Helpful Tips

We've provided some helpful tips and things that we feel you should know to help improve your experience with the Immigration Toolbox.

Education

In this section you will find information about the different levels of education available in London and Middlesex County. The Canadian school year begins in September and ends in June.

There are also education opportunities for adults, such as learning English as a second language.

The Province of Ontario has four publicly funded school systems; English Catholic, French Catholic, English Public and French Public at both an elementary and secondary level. French immersion education is also available in London and Middlesex County.  

Settlement workers are available to help you get use to your new school. The school boards offer full day kindergarten (pre-school) and before and after school programs to help working parents.

For information on admission, settlement services, before and after school programs and tuition costs for international students, you can visit each school boards' websites, which are listed in the useful links below.

Eligibility Requirements for Starting School in September

  • Junior kindergarten students must be four years old by December 31.
  • Senior kindergarten students must be five years old by December 31.
  • Grade 1 students must be six years old by December 31 (the law in Canada states that all children must enter school by the age of six).
  • Parents or guardians must present proof of age and primary address.
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Secondary School Education

Secondary schools, also known as high schools, are for students aged 14 to 18 years old, and include grades 9 to 12. Students are grouped together based on their grade, but they will change teachers and classrooms for each subject.

By law in Canada, students must not leave school until they are 18 years of age or have achieved all the courses needed to complete a diploma.

Every student has the right to enroll at the school nearest to their home. You will want to research the schools closest to where you live in London and Middlesex County. When enrolling in schools, you will need to provide proof of address; a document that has your name and address on it such as a utility bill or a phone bill.

Every secondary school has guidance counsellors who can help you pick your courses and get you ready to start post-secondary education.

If you are eligible for bus transportation, school bus services may be available in your area. You can check with the school to see if there is a bus route close to where you live.

Quick Tip

It is a good idea to contact your local secondary school at least 6 months before the start of school.

Private Education

Private schools are available for elementary and secondary education. They are funded by tuition which is paid for by the student’s family (scholarships are sometimes available).

Post-Secondary Education

London has a lot of excellent post-secondary education options available to you. Fanshawe College and Western University and its affiliated colleges are amongst the very best universities and colleges in the country.

London also offers a variety of skilled trade schools that specialize in giving students with the technical skills needed to work a particular job.

Each university, college, and trade school makes an annual calendar with information on the admission requirements, fees and the courses scheduled for the academic year, which normally starts in September. The schools’ annual calendars are also usually available on their websites.

For more information on post-secondary education in the London and Middlesex region, check out the useful links below.

Quick Tip

Tuition fees vary depending on where you want to study. Financial assistance may be available to you. Check the school’s website or contact their administrative office for more details.

English Language Courses

Being able to speak, read and write in English will make it easier for you to get comfortable living in London and Middlesex County. English language training is often called ESL (English as a Second Language).

For more information on English language courses check out the useful links below. 

Quick Tip

Take a standardized English test to see if your English language skills need improvement. See useful links for more information. Check out the language section for more information about learning English and other language services available.

Elementary School Education

Elementary schools are for students aged 4 to 13 years old, and this includes junior kindergarten up to Grade 8.

For children who are not fluent in English, all London and Middlesex County elementary schools offer language support services.

After Grade 8, students continue on to secondary school for Grade 9 to Grade 12.

If you are eligible for bus transportation, you can check with the school to see if there is a bus route close to where you live.

Quick Tip

Make sure to register your children for school at least 3 to 6 months before the start of school in September.

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6+ months before you arrive

  • Research tax and foreign investment rules
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  • Get used to the area around the school you will be attending
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  • Research types of rental properties available
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  • Research schooling in London
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  • Research rental properties in London and surrounding area
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  • Research the type of housing options available in the area you wish to live in
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  • Research London's labour market
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  • Check local job boards and begin to research open job postings
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  • Research the types of accommodations available at your school
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  • Find out what the rules are for importing your pet
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  • Check and see if you are covered for your medical needs
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  • Research which English tests you are required to take
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  • Research the cost of living in London
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6-3 months before you arrive

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  • Research the laws about what you can take into Canada
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3 months before you arrive

  • Research the cost of English classes and when they are offered
    3 months before you arrive
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3-0 months before you arrive

  • Look up doctors who are accepting new patients
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  • Research information about how to obtain a Canadian passport
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  • Look up dentists who are accepting new patients
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  • Research and compare dispensing fees for pharmacies in your area
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  • Research bus fares and bus pass options
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  • Book meetings with the individuals needed to help you buy a home
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  • Research what types of maternity/fertility care options are available
    3-0 months before you arrive
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  • Research information regarding English classes in your area
    3-0 months before you arrive
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  • Ask your current employer for a written or verbal reference
    3-0 months before you arrive
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  • Find clubs, associations, leisure classes and churches
    3-0 months before you arrive
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  • Research areas where buses and trains will travel to and from London
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  • Check driver’s licence requirements in London
    3-0 months before you arrive
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  • Apply to have your driver’s licence converted to an Ontario licence
    3-0 months before you arrive
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  • Research French courses offered in London and Middlesex County
    3-0 months before you arrive
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  • Find out how to transfer your current pension to Canada
    3-0 months before you arrive
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  • Book flights and arrange shipping of your possessions
    3-0 months before you arrive
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  • Research the types of insurance rates available
    3-0 months before you arrive
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  • Research schools to see if your child’s language is being taught
    3-0 months before you arrive
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  • Give notice to your current employer in your home country
    3-0 months before you arrive
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  • Research transportation options for travelling to London
    3-0 months before you arrive
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  • Obtain valid car insurance before driving in London
    3-0 months before you arrive
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  • Find out how the health care system works in Ontario
    3-0 months before you arrive
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  • Research the current weather conditions in and around London and Middlesex prior to coming
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  • Research hospitals in the London area
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  • Complete all required English tests and submit your results with your application
    3-0 months before you arrive
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After arrival

  • Enrol in English classes
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  • Visit your school
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  • Make an appointment with your new doctor
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  • Set up a walk through of the home or apartment
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  • Open a Canadian bank account
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  • Register as a volunteer and participate in programs and workshops
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  • Complete your research about the rules for having visitors coming to stay with you in Canada
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  • Complete all the required paperwork or documentation prior to your visitors’ arrival in Canada
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  • Know how to get information about working in London
    After arrival
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  • Enrol in courses
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  • Research the areas around London you may wish to explore
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  • Get to know the bus stops in your area
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  • Research taxi fares
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  • Research employee rights and standards in Ontario
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  • Enrol in classes
    After arrival
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  • Join sports clubs, associations or places of worship; and take a leisure class
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  • Compare costs and travel times to make sure you are choosing the best option
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  • Join the local library
    After arrival
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  • Find out where to buy things locally
    After arrival
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  • Check weather before you go outside to make sure you are dressed appropriately
    After arrival
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