UGDSB is Unique!

Why Choose Upper Grand?

The Upper Grand District School Board’s International Student Program provides a superior and affordable education to our international students, with personal and attentive service and a safe and nurturing environment.  We also provide early-course selection and a guaranteed timetable.  Our ISP students can choose their courses before they arrive. We guarantee that students who apply before the deadline will be provided with a timetable before they arrive in Canada, so their course selection will not be limited to whatever “leftover” courses might be available by the beginning of the semester.

We have schools in both urban and rural communities!

Two distinct environments of urban or rural/small town are available, to meet with individual student’s preferences. Guelph is our largest, most urban centre. It is notably multicultural, yet with a 95% English-speaking community. Orangeville is the next largest town in our district, though it and our other surrounding communities do not have as diverse a population. Both Guelph and Orangeville are trendy commuter areas. Many people who work in Toronto choose to live in our district, as it is close enough to the city to commute, yet a safe and wonderful area to raise a family. Indeed, Guelph is rated by MoneySense as one of the best places for new Canadians and by Statistics Canada as one of the safest metropolitan communities in Canada. Orangeville was awarded Great Places in Canada’s 2015 title for “Best Street,” for its exceptional main street, Broadway, which is the heart of the town.

The UGDSB offices and all of our schools are within driving distance to Toronto Pearson International Airport, the largest and busiest airport in Canada. More than 60 airlines fly into Toronto and there are daily non-stop flights to and from many of the world’s major cities – with Frankfurt, London, Beijing and 180 other destinations among them.

Our area is a hub for learning, with one of Canada’s top twenty universities located in our district, in the city of Guelph. The University of Guelph, which offers some lecture series and events that are open to the public, was founded in 1852 as an agricultural school. In 1964, the school amalgamated with two other colleges to become the University of Guelph. U of G is well recognized for its commitment to student learning and innovative research and renowned for its agriculture and science programs. (The University of Guelph designed the “alpha particle X-ray spectrometer” (APXS) that is mounted on the arm of Curiosity – the NASA rover that touched down on Mars in August 2012.)

There are four other universities within a short distance of Guelph – University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, McMaster University and University of Toronto – as well as two world-renowned research facilities, the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Institute for Quantum Computing.

The Upper Grand District School Board’s International Student Program offers a coordinated academic experience and home life from beginning to end, with caring and supportive homestay families playing an integral role in the student’s daily life.