Notre Dame CSS Hosts Welcome to Canada Holiday Breakfast!

on December 5, 2019, Notre Dame CSS hosted a Welcome to Canada Holiday Breakfast for newcomers to Canada, including International Students.

In addition to a delicious breakfast, students were served hot chocolate and cookies by the school’s Hospitality class.

All of the students were gifted with official Notre Dame toques – which are essential during a Canadian winter!

A special thank you goes to Jolin (Junlin) Y. – the International Student who designed the festive place-mat that was on all the tables!

Welcome Orientation September 2019

On Thursday, August 29, 2019, students new to the International Student Program (ISP) attended our Welcome Orientation Day, held at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School in Oakville.

International Students from around the world gathered for a fun and informative day, which included an informative presentation inside St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School’s beautiful performing arts theatre, a Get to Know You BINGO social game (with prizes!) in the spacious cafeteria, and a catered lunch.

Toni Pinelli, the Superintendent of the International Student Program, formally welcomed students to the Halton Catholic District School Board and to Canada. She also commended students for their incredible bravery and dedication to outstanding education, and encouraged them to not only excel in academics, but to also get involved in the school community.

Corinne Laurin, ISP Coordinator, and Rui Cai, Youth Settlement Worker, presented important information about the program.

Student volunteers were on hand to help our new students navigate the orientation, including providing translations, sharing their school experiences, and answering questions.

Arrival Checklist

International Students who are entering our program for the first time can best prepare for their arrival by completing this Arrival checklist.

Personal Documents

It is recommended that you provide as many of the below listed documents as possible before your arrival in Canada.

These documents must be provided before you are able to start school:

  • Valid Study Permit
  • Verification of age (Birth Certificate/Passport)
  • Student email address in Canada
  • Halton Address where the student will be living
  • Notarized custodianship Agreement (pages 1 & 2)
  • Most recent school report card translated into English and Notarized
  • Roman Catholic Baptismal Certificate (elementary only)

Immunization Record

Students attending school in our Board must provide their Immunization Record with proof of the vaccines they have received. Failure to do this may result in a student being suspended from school.

The most efficient way to provide your Immunization Record is to use the Canada Immunization Record Form.

Submit a copy of the completed and signed form to:

Required vaccines are as follows:

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus
  • Diphtheria
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Polio
  • Meningococcal disease and Varicella (if born in 2010 or later)

School Supplies

Depending on the courses you choose, this list may be different.

  • Textbooks are provided
  • Computer, laptop, tablet, or similar technology 
  • Stationary: 3-ring binders, folders, lined paper
  • Writing Utensils: Pencils, pens, highlighters, correction tape
  • Math Kits: Scientific calculator, protractor, ruler
  • Storage: Back pack, insulated lunch bag, food containers, thermos
  • School Uniform: Including Gym shoes

Seasonal Clothing

If you are well-prepared, winter can be fun! The snow and ice make Ontario beautiful and you will find a variety of winter sports to enjoy. Get outside and enjoy the weather!

  • Coat: Should be thick, heavy and water-resistant for maximum warmth.
  • Hat: Winter hats, or toques, are often seen as an unofficial Canadian symbol.
  • Gloves: Keeps your fingers warm!
  • Scarf: Keeps your neck warm!
  • Boots: Should be insulated and water-resistant.
  • Snow Pants: Keeps your legs warm during winter activities like snowboarding.


  • Cell Phone and phone plan: Make sure your cell phone will work in Canada.
  • Canadian Bank Account: Make sure your bank account will work in Canada.
  • Ingle Insurance Card: Replacement copies are available by emailing
  • Umbrella: For protection from the rain

2018-19 International Student Scholarship Recipients!

Our Board is incredibly proud to announce the recipients of our 2018-19 International Student Program Scholarships!

Congratulations to all of our hard-working graduating students, we wish you continued success throughout your post-secondary career!

Learn more about the Scholarships our program offers.

Highest Achieving University Bound Student
$1,000 Scholarship

Alisa (Xuefei) Z.
Assumption Catholic Secondary School

Alisa has shown that she is committed to learning and taking responsibility for her academic achievements as well as to embracing Catholic teachings and values. She is a self-motivated learner and is focused, inquisitive and engaged in all of her classes. She demonstrates a strong work ethic; integrity and perseverance every day.

