Ontario's Strategy for International Education

School boards and private schools that may accept international students for in-person instruction in the 2020-21 school year.

Ontario's Strategy for K-12 International Education cover page Ontario is recognized around the world as a leader in providing a high-quality education in a system that is safe, welcoming and accessible. It is a destination of choice for students and families from around the world.

Ontario's Strategy for K-12 International Education provides Ontario students with increased opportunities to develop global competencies both in Ontario and abroad. It promotes a deeper understanding and appreciation of the international dimensions of their studies and exposes them to different cultures and languages. Its goals and framework reinforce Ontario's vision for education, which is committed to the success and well-being of every student and child. (PDF, 2.45 MB)

Students in Ontario's English- and French-language secondary school boards are encouraged to study international languages and to learn about the history, geography, arts and culture of other countries.

The strategy also promotes opportunities for Ontario students who are unable to travel or study abroad, by exposing them to the diverse cultures, languages and viewpoints of their classmates, and the broader community in which they live.

Ontario is committed to strengthening our province and our country by teaching young people to look past differences and seek commonalities. These principles will help students appreciate and understand the global perspectives they will need to succeed in our diverse and interconnected world.

What is International Education in Ontario?

Expanding Ontario students' global awareness, knowledge and perspectives

The strategy allows Ontario students to access opportunities at home and abroad to experience different cultures, and to develop intercultural competencies, global knowledge and an appreciation of the international dimensions of their studies.

Opportunities for international students to learn in a world-class education system

Ontario is a destination of choice for students from around the world and now hosts over 126,000 international students from kindergarten through to postsecondary education. This represents almost half of all the international students choosing to live and study in Canada.

International students are also recruited by Ontario school boards for the contributions they bring to the learning environment and school community. More secondary students are coming from abroad to position themselves for entry into Canadian institutes of higher education.

‘Internationalization' of Ontario's curriculum and learning environments

In the context of Ontario's strategy, internationalization is the ongoing process of change in the school program and environment, with opportunities to enhance learning through the integration of international, intercultural and/or global perspectives, cultures and experiences.

All students and educators in Ontario can benefit from exposure to diverse cultures and perspectives, and gain a better understanding of their own world.

Overseas delivery of the Ontario curriculum – the Ontario International Schools program

Ontario currently has agreements with 20 international schools located around the world, allowing them to deliver the Ontario curriculum and grant credits toward the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. These schools are inspected regularly to ensure that instruction in credit courses meets ministry requirements, and to confirm compliance with the terms of the agreements.

Ontario's world-class educators sharing their expertise abroad

Experiential learning is not limited to students; Ontario educators also benefit from opportunities to travel and work abroad, and return with valuable new perspectives and strategies and a wider understanding of global issues to share with students and staff.

Through exchange programs and partnerships, Ontario and international educators can learn a great deal from each other by sharing best practices, pedagogies and work experiences. These activities can open new international academic partnerships, projects and research initiatives, with increased collaboration at the K-12 and postsecondary levels.

Pathways to Postsecondary Education, Work, and Living in Ontario

To meet the challenge of increasing global competition in the field of international education, the strategy provides a framework to support initiatives and pathways to help students transition from K to 12, all the way through Ontario postsecondary institutions and other education and training opportunities.

These include:


Global Education for Ontario Learners: Practical Strategies – A Summary of Research (2018)

Global Education for Ontario Learners: Practical Strategies – A Summary of Research (2018) highlights current research and best practices in global education and provides a concise and accessible summary of practical strategies that can be applied in Ontario schools to enhance the teaching and learning of international/global education content and its application to program development. This document supports the policy outlined in Ontario's Strategy for K-12 International Education (2015). (PDF, 226 KB)

Additional Information

If you are an educator, parent, student or stakeholder interested in learning more about international education in Ontario, the following organizations have more information, resources and special event information available on their websites.

The links to third party content are for general informational purposes only and do not constitute a recommendation or an endorsement.

Ontario Association of School Districts International (OASDI) logo The Ontario Association of School Districts International (OASDI) is a non-profit association comprised of publicly-funded schools in Ontario that have established international student programs.

Canadian Association of Public Schools – International (CAPS-I) logo The Canadian Association of Public Schools – International (CAPS-I) is a non-profit association comprised of 127 publicly-funded school districts/boards who offer established international student programs for various grade levels ranging from elementary school through to high school graduation.