Rockies, 3 day trip to the Rocky Mountains
• Vancouver, day trips are offered throughout the year
• Victoria, day trips offered throughout the year
• Tofino camping, 3 day camping on the West Coast of the Island
• Hiking, walking, kayaking, fishing etc…

About Nanaimo

200 Years ago, Nanaimo began with single story buildings in the older part of the city.

A population of 118,000 people live here today.

Outdoor activities that bring people here are;

  • surfing
  • kayaking
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • mountain biking
  • stand-up paddle boarding

There is an abundance of Wildlife. Vancouver Island is a temperate rainforest.

Things to do & see

Ladysmith – light up ceremony 30,000 attend parade, dinner for students and Santa turns on the lights Xmas ISE trip 

Sports – Hockey; grass, ice, street and gym. This is a large part of Canadian heritage and history

Port Theatre – Nanaimo offers culture through events, shows and theatre

Climbing – Romper room

BMX Park


  • Neck Point
  • Westwood Lake
  • Colliery Dam
  • Pipers Lagoon

Follow the link to parks, and trails in Nanaimo

NDSS Nanaimo District Secondary School

Nanaimo District Secondary School

Oldest school in Nanaimo, and the biggest with 1600+ students

Dual track, regular English, French Immersion and Francophone programs are available

Special sport applications – positions are filled using the LOTTO system

West Coast Wilderness Studies

Dover Bay Secondary School

Dover Bay Secondary School

1400+ students

Academic courses WWS

Fine arts – positions filled by LOTTO system

Musical theatre AP- Biology

Culinary arts program

Wellington Secondary School – The Beautiful School

Wellington Secondary School

1000+ students

Jazz music program – Diana Krall video applications

West Coast Wilderness Studies

Science Super Labs

John Barsby Secondary School

Barsby Secondary School

650+ students

Ladysmith Secondary School

Ladysmith Secondary School

700+ students

Cedar Secondary School

Cedar Secondary School

250+ students, rural, without buses

There are also 28 elementary schools as well who do IES, but they do not offer homestay with these programs. This is more for families who want to host other family members from out of country.

Student Testimonies

For personal accounts of what Canadian exchange programs are like, follow the link to two personal interviews with two recent students!

Meet Cagla (Chala) from Turkey and hear how much she loved learning English in Canada. She plans to return next year to graduate from Grade 12. Learn English in Canada

Next meet Clara, a German student who did a short 5-month program. She very much enjoyed the wildlife and hanging out with her friends! German Student living in Canada