International Students

Are you a student looking to go to school outside of your home country?  Bell High School is found in Canada’s capital region, and offers many exceptional reasons to attend.  Take a look at all the wonderful things we have to offer!

hockey gameWant to feel like a true Canadian while at Bell?  We offer Introduction to Ice Sports for all of our international students!  No experience is required!  We'll provide all the equipment!National Arts Centre TripDiwali research presentationStudents from Japan in OttawaPancake BreakfastDance performanceDiscovering a frog while on a field trip

Our international students enjoy taking our Ice Sports course at Bell High School!

Want to feel like a true Canadian while at Bell? We offer Introduction to Ice Sports for all of our international students! No experience is required! We'll provide all the equipment!

Students from Austria and China getting ready for their field trip to the National Arts Centre to see a live dramatic performance.

Students from China and Japan presenting their research on Diwali during a World Celebrations unit.

Students from Japan taking in the sunshine outside of the Parliament Buildings on a downtown Ottawa walking tour.

Students from around the world enjoying a Pancake Breakfast ( with real maple syrup!) for international students.

Students doing a dance performance at the annual Multicultural Show.

These two international students are getting the chance to get 'up close and personal' with a local frog while on a conservation area field trip.


In addition to the many excellent content courses students can take at Bell High School, students have many additional course options:

  • English as a Second Language (ESL) pathway courses at all 5 levels
  • Students work through the pathway courses each semester in order to gain proficiency in the English language orally, in reading and writing skills, and to learn Canadian culture
  • Student pathway levels are not determined by Bell High School but by the program through which you are attending our school
  • Regular content courses like history, math and geography, presented in a ‘sheltered’ setting specifically for students in the ESL pathway
  • ESL elective courses including English Presentations (EPS3OS) that offers students the opportunity to gain confidence in speaking and presenting in English
  • Multiple arts courses, including visual arts, music and band, dance and drama 
  • Physical education elective courses that focus on outdoor education, personal fitness and ice sports
  • Other elective courses such as automotive studies, travel & tourism and business


  • Bell High School has a highly diverse student population with students from China, Brazil, Turkey, the Middle East, Mexico, Russia, Japan, Vietnam, and many places in between.  
  • Our Student Council recognizes this diversity and has an English as a Second Language (ESL) Liaison role.  This position is to give ESL students a voice in the school’s student government.  All ESL students are given the opportunity to run for this position, including international students!


Interested in sports?  Bell High School has a wide range of teams available in all seasons of the year.  International students have been valuable members of these, and many other teams: 

  • Skiing (Alpine, cross-country, downhill)
  • Swimming
  • Varsity soccer for girls and boys
  • Junior and Senior volleyball for girls and boys
  • Track ‘n’ Field
  • Varsity Basketball 
  • Badminton for girls and boys
  • Field hockey

Visit the Athletics page to learn more!


Bell High School offers many clubs for students to take part in.  These are a great way for students to practice their English speaking and listening skills in a comfortable environment while having fun!  Some examples include:

  • Multicultural Club – all students from all backgrounds are welcome to discuss the many cultures of the world and end the year with a Multicultural Showcase with information booths and performances from around the world
  • Bell Islamic Student Association (BISA) – a place for students of the Islamic faith to gather and share in their beliefs with their peers.
  • ESL Helper Club – several senior ESL students act as peer tutors for new students to Bell as well as those in the junior grades, giving first language support in completing homework and understanding important concepts.  Students can get support in learning how to navigate the school, the city and the new culture as well.
  • Conversation Club – an informal language-based time to practice speaking in English in comfortable setting.  Students discuss topics of the day and play games together while practicing. 

Click here to learn about all of the clubs we have to offer!

School-wide Events

Throughout the school year, Bell High School holds many events for students to take part in.  Some of the popular events amongst international students are: 

  • Multicultural Show – students get to share their culture with friends and watch performances from around the world.
  • Relay 4 Life – a team event where students are asked to help raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society, while walking a track for 12 hours. Students get to take part in fun activities throughout the day while supporting this important charity
  • Dances – there are several evening dances that take place throughout the school year. Each has its own theme, like Masquerade or A Night in Paris.
  • International Student Events – these events usually involve food!  Pizza lunch, pancake breakfasts and afternoon ice creams have been held in the past.
  • Battle of the Grades (BOTG)  - this is a school-wide, week long event held annually at Bell High School.  Grades have friendly competitions against each other in order to win points to be named the winners for that year.  This is a spirited event and everyone takes part.
  • ESL Post-Secondary Visits – students who have graduated from Bell High School that went through the ESL pathway return to speak to current Secondary students about their experience graduating and navigating the new world in post-secondary institutions like colleges and universities.

Field Trips

Some classes also hold exciting field trips that students can take part in.  Ottawa is a great location to learn more about Canadian culture, but also to see some amazing sights.  Some field trips include:

  • The National Gallery of Canada
  • The Museum of Canadian History
  • Walking tours of downtown Ottawa to see the Parliament Buildings and many other sights
  • Watching a play at the National Arts Centre
  • The Canadian Museum of Nature
  • The Science and Technology Museum
  • Cultural events like visiting First Nations Pow Wow celebrations
  • Outdoor fun at local Conservation Areas

Student Testimonials

Students have a lot to say about their experience as an international student here at Bell High School.  Here are a few:

  • “The experience at Bell is my important part of exploration in Canada.  All the friendly teachers and fellow classmates made [my] life more colourful; all the different extracurricular activities made me become more open-minded.  I can easily say the journey at Bell is one of the most precious experience[s] in my life.”  Student from China, in graduating year
  • "I have chosen Bell High School because of its opportunity to learn English in an ESL class which is very supportive. To experience a Canadian school [system], the choice of participating in numerous extracurricular activities and attending courses which match with my personal interests and passions were the main points why I have chosen Bell High School. I am very glad about this decision!"  Student from Austria, currently in the ESL pathway
  • “I think [Bell High School] is an open and tolerant school.  In here, I got lots of friends that [are] from different countries.  So I can learn many different cultures and broaden my horizon.”  Student from China, currently in the ESL pathway
  • “Bell has a wide-range of cultures.  This is good because we can learn about the other cultures living in Canada.  The teachers are also nice and the courses are fun.  Right now, I’m in guitar and [communications technology] which has improved by guitar and Photo Shop skills.”  Student from Brazil about to leave the ESL pathway.
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