Travel policies and procedures
Overnight trips in Canada
If an international student is planning an overnight trip outside of Vancouver area, the student’s natural parents must fill in the online travel request form prior to travel outside of the Vancouver area. This online request must be submitted when traveling overnight with their host parents, too. The form can be found here: http://westvancouverschools.ca/international/student-travel-application/
Once the trip has been approved, students and their host parents will be notified by email. We will deny permission for trips which are too risky for the student. If this happens, we will communicate the reasons by email to the natural parents, custodian, and homestay parents. The goal is not to restrict students from having new experiences but try to ensure that travel is arranged safely and with proper approval.
Day Trips to the US
If students want to have a day trip to the US, they do not need to be accompanied by an adult over 25. We DO NOT encourage students to travel on their own but they can travel with other students or friends. Natural parents must fill in the travel request form online prior to travel:
Once the office has approved the trip, the student can come to pick up a Travel Letter. It is the student’s responsibility to take proper travel documentation and check the US entry requirements. Visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
If an international student is travelling back to their home country during the Winter Break and/or the Spring Break, their parents must also fill out the form.
If the student will be missing school days due to travel arrangements, they must submit the Extended Absence Application. (See below)
We acknowledge that getting flight tickets at winter and Spring Break can be challenging. Students should make every effort to return to their schools on time.
During the Winter Break and the Spring Break, one week before or after is acceptable time off school, if the student’s parents/ custodian inform International Programs in advance.
Students should also inform their teachers and homestay parents of their travel plans as early as possible.
Extended absence procedures
Daily attendance is critical to ensure student success. Certain classroom assignments, projects and exams cannot be made up if missed. We do not recommend or allow students be absent during the school term.
Extended absence can be authorized for particular reasons. Students are required to obtain permission from the International office. This form must be given to the International office at least one week prior to departure for approval. Students must inform teachers a week prior to departure.
If approved, the International Programs department will inform the student’s school to mark the requested days as “Excused Absence”.
If not approved or the Extended Absence Application was not submitted by the student, “Unexcused Absence” will be noted on the student’s record for all missed days. Students may receive a “0” for missed work. In addition, disciplinary action might be taken.
Curfew and sleep overs
Weekend curfew times (Friday and Saturday night) are the following:
- 10:00 pm for grade 8 and 9 students
- 11:00 pm for grade 10 students
- 12:00 am for grade 11 and 12 students
Weekday curfew times(Sunday to Thursday) are the following:
- 9:00 pm for grade 8, 9, and 10 students
- 10:00 pm for grade 11 and 12 students
When you join school or community activities during the week, ask your host families if it is OK to come home later than curfew to attend these activities and team event.
Students and / or host families can request a sleepover for the student. Requests are completed online. This sleepover request must be done prior to the event. Mixed gender sleep-overs are not permitted. All students must be supervised by a responsible adult at home. Please request a sleep-over here:
If you are living with your natural parent, your parent simply needs to bring his/her passport and proof of the new address to International Programs office.
If you are living at a private host family, your custodian must inform the Homestay Coordinator with the contact details of your new, private host family information. Please include their name, address, phone number, and email address.
If you are staying with a official International Programs host family, and you would like to move, come see your Homestay Coordinator first. We will assist you in solving issues you might experience. Often, it’s just a result of miscommunication and the situation will be resolved quickly.
If a homestay change is needed, the student must complete a written Notice of Homestay Termination and give two weeks’ notice. If the student is not willing or able to stay the two weeks, we must collect payment from the student for the full notice period. You must contact the International Office for any changes!
We will be contacting you via email, phone, and text messages, so let us know if anything changes! Same for your homestay and custodian information, – please inform us of any changes.
Homestay fee records
Students should keep a written documentation of their payments to homestay families. We suggest this form as a convenient record: See Homestay Payment Record 2017-2018.