On Canada’s westernmost coast, Vancouver is something like North America’s final frontier. Somewhat at the fringe, both geographically and politically, its position on the Pacific Rim opens Vancouver to cultural and commercial exchange with other cosmopolitan cities like San Francisco, Tokyo and Beijing. And an exceptional quality of living has attracted investors and immigrants from across Asia and throughout the world. So it comes as no surprise that there’s a great demand for international schools in Vancouver and British Columbia.

In recent years, the population of the greater metropolitan area has really exploded, and Vancouver remains one of the most ethnically diverse cities in all of Canada. More than half of the city’s residents have a first language other than English, and nearly 30% are of Chinese heritage.

Why choose International Schools

For immigrant families as well as native residents, international schools provide a different type of education, often promoting a more global curriculum and including a more diverse student body. International schools frequently use the curriculum of a different country or one based on the International Baccalaureate, Edexcel or Cambridge International Examinations. One school in Vancouver belongs to the AEFE (French Agency for French Education Abroad) and follows the official curriculum of France.

Students can also receive multilingual education from international schools, as well as special assistance with English as a second language. Foreign students who attend these schools will have an easier time adjusting to life in their new country, and Canadian students can gain a competitive edge with greater language proficiency and a broader worldview.

A Directory of International Schools in Vancouver and British Columbia

The following list includes a mix of almost 30 schools, both public and private, in and around the Metro Vancouver area. Each school offers at least one—and in some cases all three—levels of the International Baccalaureate curriculum.

Abbotsford Secondary School

A public high school in Abbotsford, a suburb to the east of Vancouver, offering the International Baccalaureate curriculum. The school, housed primarily in a modern rotunda structure, has an enrollment of about 1100 students.

Mailing address: 33355 Bevan Avenue, Abbotsford, B.C. V2S 0E7

Phone: (604) 853-3367

Tuition / Fees: Free, public

Aspengrove School

An independent school with pre-K through grade 12, located in the affluent suburb of Nanaimo, on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Open since 2003, Aspengrove is an International Baccalaureate World School with an excellent reputation, offering the IB Primary Years, IB Middle Years and IB Diploma program. The small school has just over 300 students.

Mailing address: 7660 Clark Drive, Lantzville, B. C. V0R 2H0

Phone: (250) 390-2201

Tuition / Fees: contact the admissions office for details

Britannia Secondary School

A public school in the East Vancouver neighbourhood of Grandview-Woodland founded in 1908 with a current enrollment of roughly 800 students grades 8-12. Britannia is one of two schools in the Vancouver to offer an International Baccalaureate curriculum, along with SIr Winston Churchill Secondary.

Mailing address: 1001 Cotton Drive, Vancouver, B.C. V5L 3T4

Phone: (604) 713-8266

Tuition / Fees: public

Brockton Preparatory School

An independent, co-ed school for pre-K through grade 12 located in Lynn Valley. In addition to being an International Baccalaureate World School, Brockton also places a strong emphasis on the arts and music.

Mailing address: 3467 Duval Road, Vancouver, B.C. V7J 3E8

Phone: (604) 929-9201

Tuition: contact the school for details

Brookes Westshore

An independent, private boarding school on Vancouver Island, offering International Baccalaureate programs since 1968. The school focusses on developing holistic life skills for success in a rapidly globalizing world.

Mailing address: 939 Sooke Road, Victoria, B.C. V9B 1W2

Phone: (250) 929-0506

Tuition / Fees: contact the school for tuition and boarding fee information

Carson Graham Secondary School

A public high school in North Vancouver for grades 8-12 with an enrollment of about 1,400 students. The schools offers a very diverse curriculum covering the arts, science and the humanities, as well as International Baccalaureate programs. Carson Graham aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, confident and caring students who create a better world through intercultural understanding and respect.

Mailing address: 2145 Jones Ave, North Vancouver, B.C. V7M 2W7

Phone: (604) 903-3555

Tuition / Fees: public

Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School

A public secondary school in Vancouver, one of two International Baccalaureate schools in the city, along with Britannia. They also offer a full French immersion program. The school has more than 2,000 students in grade 8-12. Founded in 1956, Sir Winston Churchill belongs to Vancouver School District 39.

