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International Applicants

For over 25 years, Glenlyon Norfolk School has been proud to welcome international students from around the world. Our international students are an integral part of the GNS experience and valuable members of our community.
Glenlyon Norfolk School (GNS) is a co-educational, university preparatory school in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. For more than one hundred years, our school has offered a first-class education that combines academics, athletics, fine arts and citizenship. Located in the neighbourhood of Oak Bay, the GNS campus is inclusive, secure and welcoming, and is in close proximity to big-city amenities but surrounded by west coast forests and the Pacific Ocean.

We welcome students from countries around the world including Germany, Mexico, Spain, Japan, Switzerland, France, Italy, Korea, Nigeria, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, India and China. International students enjoy small class sizes, academic curricula enriched by the International Baccalaureate, English Acquisition support (see below), numerous co-curricular opportunities, and a welcoming community.

International students at the school may take part in our unique Family Boarding Program where they live with members of the GNS community, including current families, teachers and staff members. Beginning in September 2021, international students also have the option to apply for a space in our new Gryphon House boarding program.

International students are required to attend our HeadStart program—a one-week orientation program that takes place the week before classes start in September. Visit our HeadStart Program page for more information.

English Acquisition

English Acquisition (EA) is a specialized English language course for students whose first language is not English.

Language learners typically develop proficiency in social English quite quickly, but need intensive study to develop sufficient levels of academic English, which has much more complex vocabulary and grammatical structures.

The EA course prepares students for academic success. Developing students’ academic English supports progress within all subjects across the curriculum.

EA is ideal for international students studying in Canada. Students learn what it means to be Canadian. Emphasis is placed on deepening their awareness and appreciation of Canadian culture, as well as international-mindedness in a multi-cultural community.

English Acquisition FAQs

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: Do all international students take the EA course?

    No. The EA course is for students with beginner level and intermediate level English language proficiency. Students with advanced-level proficiency are equipped to cope with the curriculum without additional language support. Students’ proficiency is assessed as part of the Admissions process. Students’ language levels are regularly assessed as part of the EA program, and progress is communicated through regular report cards, as with other subjects. Our school programs are highly demanding, with challenging academic language demands. Our goal is to ensure that students are well prepared for academic success.
  • Q: Is English Acquisition just another name for ELL or ESL?

    No. Traditional ELL/ESL programs are often a ‘quick fix’ approach, which fills a gap in subject knowledge but does little to develop language skills long-term. The GNS English Acquisition program empowers students with language skills and creates academic gain for students across all their subjects. Students are taught the craft, processes and structures of language, from the perspective of a language learner’s needs.
  • Q: What is the typical class size?

    EA classes are intentionally smaller than regular classes. We aim to have a maximum of 10 students in each class. This ensures more individualized teaching for each student, and provides a supportive environment in which to develop confidence. It allows greater opportunities for students to practise spoken and written English, and receive individualized feedback to develop their language skills.


English Acquisition is learning about language, culture and experiences. And having fun!

Family Boarding

International students at the school may take part in our unique Family Boarding Program where they live with members of the GNS community, including current families, teachers and staff members.

Glenlyon Norfolk School

Junior School (JK to Grade 5)

Middle (Grade 6 to 8) and Senior (Grade 9 to 12) Schools