Short-Term ESL FAQs

QAre all facilities on campus or do students need to leave the school?
AAll of our facilities are located on our beautiful campus. Students only need to leave campus to take part in some of our scheduled outings.
QAre the activities and classes compulsory?
AYes. However, if a student is not allowed to do an activity for some reason (eg, swimming), then we make alternate arrangements for him or her.
QCan students leave the school at any time?
AUsually, students only leave campus for an organized activity. They are not allowed to leave campus without a supervisor. If they need to go to the store for a special reason, or have some other personal errand, we try to incorporate it into one of the regularly scheduled outings. Otherwise, the student is assigned a special adult escort, but this happens very rarely.
QCan students use cellular phones, personal computers and other electronic devices in the school?
A

Cell phones, personal computers and other electronic devices may be used, but please note that we cannot be responsible for lost or stolen items. If necessary, cell phones and electronic devices will be entrusted to staff if their use becomes a distraction. Students are asked to keep their personal electronic items in their rooms. To encourage students to interact with each other and participate in activities, we ask that students refrain from bringing these items to class. WiFi is available on the school campus, however, the use of WiFi will be regulated by staff.

QCan you describe the activities, schedule, visits and how many hours of English instruction there are each day?
AThe students begin studying at 8:30 am and finish at 4:00 pm, with a one hour break for lunch. This is the schedule from Monday to Friday. On some days, there are field trips, and afternoons are often spent doing musical activities or playing language games. This provides some variety from sitting in a classroom all day long.
QDo international students have a chance to interact with local Canadian students while attending ISPY?
A

We have Canadian student ambassadors who work with students in the classroom as well as in the evening and on weekends. They play with the students during the break, and participate in field trips and other recreational activities.

QHow are the boys and girls dormitories separated?
A

Boys and girls are in one building, which is physically divided into a boys and girls side. Access is controlled by a magnetic swipe card. Students are not allowed in the rooms of the opposite sex but can mingle in common areas.

QHow do you ensure the safety and security of the students, especially after school and weekends?
AEach day after classes are finished, we have house parents on duty who ensure that students check in to the building. In the evening, we have dinner, some quiet study time, and then some type of activity. This is followed by preparations for bed time. The house parents carefully monitor the students' presence, and check them into their rooms at night. The doors are monitored by security camera, and the back doors have an alarm so that if anyone leaves, the alarm will sound. Boarding staff are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students must sign in and out when they leave the boarding house for any reason, even going to class. Students are always supervised in small groups by an adult staff member when they leave the campus.
QHow much free time do students get?
AStudents have about one hour after classes in the afternoon, and a couple of free hours on the weekend between meals and organized activities.
QWhat are the qualifications of teachers and monitors?
A

All of our teachers have BC Teaching Certificates and are members of the BC Teacher Regulation Branch. Our Senior Boarding Staff come from a variety of backgrounds, but all have completed an undergraduate degree. They all receive extensive training for their role, and have up to date First Aid training.

QWhat do the tuition fees include?
A

Tuition fees include transfer between Victoria International Airport and our campus, accommodation in our residences, evening and weekend activities, basic medical insurance, admission to all attractions, campus-wide WiFi, and a SMUS program souvenir. 

QWhat food and drinks are available?
A

The food served in the cafeteria is delicious and nutritious. There are always two choices of hot food entrée, and a vegetarian option. We also have a full self-serve soup and salad bar with several different types of salads, vegetables, condiments, pickles and protein options. There are a variety of hot and cold drinks. Residents are welcome to have a second helping at meals. We also serve a mid-morning snack and an evening snack just before bed time. Cold beverages include 100% fruit juice, water, milk and chocolate milk. We also have tea, coffee, hot apple cider, and hot chocolate. Soft drinks are not available on campus.

QWhat is the suggested allowance for a week?
A

It depends on the individual and their age and how long they stay. Our suggested amount would be $10 – $50 CAD per week for under 12 year olds, and $20 – $100 CAD per week for students over 12 years. Please note that the only thing students need to buy is personal items such as souvenirs and snacks. At students’ arrival week, we require that they buy a book in English to read while they are studying at ISPY. The suggested amount would be $4 to $20 for a book of their choice from the local book store.

QWhen should students arrive? Is there any pick up service?
A

All students should schedule to arrive on our intake days (usually on Sundays) and depart on departure days (Saturdays). Victoria International Airport (YYJ) pick ups and drop offs on intake days and departure days are complimentary. Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is $175 per student each way.

QWhere are washrooms located in the residences?
AEach double room has its own bathroom and shower.
QWhere do your students come from?
A

In the summer of 2016, there were students from Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Thailand, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, and Russia.