Getting an education

Education in Canada

One of the first things you will do after coming to Canada is enrolling your children in school. Elementary and secondary education is publically funded in Canada and all children are required to attend. There are some alternative educational options, too.

Post-secondary education, on the other hand, is not publically funded. Whether your children — or you for that matter — decide to attend college or university, it’s a personal choice. You will be faced with many decisions, from what school and program to choose, to how you will pay for it.

Post-secondary education

Post secondary education in CanadaMany people in Canada further their studies with a post-secondary education (i.e., at a university, college or trades program), after high school.

This is not free to students, and acceptance to a university or college is not guaranteed. Students must apply to the school of their choice and be prepared to pay tuition fees. While some academic and athletic scholarship and bursaries are available, most students must pay for tuition, often with the help of student loans.

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Elementary and secondary education

Secondary education in CanadaThe Canadian government guarantees access to education for all children including those with special needs, such as hearing or visual impairment.

In Canada, education starts with an elementary school, from Kindergarten to Grade 7. Some regions then break schooling down into middle school or junior high, but, in most cases, students progress right to high school, Grades 8 through 12.

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Provincial and territorial government ministries responsible for education


Elementary and Secondary Education (schools)
Alberta Education
Telephone: 780-427-7219 (for toll-free access within Alberta, first dial 310-0000)

Post-Secondary Education (universities, colleges, etc.)
Alberta Advanced Education and Technology
Telephone: 780-422-5400 (for toll-free access within Alberta, first dial 310-0000) Continue reading