skyscrapers on the waterfront
Montréal, Canada. Photo ©

Marc-Olivier Jodoin, used under licence and adapted from the original.

How does the programme operate in Canada? 

The Language Assistants Programme is a bi-lateral mobility programme. We work with our partner organisation, Education International, to send English Language Assistants to primary and secondary schools and adult education centres in Canada.   

Education International administer the programme in Canada and manage the relationship with schools on our behalf.   

As part of our processes, we will be sharing the information you include in your application with Education International and the regional/local authorities and schools that they work with. By submitting an application, you are agreeing to us sharing the information included in the form with all parties listed above.  

Am I eligible for a placement in Canada?

To be a Language Assistant in Canada, you must:

  • fulfil the general eligibility criteria
  • hold a UK or Irish passport
  • have A2-level French
  • be aged 35 or under on 1 September 2024.

Will I need a visa? 

Yes, assistants going to Canada will have to apply for a work permit. Part of this work permit process includes a medical exam - assistants will need to cover the cost of this exam. We will give guidance on this if you are selected for a post in Canada. 

Please note that visa requirements can change at short notice, and the British Council cannot be held responsible for any changes to the visa process. 

Do I need to do a video interview?  

If you are successful in your written application to Canada, you will be required to complete a video interview. You will receive a link via email to complete your video interview.   

Applicants not invited to complete a video interview may be offered a transfer to another country as long as their application is of a high enough standard and meets the relevant country requirements.  

When will I start my placement?

Posts in Canada run from 1 September 2024 to 31 May 2025. Some schools may choose to extend this if possible.

Will there be an induction course?

You will be invited to attend a pre-departure session which is an opportunity to meet other assistants, get advice on personal safety and other topics, and ask former assistants about life in Quebec. In recent years, this has taken place online.

You will also be expected to attend an introductory meeting in person once in Quebec.

More information will be provided by the British Council and Educational Internationale regarding briefings and inductions for successful candidates in 2024. 

How many hours will I work per week?

Language Assistants in Canada can expect to work approximately 24 hours per week,including 6 hours of preparation.

Please be aware that the number of hours and your specific timetable and working pattern can vary depending on the region and institution that you are allocated to.

How many posts are available in Canada?

Every year there are approximately 20 posts available in French-speaking Canada. Candidates will be placed on a waiting list if they are not immediately successful in gaining a post. 

What type of institution will I be working in?

The majority of posts are in primary and secondary schools. There are also a small number of posts available in adult education centres.

How much will I be paid?

You can expect to earn approximately CAD $2,600 gross per month.The amount that will be deducted from your salary for taxes will vary from approximately 10 to 30% depending on other sources of income during the same financial year.  This salary marks a recent, significant increase for Language Assistants.

Please note that our overseas partners and employing institutions are ultimately responsible for setting the salary of language assistants and this amount should therefore be treated as indicative and may be subject to change.

What are the costs involved?    

Applicants should also be aware that there are significant costs associated with the visa process and moving to Canada. However, these costs should not come all at once as they will occur at different stages of the process, from visa application to arrival in Canada.  Costs are likely to include:    

Pre-departure:   

  • International Child Protection Certificate (£75)   
  • Work permit application (approx. £250 for medical, $155 CAD for work permit and $85 CAD for biometric fees)   
  • Travel costs to and from visa centre   
  • Travel costs to placement location    

In post (before receiving first payment)  

  • Accommodation costs including initial temporary accommodation and deposit for permanent accommodation in Canada 
  • Costs for initial few months £1500-2500. You may not receive your first payment until late October, so you will need sufficient funds for this time. Previous assistants have recommended budgeting for at least two months without pay 

We encourage you to read more about the monthly allowance and how much money we recommend budgeting for Canada in section 8 of the destination guide (available to downloaded from the bottom of this page).   

What holidays will I have?

In Canada the academic calendar runs from August to May. Typically, assistants can expect to receive the same school and national holidays as their institution.  

I've worked as a Language Assistant in Canada – can I apply again?

Assistants currently working in Canada can apply for a consecutive year. This is not done through the British Council: contact Éducation Internationale for more information. You must make this decision around February time. You can ask to remain at the same school or change school, and applications must include a letter of recommendation from your current school.

Where can I get information about my placement from?

The guide for Language Assistants in Quebec 2023-24 is available to download in PDF format below. This information has been provided for reference and is subject to change each year. Updated guidance for Assistants going out on placement in 2024-25 will be available in summer 2024. 

Where can I go in Canada?

Almost all the posts in French-speaking Canada are in small towns (population 5,000-15,000) and in rural areas of Quebec. In your application, you can select one regional preference from Group A, one from Group B and one from Group A, B and C.   Please note that these areas are not bilingual: the only language spoken is French.

Group A

Lanaudière 

Outaouais 

No preference  

Group B

Chaudière-Appalaches 

Bas-Saint-Laurent 

No preference  

Group C

Montreal 

Capitale Nationale 

No preference