When you relocate to Canada, you may choose the right province for you depending on the work opportunities, or the language. If your children are already in a French-speaking school, or don’t speak English, it can be difficult for you to move to an English speaking province. But don’t worry, in Canada, being a bilingual country, you will find French schools in every province of the country. Today, we look at French schools in British Columbia.

Like everywhere else in Canada, you will find both public and private schools in British Columbia.

French Public Schools In British Columbia

There is a French school board in British Colombia: the “Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique”. This school board is responsible for all the French public schools in the province.

Make sure to check if your child is eligible for admission in these French schools, as there are some conditions to fulfil. If you are a Canadian citizen, your child is automatically eligible if:

  • Your first language (spoken and understood) is French OR
  • You have received primary education in French in Canada (except immersion) OR
  • One of your other children has received or currently receives primary or secondary education in French in Canada (except immersion)

If you are not a Canadian citizen, your child may be eligible if:

  • You or the other parent is an immigrant, who would have rights under the provisions of Article 23 of the Charter if they were a Canadian citizen, OR
  • You or the other parent is an immigrant or Canadian citizen, who speaks French fluently, OR
  • One of the child’s Canadian grand-parents is primarily French-speaking or received his or her primary or secondary education in French as first language (except immersion)

In this last case, a provincial admission committee will examine your child’s case and decide if he/she is eligible.

French Public Schools are free from elementary to secondary school, but fees apply for every post-secondary school. If you are interested, there are scholarship programs set up by the government to help you to pay these fees.

French Private School in British Columbia

There is only one private French school in British Columbia: The French International School Cousteau. This school follows the program of the National Minister of Education of France, and the program of British Columbia Education.

It is a really good compromise for French immigrants who want their children to continue in the French education system in British Columbia. Cousteau is a recent school opened in 1997 that offers French education from preschool to grade 9 (called “3ème” in the French system). However, tuition fees are expensive, from $9,400 to $12,250 per year, and there are no scholarship programs.

French public and private schools both offer a very complete program allowing children to learn mathematics, history, geography, science, sports, arts, and of course French and English.  These schools make perfectly educated bilingual children!

Additional Resources