International education includes all programs and activities that help prepare students and teachers to communicate better with other cultures, learn more about the international community, and become global citizens.

International education has positive cultural, political, academic and economic effects on society:

Learning about different cultures and languages helps Albertans have a better understanding of the world's people and about their own culture and way of life.

Learning about other cultures and its people helps Alberta and Canada have better relationships with other countries and have a positive influence on world affairs. Also, student and teacher exchange programs help build life-long relationships that may become the foundation of future political relationships.

International education helps students learn about social and cultural differences, new education systems, new languages, and develop an international point of view.

International education helps build an Alberta workforce that can communicate effectively and do business with other cultures. Also, student and teacher exchange programs help build life-long relationships that may become the foundation of future business partnerships.

Examples of programs and activities

Some examples of international education programs and activities include:

  • Student and teacher exchange programs
  • International student programs
  • International school partnerships
  • Accreditation of out-of-province schools
  • Language programs
  • Visiting teacher and foreign language consultant programs
  • Agreements and relationships with foreign governments

School partnerships

School twinnings, or partnerships between Alberta schools and schools from abroad, can bring a truly international experience into the classroom. School partnerships enable students to interact directly with students from around the world through written letters, email, video conferencing and/or school trips.

Through these interactions students learn about the culture, educational system and lifestyle of the students in their partner school. They may also have the opportunity to practice their second language skills with native speakers or get a first hand account about the country that they are studying in school.

Apply for school partnership

To apply for a school partnership, interested schools must:

1. Review the Guide to International School Partnerships

2. Complete an application form

3. Send their completed application form to International Education Services for approval

Main Floor, 44 Capital Boulevard
10044 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 5E6
Email: intl.ed.sec@gov.ab.ca

Teacher stories

The International Education Stories website on LearnAlberta serves as an interactive platform for teachers and administrators to share stories involving international education. It also creates an opportunity for educators to collaborate, share and receive feedback and resources from one another. Remember, international education can happen both abroad and in your classroom!

Educators will have the chance to:

  • Submit stories of their (or their student’s) international education experiences and projects that they have undertaken in their class, school or abroad
  • Read other Alberta educators’ stories and experiences. Educators can search for stories by school jurisdiction or by country
  • Share ideas, experiences and pursue collaborative projects by reaching out to the various educators who have already submitted stories of their own

Visit LearnAlberta to see some of the great work already going on in the province. A LearnAlberta login is required in order to access the site and submit entries. If you do not have an account with LearnAlberta, go the LearnAlberta website and register.

Administrator Handbook

The Administrator Handbook contains resources and tools to help develop and implement successful international education programs. It answers questions such as: What is international education? Why should I get involved? Who is involved and what is their role? How do I get involved? Where do I find resources?

Handbook (English)

Complete Handbook

Chapter 1 - An Introduction to International Education (PDF, 473 KB)
Chapter 2 - Benefits and Trends (PDF, 398 KB)
Chapter 3 - Leadership and Collaboration (PDF, 549 KB)
Chapter 4 - An Internationalization Strategy (PDF, 385 KB)
Chapter 5 - Professional Development (PDF, 312 KB)
Chapter 6 - Cultural Considerations (PDF, 551 KB)
Chapter 7 - Curriculum Links (PDF, 361 KB)
Chapter 8 - Funding (PDF, 392 KB)
Chapter 9 - Program Connections (PDF, 272 KB)
Guiding Principles for International Education Programs in Alberta School Authorities (PDF, 138 KB)
Chapter 10 - International School Partnerships (PDF, 461 KB)
Chapter 11 - Student Exchange Programs (PDF, 478 KB)
Chapter 12 - Educator Exchange Programs (PDF, 498 KB)
Chapter 13 - International Student Programs (PDF, 515 KB)
Chapter 14 - English as a Second Language Programs (PDF, 360 KB)
Chapter 15 - Language Programs (PDF, 326 KB)
Guiding Principles for the Management of a Successful School Partnership Program in Alberta Schools (PDF, 120 KB)
Chapter 16 - Hosting International Visitors (PDF, 550 KB)
Chapter 17 - Educational Travel Abroad (PDF, 459 KB)
Chapter 18- Support Organizations and What They Offer (PDF, 268 KB)
Glossary (PDF, 237 KB)
Complete List of References and Resources (PDF, 384 KB)
Title Page - Message from Minister (PDF, 730 KB)
Acknowledgements, Rationale for Handbook, Using the Handbook, Table of Contents (PDF, 339 KB)

