Why study abroad with Orca Education?
There are several compelling reasons to choose Orca Education for your experience abroad:
- Canadian owned and based: as a Canadian-owned and based agency, Orca Education has an in-depth understanding of the Canadian education system and culture. This allows us to provide personalized and tailored experiences for all our clients.
- Carefully-screened high schools and host families: with our exclusive focus on Canada, we have established strong relationships with reputable schools and host families. We carefully screen and select these institutions and families to ensure a safe and enriching experience for our students.
- Years of experience and in-country resources: our years of experience in the industry and in-country resources enable us to provide comprehensive support and guidance to our students. We have a deep knowledge of the local education landscape and can offer valuable insights and assistance throughout the program.
- Support from local staff 24/7: our students receive round-the-clock support from local staff in Canada. This ensures that they have someone to turn to at any time for assistance, advice, or in case of emergencies.
- Easy accessibility for parents: we understand the importance of keeping parents informed and involved in their child’s experience. We provide direct and easy communication channels for parents to reach us and stay updated on their child’s progress and well-being.
- Safety as a top priority: the safety of our students is our number one priority. We take extensive measures to ensure their well-being, including providing provincial and private medical insurance coverage in case of accidents or illnesses.
By choosing Orca Education, you can have peace of mind knowing that your experience abroad in Canada is supported by a trusted and experienced organization that prioritizes safety, quality and personalized support.
Can I graduate in Canada ?
While it is possible for some students to graduate in Canada through our high school abroad program, it is important to note that not every student qualifies. Here are some of the requirements:
- Minimum English Level: students must have a minimum English level of C1 to be eligible for graduation in Canada. This ensures that they can effectively participate in classes and meet the academic requirements.
- Full-year program enrolment: students must enrol in the full-year program or more to have a chance at meeting the graduation requirements. This allows them to complete the necessary coursework and satisfy the necessary criteria.
- Meeting Canadian Ministry of Education criteria: students must meet the criteria set by the Canadian Ministry of Education for graduation. These criteria may vary depending on the province or territory in which the student is studying.
It is important to note that while we strive to support our students in their academic journey, we cannot guarantee graduation. Graduation depends on various factors, including academic performance, grades and completion of required volunteer work hours throughout the year abroad program.
For more detailed information regarding graduation requirements and to discuss your specific situation, we recommend scheduling a meeting with an Orca Education Enrolment Consultant. They will be able to provide you with personalized guidance and answer any questions you may have.
Can I choose my destination?
Yes, at Orca Education, you have the freedom to choose your destination for all our available programs including your high school abroad program at no extra cost. We believe in providing students and parents with the opportunity to select the destination that best suits their preferences and goals.
When you start the application process with Orca Education, you will have the chance to indicate your desired destination from the get go. We offer a range of destinations across Canada, each with its own unique culture, attractions and educational opportunities. You can choose the destination that aligns with your interests, academic goals and personal preferences.
We understand that each student has different needs and desires when it comes to studying abroad. By allowing you to choose your destination, we aim to provide a personalized and tailored experience that meets your specific requirements.
So, whether you dream of studying in the vibrant city of Toronto, the picturesque landscapes of Vancouver, or the cultural hub of Montreal with Orca Education you have the freedom to make that choice.
Start your journey with us and select the destination that will make your experience abroad truly unforgettable.
How do I know if I am eligible to apply?
Please check the eligibility requirements listed on the desired program page for the destination where you would like to go.
Who will help me if I have questions while I am filling out the application?
Whether you have questions about the application form, need assistance with gathering the necessary documents, or require clarification on any aspect of the process, we are here to help. Our goal is to make your application process as smooth and stress-free.
You can rely on our experienced team to provide prompt and accurate responses to your inquiries. We understand that applying for a high school abroad program can be a significant decision, and we want to ensure that you have all the information and support you need to make an informed choice.
What information will Orca Education need to set me up for a successful experience abroad?
We understand that each applicant has unique concerns and questions that may impact their experience abroad. We encourage you to be open and forthcoming during the application process, as it provides numerous opportunities for you to raise any questions or concerns you may have.
Whether you have inquiries about participating in a specific sport while abroad, concerns about LGBTQ+ acceptance, or any other factors that could impact your experience, we are here to address them. By sharing this information early in the process, we ensure that appropriate arrangements are made to support you during the program.
