The YRDSB orientation period is designed to give new secondary international students the best possible start to their learning career in York Region. YRDSB teachers present information about their new community, the Ontario school system, and the high school they will be attending.

During a combination of information sessions, guest speakers, school visits, and day-long field trips, teachers will focus on strategies to help new students settle into their new community and to achieve success at school.

Students meet other international students and make new friendships even before classes begin. In addition to the Orientation Program, schools organize welcome sessions, which may include sharing additional school-based information, a school tour, meet their Guidance teachers, and timetables are distributed.

The Board's mandatory assessment of new international students’ English language and mathematics skills will also take place prior to the start of school. This assessment enables school Principals and Guidance teachers to prepare the most appropriate course of studies for each individual student.

About the Secondary Student Orientation Program

  • Students are expected to arrive two weeks before the official school start date in order to attend the Orientation Program.

  • The program is 10 days in duration.

  • The program will be held at the Dr. Bette Stephenson Centre for Learning, 36 Regatta Ave., Richmond Hill.

  • Transportation from the student's home school to the program location will be arranged.

Changes to the schedule will be communicated by email to students, parents and custodians.

August 2024 Orientation Program Schedule

  • The Orientation Program will last 10 days (August 19 to August 30, 2024)
  • To gain the most from the program, students are encouraged to attend all scheduled activities. 
  • Students are organized by school, and geography.
  • From the list below, locate the school the student is attending and download the corresponding schedule. 
  • Please pay close attention to the student’s individual schedule because the times may change from day to day. 
  • Students are to arrive at their home school 10 minutes before the departure time indicated in the morning to board the bus.
  • The school bus will return the student at the end of each day to their school, and from there, students will return home.
  • Excursions are planned during the orientation period. 

Schedules and other relevant information will be available the first week of August 2024. Please return to this page at that time to view the student's individual schedule.

Students MUST bring the signed consent/permission form on the first day of orientation in order to attend the excursions.

School AttendingSchool Bus Assignment


Prepare for Arrival to Canada

As you arrange to come to Canada, please ensure that you review any updates to travel regulations issued by the Government of Canada.

Medical Insurance

  • International students are covered by StudyInsured emergency medical insurance during their period of study.

  • Coverage begins in:

    • January 1st for students beginning school during the February semester

    • August 1st for students beginning school during the September semester

  • Students arriving before the first day of coverage, must purchase separate insurance which must include COVID19-related coverage.

  • Medical insurance information will be sent electronically to the custodian of the student the first week of the study period.

English & Math Assessment

(Secondary Students, Grade 9 to 12)

  • Assessments are conducted online and information is sent to students, parents, custodians and Agencies. 

Documentation Verification Schedule

(Secondary Students, Grade 9 to 12)

It is necessary for the custodian/parent to attend the documentation verification process, in person, to submit the documents listed below to complete the school registration process. DO NOT send these documents by email. 

Parent/custodians MUST attend, on the designated day and time, at the Dr. Bette Stephenson Centre for Learning, 36 Regatta Ave., Richmond Hill, to verify the student’s documents. Please refer to the schedule, organized by school, detailing the time, and date of this process.

Mandatory Documents - ALL documents must be presented:

  • Completed Secondary School Registration Form. Please refer to the guideline for assistance in completing the form.
  • Original Passport
  • Original Visitor/entry visa if applicable (not required in all cases)
  • Original Study Permit
  • Original Education Service Agreement (last 3 pages found in the Letter of Acceptance), signed by the custodian, parent(s) and student.
  • Previous two years, and recent school transcript/report card (in English)

School Registration

Students MAY NOT attend school if they have not first attended and completed documentation verification with the International Education Services Department. A schedule will be available, during the Orientation Program, detailing the school, date, time and meeting location for school registration. 

Contact Us

Questions are welcome and can be sent by email.