Handbook (French)

Complete Handbook

Chapitre 1 - Introduction à l'éducation internationale (PDF, 2,6 MB)
Chapitre 2 - Avantages et tendances de l'éducation internationale (PDF, 2,2 MB)
Chapitre 3 - Leadership et collaboration (PDF, 3,5 MB)
Chapitre 4 - Stratégie d'internationalisation (PDF, 1,6 MB)
Chapitre 5 - Perfectionnement professionnel (PDF, 1,1 MB)
Chapitre 6 - Considérations culturelles (PDF, 2,2 MB)
Chapitre 7 - Liens avec les programmes d'études (PDF, 731 KB)
Chapitre 8 - Financement (PDF, 828 KB)
Chapitre 9 - Liens entre les programmes (PDF, 1 MB)
Principes directeurs pour les programmes d'éducation internationale des autorités scolaires de l'Alberta (PDF, 291 KB)
Chapitre 10 - Partenariats scolaires internationaux (PDF, 2,4 MB)
Chapitre 11 - Programmes d'échange d'élèves (PDF, 2,4 MB)
Chapitre 12 - Programmes d'échange d'éducateurs (PDF, 2,8 MB)
Chapitre 13 - Programmes d'accueil d'élèves étrangers (PDF, 3 MB)
Chapitre 14 - Programme d'anglais langue seconde (PDF, 1 MB)
Chapitre 15 - Programmes de langues (PDF, 880 KB)
Lignes directrices pour la gestion d'un programme de partenariat scolaire réussi au sein des autorités scolaires de l'Alberta (PDF, 227 KB)
Chapitre 16 - Accueil de visiteurs étrangers (PDF, 2,7 MB)
Chapitre 17 - Voyages éducatifs à l'étranger (PDF, 2 MB)
Chapitre 18 - Organismes de soutien et aide proposée (PDF, 620 KB)
Glossaire (PDF, 457 KB)
Références (PDF, 862 KB)
Page titre, Message du ministre de l'Éducation (PDF, 617 KB)
Remerciements, Raison d'être de ce guide, Utilisation de ce guide, Table des matières (PDF, 1,8 MB)

Handbook Appendices (English Only)

Appendix A: International Education Advisory Council Members (PDF, 116 KB)
Appendix A: International Education Advisory Council Terms of Reference (PDF, 115 KB)
Appendix B: Sample Internationalization Strategy-Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division International Strategy (PDF, 259 KB)
Appendix C: Intercultural Competence-Key Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes (PDF, 94 KB)
Appendix C: Studies on Cultural Patterns (PDF, 278 KB)
Appendix D: A Guide to International School Partnerships (PDF, 422 KB)
Appendix D: Alberta International School Partnership Program (Application for Alberta schools) (PDF, 24 KB)
Appendix D: Alberta International School Partnership Program (Application for International schools) (PDF, 24 KB)
Appendix D: International School Partnerships Brochure (PDF, 774 KB)
Appendix E: Application for the Approval of Reciprocal Student Exchange (PDF, 127 KB)
Appendix E: Exchanging Worlds Brochure (PDF, 2,2 MB)
Appendix E: Exchanging Worlds Poster (PDF, 8,8 MB)
Appendix E: Instructions to the Reciprocal Student Exchange Approval Form (PDF, 482 KB)
Appendix E: Student Language Development Exchange Program - Program Policies (PDF, 183 KB)
Appendix E: Student Language Development-Student Exchange Application (PDF, 357 KB)
Appendix E: Welcome to the World of Student Exchange Alberta-Quebec CD ROM (PDF, 22 MB)
Appendix E: Welcome to the World of Student Exchange CD ROM (PDF, 24,2 MB)

Access and funding

Access and Funding for International Students in Alberta - FAQs (English) (PDF, 6 MB)
Access and Funding for International Students in Alberta - FAQs (French) (PDF, 1 MB)

Resources for students

International Education Opportunities (PDF, 683 KB)


To connect with International Education Services:

Phone: 780-427-2035
Email (General information): intl.ed.sec@gov.ab.ca
Email (Exchange programs): exchange.programs@gov.ab.ca
Email (Study in Alberta): studyinalberta.sec@gov.ab.ca


Main Floor, 44 Capital Boulevard
10044 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 5E6

To connect with Alberta Accredited International Schools (School Accreditation and Standards Branch):

Phone: 780-427-7235
Email: edc.aais@gov.ab.ca

8th Floor, 44 Capital Boulevard
10044 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 5E6