International Students

HDCH International Student Program

Academics. Culture. Language. Social Support.

Program Overview

Our mission at Hamilton District Christian High is cultivating character through learning for a life of service to God.  This means that, in addition to our high standards of academic excellence, we believe in developing the character of our students so that they will be a blessing and a faithful presence in the communities that they serve.

International student readiness is the focus of the Hamilton District Christian High international student program. For over fifteen years, we have been welcoming students from all over the world into our school. Our specially-trained teacher team provides one-to-one support, combined with a high level of support in the classroom setting.

Together with our homestay families and guardians, we ensure that each student is exposed to Canadian culture and society in ways that help them settle more quickly into their new home. Learning is strengthened through positive role models found in all the teaching and support staff. 

HDCH international students graduate with a strong academic foundation, good basic English skills, new friends, a sense of vocation, and are well-positioned to move to a Canadian post-secondary pathway.

International Program Pillars

  • Faith Formation: Our courses are all taught from a biblical perspective, connecting students’ gifts and calling to God’s work in the world
  • Academic standing: our expert faculty empowers students in reaching their full academic potential
  • Cultural understanding: Our teachers, learning support staff, homestay families and guardians work together to build a cultural understanding of Canada and North America
  • Social Supports: Our teaching staff and homestay families ensure that students are supported through the many new things they experience during their time with us 
  • Language Development: We support English language learners with practical and consistent English language skills building, with a shared emphasis on both written and spoken English

Expected Outcomes

HDCH International  students graduate with:

  • English language skills, both in instructional and conversational language
  • Achievement that reflects their commitment and attention to academic work
  • An understanding of Canadian culture, climate, foods and education systems
  • An appreciation for a biblical worldview
  • Academic skills in collaboration, innovation, inquiry, and reflection
  • Emotional resilience and social confidence to proceed to their university, college, or other post-secondary pathways

Program Impact

Many of our international students are graduate from HDCH as Ontario Scholars. Most of our international students gain admission into their top choices of post-secondary institutions. Recent international graduates have attended the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, Queen’s University, and the Ontario College of Art and Design University.

HDCH international student program graduates proceed to many Canadian universities, including University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, Queen’s University, McMaster University, and Western University. Others advance to college programs at Mohawk College, Sheridan College, George Brown and Fanshawe. Typical programs of study include pre-medicine, engineering, pre-dentistry and computer science, animation, art and design.

In a recent University of Waterloo Mathematics competition, a group of five HDCH international students won the University of Waterloo Canadian Senior Math Contest Championship for our zone, surpassing other elite contestants from other regional private schools. Two of the students scored in the top 5 for our zone.

International Program Timeframe

This program period normally ranges from four semesters, lasting  2 years, to eight semesters, lasting 4 years. Students ideally complete two semesters per year, starting in September, ending in June. Students typically return to their family home in the summer. 

Some students may benefit from remaining at HDCH for an additional semester(s) to improve grades or to add courses needed for university entrance. 

NOTE: In rare circumstances, HDCH may accept an international student for fewer than 4 semesters, subject to academic standing and proven instructional English language proficiency.

Living Arrangements

International students are placed with warm and welcoming families who bring the student into their home. Students enjoy a private room, with their own or access to a shared family bathroom, and eat meals with the family. Whenever possible, students remain with their homestay family for the duration of their time at HDCH. 

NOTE: International students are not required to use the HDCH homestay program if they have a friend or family member with whom they can stay. 


With parents far away, a local person must act as guardian for HDCH’s international students. Our guardians provide day to day support and care. They liaise between the school and the student’s family.

NOTE: International students are not required to use the HDCH guardian if they have a local  friend or family member who will act as legal guardian. 


All school systems are different. To determine the student’s knowledge, language skills and academic level, HDCH assesses prior academic experience and conducts testing on arrival. A program is designed that meets the student’s post-secondary pathway needs and also allows for differences that need to be addressed for completion of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. 


International students are fully integrated into classes with local students. Additionally, they may study English as a language learner.  All HDCH graduates receive both the HDCH diploma and an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Frequent field trip experiences are a part of learning. As well, students complete community service hours through exposure to Canadian charities, to help build their skills.


Admissions Process for International Students

Hamilton District Christian High is pleased to offer a number of placements to international students, along with homestay opportunities with safe and welcoming host families.


If you would like to learn more about HDCH and the application process, please complete this form:
If you are ready to apply to HDCH, complete the online application and select “international” when prompted