Mailing address: 7055 Heather Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6P 3P7

Phone: (604) 713-8189

Tuition / Fees: public

Cousteau School

Also known as the French International School of Vancouver, providing elementary and middle school education for pre-K through grade 8. Cousteau is affiliated with the Agency for French Teaching Abroad (AEFE) that manages the prestigious network of French schools abroad, and also meets the standards of the British Columbia Ministry of Education. Furthermore, they are the first school in Western Canada to be a part of the Eco School Network by the Foundation of Environmental Education.

Mailing address: 3657 Fromme Road, North Vancouver, B.C. V7K 2E6

Phone: (604) 924-2457

Tuition / Fees: $15,800 a year for pre-school, $13,100 a year for K-8

École des Pionniers

A French first language school in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, serving the French speaking population of the Metro Vancouver area. The school has about 700 students, grades K-12. The school also offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in French for 11th-12th graders and the Middle Years IB Program for grades 7-10.

Mailing address: 1618 Patricia Ave, Port Coquitlam, B.C. V3B 4A8

Phone: (604) 552-7915

Tuition / Fees: public

École Gabrielle-Roy

Another French first language elementary and high school located in Surrey, just south of Vancouver. Gabrielle-Roy also has an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program for 7-12th graders. École des Pionniers and École Gabrielle-Roy are part of the Conseil scolaire francophone, which offers public education in French throughout the province.

Mailing address: 6887 132nd Street, Surrey, B.C. V3W 4L9

Telephone: (604) 599-6688

Tuition / Fees: public

Garibaldi Secondary School

A public high school, grades 8-10, in Maple Ridge, to the east of Vancouver, with about 60 teachers and 1,000 students. Garibaldi began offering the IB curriculum and diploma in 2008. The school also has an extensive array of other special programs, including an Interdisciplinary Arts Academy, carpentry and trade apprenticeships, music and dance programs, and a full teaching kitchen.

Mailing address: 24789 Dewdney Trunk Rd. Maple Ridge, B.C. V4R 1X2

Telephone: (604) 463-6287

Tuition / Fees: public

Glenlyon Norfolk School

An independent, co-ed university prep school in Oak Bay, near Victoria, on Vancouver Island. The pre-K through grade 12 school offers the IB curriculum for all three levels: the Primary Years Program, Middle Years Program and the IB Diploma for high schoolers. GNS also has boarding facilities for Canadian and international students.

Mailing address: 801 Bank Street, Victoria, B.C. V8S 4A8

Telephone: (250) 370-6801

Tuition / Fees: Junior kindergarten half-day $7,600/year, full-day $17,000/year; K-12 for B.C. residents $19-23,000/year; K-12 Canadian residents outside B.C. $23-27,000/year; international students grades 6-12 with room and board $48-50,000/year

King George Secondary School

A public secondary school in Vancouver’s West End, one of only three schools in the city to offer the Middle Years Program of the International Baccalaureate for grades 8-10. The school also works closely with the West End Community Centre next door.

Elementary campus: 1755 Barclay Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6G 1K6

Phone: (604) 713-8999

Tuition / Fees: public

Meadowridge School

An independent, co-ed school in Maple Ridge for pre-K through grade 12. MDR, as it’s also known, has an accreditation from the Council of International Schools (CIS). Founded in 1985, the school has a current enrollment of 635 students representing more than 40 nationalities.

Mailing address: 12224 240th Street, Maple Ridge, B.C. V4R 1N1

Phone: (604) 467-4444

Tuition / Fees: Junior kindergarten through grade 12 $22,500/year; international students $32,500 a year

New Westminster Secondary School

A public secondary school for grades 9-12, established in 1960 in the Vancouver suburb of New Westminster. In addition to its IB program, NWSS also offers  French immersion, trade apprenticeships and Aboriginal education. The school has slightly more than 2,000 students.

Mailing address: 835 8th Street, New Westminster, B.C. V3M 3S9

Telephone: (604) 517-6220

Tuition / fees: public

Pacific Academy

A private, Pentecostal Christian school in Surrey, just south of Vancouver, with 1,500 students from preschool to grade 12. The school offers an IB program and is guided by deeply Christian values.

