International education is a broad term for initiatives that promote an understanding of the connections and differences between the world’s people. Alberta’s K to 12 education system helps students:

  • work with others of diverse cultural origins
  • appreciate a broad range of ideas, perspectives and values
  • build relationships and collaborate
  • develop global competencies and intercultural skills

Examples of programs and activities

  • Student and teacher exchange programs
  • International student programs
  • International school partnerships
  • Language and culture programs
  • Visiting teacher and foreign language consultant programs
  • Agreements and relationships with international governments and regions


International education programs help:

  • students and educators gain international and intercultural knowledge, skills and awareness
  • students and educators develop greater understanding and respect for cultural diversity while learning about different perspectives, practices and systems
  • build Alberta’s globally skilled and trained labour force that contributes to increased trade and investment diversity
  • bring more than 3,000 international students to Alberta K to 12 schools, providing long-term economic and social benefits for the province.

The Economic and Social Impact of International K-12 Students on Alberta summarizes an impact study conducted in 2016. The study examines the direct and future financial and social impact of international students and the added impact of their visiting friends and relatives.

A report by Global Affairs Canada estimates that international students contribute $21 billion to Canada’s GDP and support almost 170,000 jobs.

International Education Week

International Education Week 2023 will take place between November 2024, 2023.

Celebrated annually in more than 100 countries, International Education Week takes place in the third week of November in support of international engagement and to showcase the impact that international education has in preparing students for the world.

As part of this year’s recognition of International Education Week, Alberta will be celebrating the benefits of learning international languages. Studying another language builds cross-cultural skills and helps students adapt to various cultural contexts. In an increasingly global world, these skills are beneficial for students as they navigate, study and work locally, nationally and internationally.

    Life in Alberta to the Beat of Language and Culture Art Contest 

    Students are invited to participate in the Life in Alberta to the Beat of Language and Culture art contest. This art contest has a music-based theme and is open to all Alberta students. In creating an original piece of artwork, students are encouraged to be imaginative and consider how their study and knowledge of another language and culture connects to life in Alberta through music. Ideas can include, but are not limited to, rhythm, dance, instruments, song writing, symphonies, or concerts. The artwork can be in the form of a drawing, painting, collage, photograph, or combination there of. As well, students must include a word of their choosing from the language that they are learning in the artwork’s design to bridge their ideas together. Submissions will be judged in 5 different grade categories and contest winners will receive a prize package.

    This contest provides an opportunity for students to explore the interconnectedness of language and culture within Alberta's diverse and inclusive society. Your paintbrush is your instrument. Let the rhythm flow through your art!

    The entry deadline has been extended to January 15, 2024.

    Entry guides and forms

    For more information about the contest and for printable entry and model release forms, please see the following:

    For electronic submissions and model release forms, please see the following:

    Promotional posters are available for download:

    PDF form issues

    Fillable PDF forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save the form:

    1. Save the PDF form to your computer – click or right-click the link and download the form.
    2. Open the PDF form with Adobe Reader. Fill it in and save it.

    If you are still having problems opening the form, contact PDF form technical support.

    Resources and additional activities

    You can create an international education activity anywhere, and it can take many shapes or forms.

    Here are some ideas and resources to help you celebrate and promote opportunities to learn about other cultures and places.


    Activity ideas

    • Host a panel discussion with local representatives from international organizations to answer questions from students.
    • Hold class discussions on topics like intercultural competence, international engagement or global partnerships.
    • Video conference with an international school partner.
    • Set up an international-themed food festival.
    • Host multicultural performances by student groups or external organizations.
    • Showcase international films.
    • Invite guest speakers to present on topics related to international education.
    • Create events acknowledging international students in your school.
    • Place exhibits or posters in your school or community to highlight facts from cultures or languages around the world.
    • Present a language or cultural exchange program.
    • Hold informational sessions showing how students and educators can get involved with international education initiatives.
    • Meet with students over lunch to share a new language or cultural activity from around the world.


    Connect with International Education Services:

    Phone: 780-427-2035
    Email (General information): [email protected]
    Email (Exchange programs): [email protected]
    Email (Study in Alberta): [email protected]

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

    Was this page helpful?

    Your submissions are monitored by our web team and are used to help improve the experience on Alberta.ca.