•  Achieved the highest average among all graduating HCDSB International Students attending university in Fall of 2019
•  Has been accepted to the University of Waterloo for Bachelor of Mathematics & Chartered Professional Accountancy
•  Volunteered as a Peer Tutor, Graduation Event Team Leader, and for a school play
•  Helped raise funds for Assumption by selling Poinsettia plants during the Christmas season
•  Participated in the Community Youth in Action Network event


Highest Achieving College Bound Student
$1,000 Scholarship

Lihn (Ngoc) N.
St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School

Lihn is a very mature and hard-working student who is always eager to learn and further her knowledge. Beyond her academic achievements, Lihn is involved in various school and community activities and has proven herself to be a great asset to her school community. Through the Multicultural Club, Lihn brings the school community together by immersing herself in Canadian culture and also sharing her own Vietnamese culture and traditions with her peers.

•  Achieved the highest average among all graduating HCDSB International Students attending college in Fall of 2019
•  Has been accepted to Sheridan College in Oakville
•  Volunteered with the St. Ignatius of Loyola Breakfast Club program
•  Was involved with the Multicultural Club and participated in Honouring Asian Heritage Month


Most Well-Rounded
$500 Scholarship

Vivi (Yuxuan) Z.
Holy Trinity CSS

Best Cultural Ambassador
$500 Scholarship

Kelly (Lu) Y.
Corpus Christi CSS

Top Athletic Performer
$500 Scholarship

Kyle (Kwangpyo) H.
St. Ignatius of Loyola CSS

Top International Student at Each Secondary School
$500 Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to one International Student at each secondary school who has the highest academic average (85% or higher) from among all International Students at the school in their graduating year. Additionally, the Top International Student scholarship recipient must be involved in extra-curricular activities within their school community.

Alisa (Xuefei) Z.
Assumption CSS

Sarah (Zhixin) Z.
Corpus Christi CSS

June (Mengyu) C.
Holy Trinity CSS

Olivia (Keyao) L.
Notre Dame CSS

Kyle (Kwangpyo) H.
St. Ignatius of Loyola CSS

Emily (Aijia) Y.
St. Thomas Aquinas CSS


2018-19 Graduation Photos

  • Ryan (Ranhua) ISP Graduate (left) with Olivia (Keyao) who was the recipient of the Top International Student Scholarship for Notre Dame.

Two International Students Receive Prestigious Governor General’s Academic Award!

Our Board is extremely proud to announce that June (Mengyu) C., a graduating International Student from Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School, and Kyle (Kwangpyo) H., a graduating International Student from St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School, both received the prestigious Governor General’s Academic Award in recognition of their academic excellence!

The Governor General’s Academic Medals recognize the outstanding scholastic achievements of students in Canada. They are awarded to the student graduating with the highest average from a high school, as well as from approved college or university programs. The average includes all Grade 11 and Grade 12 courses as listed on the student’s official Transcript of Grades issued by the Ministry of Education.

June’s other notable achievements:

  • Top International Student Scholarship
  • Ontario Scholar
  • Subject Achievement Award – Physics
  • Subject Achievement Award – Chemistry
  • Certificate of Distinction – Annual Sir Isaac Newton Science Exam
  • Certificate of Distinction – Canadian Senior Mathematics Contest

Not only is June an exceptional academic student, she is also a person who is generous with her time and abilities. June spent a lot of her free time after school working with Holy Trinity’s Peer Tutoring Program, where she helped fellow International Students with their studies. June was also involved in the innovative Robotics Club and the International Leader Group outside of school.

June (Mengyu) C. (left) with her Canadian Guardian Wendy Gao.


“June possess the qualities and skills both academically and personally that any student should admire and aspire to.”
   – Zrinjka Reeves, ESL Teacher, Holy Trinity CSS

Congratulations, June! 


Kyle’s other notable achievements:

  • Top International Student Scholarship
  • Top Athletic Performer Scholarship
  • Ontario Scholar
  • Calay, Euclid, & Fermat Math Contests
  • Chemistry Contest
  • Canadian Computing Competitions

Kyle has been an important part of the Loyola community, both academically and socially. He has successfully participated in multiple math and science contests, he has been a contributing member of the Junior Badminton and Track and Field sports teams, and he has been instrumental in preparing, setting up and running school masses and assemblies as a member of the Sound Crew.

Congratulations, Kyle!


