How can CISPI assist my child who wishes to go to a Canadian university?
The Director’s at CISPI have established networks with a number of Canadian colleges and universities. To date, hundreds of students have been assisted by Paul Brown and Patrick Mulvihill. This assistance has included discussions, completion of registration packages, course selections, successful scholarship applications and visits to various campuses to meet with university representatives. The directors commit to working with the parents and students with regards to post secondary and will arrange campus tours and meetings with admission personnel from local universities and colleges.
Is a certain level of English necessary to attend a secondary school with CISPI? Do I require a T.O.E.F.L. or other language assessment to be considered?
Because the directors are both certified teachers a language assessment will be done as part of the application process at no extra cost. This assessment will only be used to place the student in the most appropriate courses. A standard level of English is not required for acceptance. Certified E.S.L. teachers will work with students learning English and will develop a program delivered through the regular school day based on the student’s individual needs.
Do students have the opportunity to participate in sports or music programs outside of the regular school day?
Students are encouraged to participate in clubs or teams outside of the classroom. Schools offer a variety of extra programs ranging from varsity teams to student run clubs. Popular sports are basketball, volleyball, football, soccer, and rugby. Other activities include choir, drama, band, gymnastics, school council, social justice. Many teams and clubs are formed throughout the school year. There is no extra cost to participate in these activities. The city of Ottawa also has many activities for youth. A small fee may be required to participate in activities organized by associations and citizens outside of the school. (Example: Private piano lessons can be arranged outside of school but these types of activities would require an additional fee.)
Who will the student be living with?
Homestay arrangements are arranged by CISPI using the service and expertise of authorized homestay providers. The directors of CISPI will visit the homes prior to the student arriving to ensure the family is able to provide a safe space and most importantly the necessary care. Contact information will be shared to encourage the families to get to know each other prior to the student’s arrival. Students will have their own bedroom with a bed, dresser and closet. A workspace with a desk will also be provided. Homes will be connected to the Internet. Meals and snacks will be provided following the family’s normal routines. Most Canadian students bring a lunch to school and homestays will provide the food for lunch. Many schools have cafeterias where students can purchase food as well. In the home students are encouraged to eat each meal with their Canadian family trying new foods and learning new customs. Some students may wish to purchase some food native to their country and may do so and will be permitted to use the fridge and cupboards to store their food. Laundry facilities will be available in each home.
Is transportation provided to and from school daily?
Transportation is provided if the student’s homestay exceeds the walking distance set by the school districts. If the homestay is close to the school the student will be expected to walk to school or purchase bus tickets for Ottawa transit. If the student lives further away from the school, bus transportation to and from school is provided at no extra cost. Walking distances for international students will be identical to the distances Canadian students follow. An effort is made to select homestays near the school.
Can parents visit?
CISPI strongly supports open communication and parental involvement. Parents may certainly visit and CISPI will work with you to arrange your visit. Some homestay families have hosted visiting parents for a few days and some have declined this request. CISPI will work with the family to see if this option is available and to communicate if an extra cost is involved. CISPI will also recommend area hotels or similar accommodations during your stay. Parents are asked to arrange visits when the routines of school will be least disrupted (the beginning or end of the semester or during breaks in the school year)