• Most Belgian and Dutch students will have graduated before coming to Nova Scotia. If this is the case they are completely free to choose any courses. English is the only mandatory course.
  • For the Belgian students who have not graduated, the Belgian Ministry of Education will only allow students to go abroad if they can have a timetable as close as possible to what they would have in Belgium. This means all non-graduated students (3 months, 5 months, and full year) will have the following academic requirements:
    • 1 Social Studies (not every student, but often required)
    • 1 Math
    • 1 Science
    • 1 English
  • It does not matter which Science, Math, or English, as long as it is in their current grade level. Some students might need other classes, like a second Science course, Economics, or Spanish. These are important as well but the 3 courses listed above are mandatory. The courses required are listed on the front page of their application
  • Care should be taken to note the student’s birth date. If over 19 on September 30 they should be reminded they are not eligible to participate in NSSAF sports


  • French students are generally in Nova Scotia to learn English and, as such, should be enrolled in regular English language courses. French immersion courses should only be considered on request of the student and natural parents for non-language subjects such as Science or Social Studies


  • Though most Germans cannot validate courses when they return to Germany, they do typically want full credits while in Nova Scotia. They will often challenge themselves by taking higher level courses. Please note the number of grade 12 courses should be limited for grade 11 students so as not to give the impression that graduation in one year is possible
  • They cannot graduate in one year because they do not have enough credits to transfer from grade 10 in Germany. Even if requested this is not possible
  • They usually stay for one semester or one full year
  • Traditionally, German students came from grade 11. This is changing due to grade 13 being eliminated in Germany. Now a greater number of German students will come for Grade 10


  • Most Italian students come for grade 12 and must be registered in grade 12 courses. They can take any courses at that academic level
  • The selection of courses is not as relevant as the fact they are taking grade 12 while here. Without grade 12 courses on their transcript they will have difficulty in having their courses re-validated when they return to Italy
  • As of April 2016 the Italian Ministry of Education stated students who wish to graduate in Nova Scotia, must study abroad for a minimum of two years to have their diploma recognized by the Italian universities


  • Course requirements Grade 8, 9, 10 and 11 students:
    o At the end of the school year, their final transcript must show a minimum of 5 passed courses while in Nova Scotia
    o Grade 8, 9, 10 and 11 students can take courses belonging to their school year or one course up, never down. (A grade 11 student can take grade 12 courses but not grade 10
    o There is no specific required list of courses for validation. They just need to present 5 passed courses at the end of the year. However, Spain tries to have the students have a
    mix of academic and practical courses so when they return to the Spanish system the transition is smoother
  • Course requirements Grade 12 students:
    o At the end of the school year, their final transcript must show a minimum of 5 passed courses while in Nova Scotia
    o From these 5 grade 12 courses, 4 of them must be chosen from the following list:
    • Math, English (No ESL), Geography, Geology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, Art, Technical Design, Latin, Greek and Philosophy
  • The remaining courses to complete the final list can be chosen amongst the other ones the school offers
  • If the school where the grade 12 student has been placed has no availability of the aforementioned courses, the Spanish agent must be notified and the student must be placed
  • Spain needs to know the list of courses chosen by the student as soon as possible. If a student wants to change any of the courses, the Spanish agent must be notified to confirm the change if possible
  • Since all students must pass at least 5 of the chosen courses, the Spanish agent needs to be notified if the student is having problems with any courses
  • All students for grade 10, 11, or 12 need to have their final transcript validated

Red Leaf—FAO Scholarship Students

  • Course requirements: English, Math, and a full course load
  • All students must be enrolled in grade 11 although they can take grade 12 subjects. They cannot take grade 10 courses
  • Students are recipients of an academic scholarship from the Amancio Ortega Foundation and are coming from all over Spain. Amancio Ortega is the owner of the Zara Chain of department stores and he puts his own money into the foundation
  • Students do not need to take ESL. They have all scored 60 or above in the SLEP test. Most of them are also fluent in other languages (French, German, Basque, Catalan…)
  • FAO students are not allowed to extend beyond their year in Nova Scotia as part of their agreement.


  • Course requirements: English, Math, a social studies
  • These students will typically come for grade 11 and 12 and plan to stay to graduate
  • They usually want to attend universities in Canada so they will need to be registered with this in mind
  • There are some Turkish IB schools that will be sending students to take a year of Pre-IB grade 10 as preparation for IB in Turkey
  • Be careful when equating credits for transfer from Turkey as the students take many more courses but often have lower number of hours per course. Also, there are streams in Turkish high schools that will allow students to take almost all math/science courses and no art courses, and vice versa
  • If Turkish students attend one of the top 1000 universities in the world (Dalhousie being the only one in NS) and obtain a bachelor degree then the student can complete the mandatory Turkish military service in 6 months, whereas other students must stay for 12 months

Other European Students (Czech Republic, Nordic Countries, Slovakia, Austria, Etc…)

  • These students are coming in increasing numbers
  • Most will be here for credit and require academic courses. Registration is similar to German students

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