At Orca Education, we treat application details with the utmost care and confidentiality. We understand the importance of privacy and will only share relevant information with appropriate staff members on a “need to know” basis. Your well-being and comfort are our top priorities and we want to ensure that we can provide the necessary support and accommodations for a successful and inclusive experience abroad.
Please feel free to share any information or ask any questions that you feel could impact your experience abroad, whether they are related to medical, emotional, academic, or personal factors. We are here to listen, support, and make appropriate arrangements to best meet your needs.
We value your trust and are committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all students on our abroad programs.
When will I find out the homestay information?
Homestay information is typically provided to students and their families 2-4 weeks before the program arrival date. At that time, you will receive an informational sheet about your assigned homestay and have the opportunity to communicate with them via phone or email prior to your departure.
It is important to note that the exact date of the homestay placement cannot be predicted precisely, as it depends on various factors involved in making a suitable and compatible placement. However, rest assured that if you have been accepted into a program, you will receive your homestay placement in time for your departure.
Orca Education understands the significance of a good homestay placement and strives to ensure that each student is matched with a compatible host family.
Can I choose my host family?
No, you cannot choose your host family. We screen and choose a host family based on your chosen destination within the proximity of the school you have been accepted to. Our priority is to match you with a suitable host family that can provide a safe and supportive environment during your experience abroad.
We consider various factors when selecting host families, including compatibility, interests and any specific preferences or requirements you may have provided. Our thorough screening process includes background checks, interviews and home visits to ensure the safety and well-being of our students.
We understand the importance of a positive homestay experience, and we strive to make sure that each student feels comfortable and supported. Regular communication is maintained with both the student and the host family throughout the program to address any concerns or provide assistance as needed.
Can I take my IELTS or TOEFL Exam while I am abroad?
Yes, you can take your IELTS or TOEFL Exam while you are abroad. All our language partner schools are Cambridge Certified and have on campus IELTS & TOFEL Examination Centers. We encourage students to take advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency in English.
Please note that the fee for the exam is not included in any of our packages. However, we will provide guidance and support to students who wish to take their exam while abroad. We can assist you in finding a suitable testing centre, providing information on registration procedures, and offering any necessary guidance.
Health, Safety & Security
Is medical insurance included in your packages?
Yes, medical insurance is included in all of our programs and packages. The specific coverage may vary depending on the program duration.
For students joining our Junior Summer Camps, private medical insurance is included. This coverage ensures that students have access to medical care in case of illness or incidents during their time abroad.
For students spending up to a year abroad, we provide a mix of private and provincial medical insurance. This comprehensive coverage is designed to address any medical needs that may arise during the program duration. It offers protection and support in case of illness, accidents, or other medical emergencies.
At Orca Education, we prioritize the health and well-being of our students. We understand the importance of having appropriate medical coverage while abroad, and we ensure that our programs include comprehensive medical insurance to provide peace of mind to students and their families.
How will I ensure that my child is safe overseas? What if I have a specific concern?
The safety and well-being of your child are our top priorities. We understand that sending your child overseas can come with concerns, and we are dedicated to providing comprehensive support throughout the duration of the program.
Our support team maintains close communication with our overseas partners, receiving regular updates on student adjustment and well-being. We work closely with our local teams to ensure that students have a safe and supportive environment while abroad.
In addition to our local teams, we are always available as a resource for participants and parents. Our staff is trained and experienced in managing conflicts, assisting with cultural adjustment issues and providing support for emergency situations. We are here to address any specific concerns you may have and provide guidance and assistance as needed.
You can reach us 24/7 via email, or phone. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff will be happy to answer any questions, provide assistance, or discuss any concerns you may have. We are committed to being a reliable and accessible resource for you and your child throughout the program.
Rest assured that we take the safety and well-being of our students seriously. We have protocols and procedures in place to ensure their safety, and we continuously monitor and assess the program to make any necessary adjustments to maintain a secure environment.
What information will I get about my host country?
Before your departure, Orca Education will provide you with pre-departure in-depth meetings to help you prepare for your trip and provide information about your host country. These meetings are designed to address frequently asked questions and cover key topics that will help you navigate and adapt to your new environment.
During these meetings, we will discuss various aspects of your host country, including cultural norms, customs and traditions. We will provide guidance on what to pack, including information on appropriate clothing based on cultural expectations. The goal is to ensure that you are well-prepared and have a good understanding of the cultural context before you arrive.