“Kyle is a very mature, hard-working student who is always eager to learn and further his knowledge.”
   – Paulina Ambroszkiewicz, English & Additional Language & Religious Teacher, St. Ignatius of Loyola CSS

Kyle (Kwangpyo) H. with his Governor General’s Academic Medal.

Graduating Class of 2019 Event

Our first annual International Student Graduate event took place on May 22, 2019, at Corpus Christi Catholic Secondary School in Burlington.

The evening began in the theatre with a congratulatory speech by Pat Daly, Director of Education at the HCDSB. Pat spoke about the importance of International Students at our Board, and how they strengthen our school communities. He commended our graduating students for their admirable hard work and perseverance.

The second guest speaker of the afternoon, Doris Ding, a recent Corpus Christi CSS International Student graduate and a current student at both the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, spoke about her experiences at post-secondary. Doris also answered questions asked by our graduates, which included inquires about the post-secondary application process, course difficulty and workload, and the importance of self-discipline and keeping organized.

A commemorative slideshow followed, which featured photos submitted by graduating students that were taken during their time at our Board. Students enjoyed reminiscing with each other about their time spent at school and exploring Halton and surrounding areas.

A fully catered dinner was held in the cafeteria. During dinner, Doris continued to answer questions and spoke with the students about what they can expect after they graduate. Students and staff also had the opportunity to socialize together.

Congratulations to the International Student Program Class of 2019!

Host an International Student in your home!

Canada Homestay Network is looking for caring homestay families residing in Burlington, Oakville and Milton to host International Students in their home.

Learn more on the Canada Homestay Network website.

Homestay Hosts are expected to provide:

  • Three nutritious meals per day
  • Utilities, including laundry and internet
  • A private bedroom, with a desk and closet
  • A patient, caring, and friendly home atmosphere
  • The same guidance and attention you would want for one of your loved ones travelling overseas!

The benefits of being a Homestay Host include:

  • Grow your understanding of the world and its peoples
  • Make life-long friendships
  • Share the beauty of your home and community
  • Ensure your local economy benefits from the booming international education industry
  • Receive a generous allowance to offset expenses

Questions? Please contact: or 1-877-441-4443 ext. 2176.

Become a Homestay Host!


Notre Dame Students Place First in Computer Programming Contest

A team of four tech-savvy Notre Dame CSS students placed first at this year’s Educational Computing Organization of Ontario (ECOO) sponsored Computer Programming Contest at the Halton Catholic District School Board.

The contest involves teams of four students who are challenged to solve four programming problems in three hours, using one computer. The teams have the ability to use any programming language they choose.

This year’s contest was held at Christ the King CSS on March 25th, 2019. Teams from across the HCDSB competed for a chance to represent the Board at the regional level contest to be held in April at York University in Toronto.

Congratulations to the Top 3 winning teams!

1st Place – Notre Dame CSS

2nd Place – St. Thomas Aquinas CSS

3rd Place – St. Ignatius of Loyola CSS

Learn more on HCDSB’s website.

University of Waterloo Student Trip

On March 21, 2019, secondary International Students from across our Board visited the prestigious University of Waterloo.

The University of Waterloo is known world-wide for its innovative programs. Its Computer Science program ranks #1, and its Engineering program ranks #2, in Canada.

“Waterloo is at the forefront of innovation and is home to transformational research and inspired learning. Located in the heart of Canada’s technology hub, we are growing a network of global partnerships that will shape the future by working beyond disciplines and building bridges with industry, institutions and communities.”

University of Waterloo Website

Our International Students broke out into smaller groups to tour the expansive campus. Current University of Waterloo students acted as tour guides, showing students the various buildings and facilities, and talking about various programs, including program requirements and the admission process.


Thinking About Life After High School?

International Students and their parents, guardians, custodians, and/or homestay parents are invited to attend an information session that has been designed specifically for International Students who are interested in pursuing post-secondary options in Canada. Click here to view the promotional flyer.

This informative session will include:

  • An overview of how the post-secondary application process works in Canada
  • Unique and interesting programs to consider
  • How to be successful after graduation
  • A special guest speaker from Mohawk College
  • International Student alumni will be sharing their past experiences


Saturday, March 23, 2019
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Pre-registration is not required.


Corpus Christi Catholic Secondary School
5150 Upper Middle Road
Burlington, Ontario


Applying as an International Student is different. We want to help you explore all of your options before you decide on your post-secondary pathway!