The world’s second largest country, Canada stretches way into the Arctic and includes just about every terrain: Rocky Mountains, prairies, rugged coasts, sandy beaches, fertile valleys and cosmopolitan cities. Canada’s diverse heritage is united by a national passion for ice hockey.

Canadian teenagers love clubs and activities involving sports, orchestra, newspaper and drama. Student government is also an important and becoming more influential in school policies. You may be surprised by how many teenagers in Canada have after school jobs, such as babysitting or working at a local coffee shop.

Host Family & Community

You will probably live in a small town, in the countryside or even on a farm. Parents in Canadian families usually share household responsibilities, and children help out with everyday chores and preparing meals. Many Canadian families are also quite diverse, so you may be living with multiple cultures under one roof. Because reliable public transportation options are limited, families will plan in advance to make sure everyone gets a ride.

School

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Local schools are very comprehensive and try to meet the educational needs of all school-age children in the community, often in one building.

Language

English and French are the official languages of Canada. Some schools will offer introductory language classes, however we encourage AFS students to arrive with a at least a basic knowledge of French (if you are staying in Quebec) or English (for other parts of Canada) so that they can participate in the regular curriculum.

Food

The food in Canada differs by the region, so for example, in Quebec there is a strong French influence and you’ll find lots of meat, potatoes, pea soup, French pastries, bread, crepes, and cheeses. A favorite snack is poutine, French fries covered with gravy and cheese.

Explore the Programs Available in Canada