The pre-departure meetings also serve as an opportunity for you to connect with Orca Education and your fellow participants. You will receive guidance on transitioning into everyday life in your host culture, preparing for the academic aspects of your program, and receiving all the necessary logistical information to ensure you are ready to go.
We strongly encourage all our participants to be curious about their future host country and start researching it online as soon as they are confirmed. This will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the country, its history, culture and attractions. It will also help you to better prepare for your experience abroad and make the most of your time in your host country.
Do I need a passport and visa?
Yes, you will need a passport and a visa for your program abroad.
Firstly, ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your program ends. If you need to renew your passport or apply for a new one, it is important to do so as soon as possible to avoid any delays.
A visa is a stamp or document placed in your passport that grants you permission to enter and temporarily stay in your host country. While visas are not required for Summer Camp students, they are required for year and semester programs as well as work and study abroad programs.
Obtaining a visa is your responsibility, but Orca Education will provide guidance and support throughout the process. We will assist you in understanding the visa requirements for your specific program and provide you with the necessary information and documents to apply for your visa.
It is important to start the visa application process early to allow for any potential processing times or requirements. We recommend following the instructions provided by Orca Education and contacting the appropriate embassy or consulate of your host country to obtain accurate and up-to-date information regarding visa requirements and application procedures.
How will my son/daughter access money while abroad?
While abroad, Orca Education recommends that participants have a debit card to access cash and a credit card for emergency use. It is important for participants to check with their bank regarding their policies on withdrawing funds and using bank-issued debit or credit cards abroad.
During the pre-departure orientation, Orca Education will provide more specific and detailed information on accessing money in the country where your son/daughter will be studying. This will include information on local banking options, ATMs, currency exchange, and any specific considerations or recommendations for managing finances while abroad.
It is important for participants to inform their bank about their travel plans and ensure that their cards will work internationally. They should also inquire about any fees or charges associated with international transactions to avoid any surprises.
How often should we expect to hear from Orca Education?
Orca Education strives to maintain regular communication with participants and parents as they prepare for departure. You can expect to receive regular communication via email in the months leading up to your departure. As the departure date approaches, the frequency of communication will increase.
Important information, such as visa details, host family information, pre-departure orientation details, and other relevant updates, will be communicated to you via email. It is important to regularly check your email and ensure that you are receiving and reading these communications.
If you have applied up to a year before your departure, there may be some periods of time where communication is less frequent. However, please rest assured that you can always contact Orca Education by phone or email at any time. We are here to address any concerns or questions you may have and provide you with the necessary support and information.
We understand that you may have various concerns and questions throughout the process, and we strive to provide timely and comprehensive communication to address them. We continually update our communication with new information to ensure that you are well-informed and prepared for your program abroad.
Can I speak with a past participant and his or her parents?
Yes, you can speak with a past participant and their parents to gain insights and firsthand experiences about Orca Education programs. Orca Education maintains a list of alumni students and families who are willing to share their experiences and answer questions from prospective students and their families.
To request to speak with a former participant, you can email email@example.com. Please express your interest in speaking with a past participant and provide any specific questions or concerns you would like to address.
Cost & Fees
When are program Fees due?
The program fees for Orca Education are due at different times depending on the specific program. Here is a breakdown of when the fees are typically due:
- Application fee: the application fee is due upon submission of your application and is non-refundable. The amount of the application fee varies for each program, so please inquire about the specific fee for your chosen program.
- Program fee balance: the remaining balance of the program fee is typically due within 30 days from the arrival of your pre-acceptance letter. The exact due date may vary depending on the departure season:
– September departures: the program fee balance is due within 30 days from the arrival of your pre-acceptance letter.
– January departures: the program fee balance is due within 30 days from the arrival of your pre-acceptance letter.
– Summer Camp departures: the remaining balance of the program fee is due 30 days prior to the departure date.
It is important to note that these timelines are general guidelines, and there may be variations and some flexibility depending on packages and individual circumstances. If you have any specific questions or concerns about the payment schedule for your program, please reach out to your Consultant or Orca Education directly. They will provide you with the specific details and any necessary arrangements.
Ensuring that program fees are paid on time is crucial to secure your spot in the program and make necessary arrangements for your participation. It is recommended to plan ahead and make the necessary arrangements to meet the payment deadlines.
What is included in the program?