Address: 10238 168 Street, Surrey, B.C. V4N 1Z4

Telephone: (604) 581-5353

Tuition / fees: part-time kindergarten about $300/month, full-time students $6-800/month, with discounts for additional siblings

Pearson College UWC

An IB World School and one of 18 United World Colleges around the globe, located on Vancouver Island. The school provides the International Baccalaureate curriculum for a total of 200 students in grade 12 and one year of pre-university. United World Colleges are committed to “make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future”.

Address: 650 Pearson College Drive, Victoria, B.C. V9C 4H7

Telephone: (250) 391-2411

Tuition / fees: contact the school for details

Port Moody Secondary School

A public high school in Port Moody near Vancouver. PMSS offers the International Baccalaureate Program and the Career Preparation Program, for which many students travel across town to participate.

Address: 300 Albert Street, Port Moody B.C. V3H 2M5

Telephone: (604) 939-6656

Tuition / fees: public

R. E. Mountain Secondary School

A public high school founded in 1977 in Langley, near Vancouver. With an emphasis on global awareness and citizenship, R.E. Mountain offers the International Baccalaureate program for grades 11 and 12.

Address: 7633 202A Street, Langley, B.C. V2Y 1W4

Telephone: (604) 888-3033

Tuition / fees: public

Richmond Secondary School

The only public high school in Richmond to offer the IB Diploma program. For this reason, the school attracts students from outside the school boundaries to participate in a more worldly education. Richmond has more than 1,200 students, grades 8-12.

Address: 7171 Minoru Blvd, Richmond, B.C. V6Y 1Z3

Telephone: (604) 668-6400

Tuition / fees: public

Seaquam Secondary School

A public high school for grades 8-10 serving the upscale neighbourhoods of Sunshine Hills and Sunshine Woods, in the city of Delta, to the south of Vancouver proper. Seaquam offers the IB curriculum and also has a program for international students.

Address: 11584 Lyon Road, Delta, B.C. V4E 2K4

Telephone: (604) 591-6166

Tuition / fees: public

Semiahmoo Secondary School

A public high school for grades 8-12 in South Surrey. Roughly 1,500 students attend the school, and about 300 11th and 12th graders participate in the IB Program.

Address: 1785-148 Street, Surrey, B.C. V4A 4M6 

Telephone: (604) 536-2131 

Tuition / fees: public

Southridge School

A private, independent day school in South Surrey for grades K-12. Southridge follows the IB curriculum through primary and middle school, and the standard British Columbian curriculum for grades 8-10. The school emphasizes the development of integrity, emotional intelligence and the lifelong love of learning.

Address: 2656 160th Street, Surrey, B.C. V3Z 0B7

Telephone: (604) 535-5056

Tuition / fees:  $19,000-22,700/year for domestic students; $27,500-31,000 for international students

Stratford Hall

An independent co-ed school in east Vancouver offering a complete International Baccalaureate experience for grades K-12. Stratford Hall strives to be a global leader in the International Baccalaureate community, fostering excellence, confidence and a deep understanding of the world.

Address: 3000 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, B.C. V5N 4E2

Telephone: (604) 436-0608

Tuition / fees:  grades K-10 $21,500/year; grade 11 $24,400 ; grade 12 $25,100

West Vancouver Secondary School

A public high school for grades 8-12 in West Vancouver. Students can participate in the International Baccalaureate program, as well as a variety of other programs in robotics, entrepreneurship and yoga.

Address: 1750 Mathers Avenue, West Vancouver, B.C. V7V 2G7

Telephone: (604) 981-1100

Tuition / fees: public

White Rock Christian Academy

A private Christian school in South Surrey for pre-K through grade 12 with about 500 students. WRCA proclaims its mission as “”to inspire and cultivate citizens of Godly character who transform their world for Christ.” The school is accredited by the B.C. Ministry of Education and also makes the International Baccalaureate program available to all its students.

Address: 2265 -152nd Street, Surrey, B.C. V4A 4P1

Telephone: (604) 531-9186

Tuition / fees: about $3-400/month for pre-K; about $8-900/month for K-12; discounts for additional siblings.

Additional References

ARIANNE has been helping families and professionals relocate to Canada for more than 20 years, both permanently and temporarily. We have a range of products and services to make your transition go more smoothly.

Also check out some of our other in-depth articles on international education in Canada:

PHOTO CREDIT: Pacific Academy in Surrey, British Columbia (Wikipedia)