School District 47’s International Education program will operate at a reduced level this year due to the
“Last year, we had our highest number of international education student registrations at 97 students
from 18 countries,” said Jay Yule, Superintendent for School District 47 (SD47). “This year, the program
will serve up to 24 students from just seven countries.”
The International Education Program in Powell River is one of the oldest and most successful programs
in the province. It boasts a graduation rate well above the provincial average, with most graduates
going on to attend post-secondary institutions all over the world.
“We are pleased to safely welcome back our international students to continue their studies with School
District 47,” said Shannon Behan, District Principal for International Education. “British Columbia’s
education system usually ranks in the top four worldwide, which is why we have become a destination
for international students. We are global thinkers who are progressive and
creative, and international students help bring diversity to our schools and
The students in the program appreciate the opportunities available to further
their education in Powell River.
“I am excited to be entering grade 12 at Brooks this year, and to see all my old
friends again,” said Yoana Lanto, a student from Madagascar who has been
studying in Powell River since 2017. “I am grateful to the Government of Canada,
School District 47, and all the people in Powell River who have always welcomed me and have made this
my second home. I am also grateful for the support of my Canadian host family, Bill and Hazel Richman,
who have always been so kind and welcoming.”
COVID-19 has presented challenges for the program. Only those students who had visas in place before
March, 2020 could register for the program, and while eleven of the program students remained in
Powell River after the 2019/2020 school year ended, the rest will return to Powell River from their home
countries only if they can fulfill all travel and quarantine requirements.
“We are stringently adhering to all protocols from the Provincial Health Officer,” said Behan. “Students
will quarantine in their home country for two weeks, and have a negative COVID-19 test before
traveling. After they arrive in Canada, they will be tested again, and will quarantine for an additional
two weeks to ensure that they have not become infected during travel. Both the students and their
host families will work together to make the quarantine and their reintroduction to Canada as smooth
Students have been encouraged to make travel arrangements to arrive in Powell River by August 25th so
that their quarantine period will be over in time for classes to begin.
“We also recognize that airport closures and flight delays may occur, so we are being flexible while still
adhering to all self-isolation protocols,” said Yule. “Host families have been connecting with the
students via phone and video to establish relationships, and will follow the same types of protocols the
families of health care workers follow to make the quarantine period safe for all members of the
Yule encouraged Powell River to open their arms to this year’s international student cohort. “There will
be a smaller number of international students in Powell River this year, so their community of support
will be a little smaller,” he said. “I know the people of Powell River and School District 47 will help make
their experience in Powell River this year wonderful, and give them all the support they need.”
Click below for the full printable news release.
Press Release Intl Student Program 20200821.pdf