Here is general overview of what is included in most of our programs:
- Transportation to and from airport in-country
- Placement in a local high school, private language school or college
- Careful selection and screening of a compatible host family
- Room and board with selected host family or on-campus accommodation
- Supervision and support
- Online pre-departure orientation
- In-country orientation
- Medical insurance
- Custodianship Letter ( Year Abroad Program only )
- Document Translation
- Visa support and pre-departure assistance
- Leader led Summer Camp trips and excursions ( Summer Camp Programs only )
- In-person support from in-country staff
- 24/7 support available to students and parents
- Grade report documenting courses and evaluations in-country
What is not included in the program fee?
- Flight to and from your destination
- Food, local public transportation and activities outside of what is provided by Orca Education
- Personal expenses such as cell phone, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.
- Uniforms if required
- Extra or overweight baggage fees, if necessary
- Lunch at school cafeteria
- Extra language tutoring
- Passport and visa fees
- Medical costs in case of illness or minor injury: the medical insurance plan included requires that the student pay for any medical bills upfront and then submit the receipt for reimbursement
Are there any other applicable fees?
Yes, there may be additional fees associated with certain circumstances or program changes. These fees can vary depending on the specific situation and program. Here are some examples of additional fees that may apply:
- Tuition fee: if a student decides to extend the program or participate in additional academic courses, there may be additional tuition fees associated with these changes. The exact amount will depend on the specific program and the duration of the extension or additional courses.
- Homestay placement fee: if a student chooses to change their homestay placement during the program or requests a new placement for any reason, there may be a homestay placement fee. This fee covers the administrative costs of arranging a new homestay placement.
- Medical insurance: it is typically required for participants to have medical insurance coverage during their program abroad. The cost of medical insurance may be an additional fee that participants need to consider. The specific amount will depend on the insurance provider and the coverage options chosen.
These are just a few examples of additional fees that may apply in certain situations. It is important to carefully review the program details and any associated fees outlined by Orca Education. They will provide you with the specific information regarding any additional fees that may be applicable to your program or any changes you may consider.
Does Orca Education offer any discounts?
Yes, Orca Education offers several discounts to eligible students. Here are the discounts available:
- Alumni discount: if you or one of your direct family members (brother or sister) has completed an Orca Education program in the past, you are eligible for a 5% alumni discount on the same program you or your sibling has completed.
* to be noted that the discount applies only on program fee ( tuition fee )
- Priority Deadline discount: if you apply by the early application deadline for your program, you are eligible for a discount of $400 off the High School Abroad ( Academic Year) program fee or $200 off the High School Abroad ( Semester Year ) program fee.
- Referral discount: if you are a past participant, you can earn a $200 cash reward for every friend you refer who travels on a Year Abroad Program and you can earn a $100 cash reward for the Summer Camp Program. Your friend will also receive a $200 or $100 discount toward their program. To learn more about the referral program, you can contact Orca Education directly.
- Sibling discount: if you and your sibling both want to participate in a program during the same summer or academic year, one sibling will be eligible for a 5% sibling discount.
* to be noted that the discount applies only on program fee ( tuition fee )
It is important to note that if you are eligible for multiple discounts, you should choose the one that offers the largest discount and is most beneficial to you.
Taking advantage of these discounts can help make the program more affordable and provide additional incentives for participation.
Are there any scholarships available?
There are no scholarships available for Summer Camps, High School Abroad or Gap Year Abroad programs with Orca Education.
Cancellation & Refund Policy
What is the cancellation and refund policy?
- Application fee: the application fee, which is due upon submission of the application, is non-refundable. This fee is not eligible for a refund under any circumstances.
- Full Program Fee: the full program fee, which varies for each program, is non-refundable within 30 days of the departure date. However, if you have been refused for your Visa Application, Orca Education will reimburse the full tuition for the program, medical insurance and homestay fees.
- No refund after program departure: once the program has started and the departure date has passed, there will be no refund available for any portion of the program fee.
- Program cancellation by Orca: in the event that Orca Education cancels a program for any reason prior to the participant’s departure, they will refund 100% of the program fees and deposit paid.
Orca Education’s cancellation and refund policy is designed to ensure fairness and protect the financial commitments made by both participants and the organization.
If you have any specific questions or concerns about the cancellation and refund policy, it is recommended to reach out to Orca Education directly. They will be able to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the policy and any specific details that may apply to your situation.