When you’re a parent, whether to immigrate can’t be asked without learning about schools in Quebec: methods of registration, level of instruction, language, school routine. There are many questions, and the answers are often lost in the maze that is the internet. You’re in luck, C&G Relocation has compiled the essential information for you. Our experts are available to give you personalized advice, help in choosing a school and registration assistance---everything, perfectly coordinated with the administrative formalities and your search for housing. Register your child in the public Read more…
Immigrating to Quebec with children: a great family adventure
Whether you are pregnant, have a baby, or an adolescent, with or without special needs, you have only one objective: the well-being of your children, including when you immigrate to the other side of the world.
Don’t stress, here we offer you a glimpse of what awaits you to transform your worries about immigrating to Quebec with your children into a beautiful adventure for your family.
Family is at the heart of Quebec culture
Quebec loves families, you will arrive in welcoming terrain, and you can even expect compassionate looks if your baby cries in the subway.
Work-life balance has priority: there are no work meetings after 5 pm, and no one will be shocked if you leave early to attend your little one’s Christmas pageant.
In the city, most parks have children’s playgrounds. There are pools and water parks in the summer, and ice skating rinks in the winter. Your teen will be a fan of the student vibe, and the events and concerts organized year-round.
Immigrating to Quebec with young children: sensitivity and patience
Although they are sensitive to their wider environment, a small child’s comfort zone is their immediate family: parents and siblings. From the moment you decide to immigrate, it’s possible that your child will sense your tension and stress, which they will manifest in their own way. Even though your daily life will be turned upside down, maintain the most stability possible, with reassuring routines, regular rhythms of sleep and meals, familiar objects, and favorite music and lullabies.
If your child is not 5 years old by September 30th of this year, they won’t go to school but to day care. As a new arrival and depending on their age, be prepared to wait a few weeks or months before there will be room for them. This is one of the hazards of immigrating to Quebec with a child. But don’t worry, we tell you everything you need to know in our article: Day care in Quebec: solutions for new arrivals.
School in Quebec: yellow bus and lunch box on the schedule!
From the moment you announce the plan to immigrate to Quebec, your child will be preoccupied with their new school. You can reassure them, new students are common and they always receive a warm welcome in the schools.
School in Quebec starts at 5 years old with one year of kindergarten followed by 6 years of elementary school. The daily schedule is 8:30 am to 3 pm, with child care starting at 7 am. At the end of the day, various activities and help with homework are offered until 6 pm.
Life in Quebec schools is like that of Quebec society, the apparent tranquility does not prevent discipline and work. The children learn to work alone and in groups. Special education teachers and psychoeducators complete the teaching staff.
School transportation is organized by the school, and your child will be excited to climb into the famous yellow bus. At lunch time, they will enjoy the contents of their lunch box, prepared by you each morning with love, unless you manage to get them to accept being the exception who uses the school cafeteria…
In winter, your children will go outside every day for more or less time depending on the temperature. They will wear ski pants, neckwarmers (scarves are not allowed), and they will bring inside shoes so they don’t dirty the floors with their snow boots.
Immigrating to Quebec with children also means having days off forced by teacher training days, asking for unpaid leave due to the year end vacation or the spring break in March, and don't forget enrollments in day camps and summer camps. Welcome to North America!
Teenagehood: a complicated transition
If immigrating to Quebec with small children is a challenge, immigrating with a teen is on a whole other level.
In their eyes, you will be responsible for the meltdown of their entire life. They will tell you that they refuse to immigrate to Quebec with you and will even organize farfetched plans to live with friends or their grandparents.
Even though the life of a young person in Montreal is amazing, you must be sure above all not to neglect the adaptations that your teen will have to make. Everything will be new: teaching methods, vocabulary, dress codes, and cultural references. They will have to conform to their new universe to integrate and re-launch their social life.
Give them time and prioritize dialogue. They have to know that they can always count on you.
Secondary school starts at 12 years old, and last for 5 years. It ends with a secondary school diploma (SSD), with a graduation ceremony in cap and gown, and don’t forget the prom with the prom dress or tuxedo, and limousine. Your child will love it and so will you!
At the end of secondary school, they are still a student as they will go to CEGEP (Collège d’Enseignement Général et Professionnel, which means College of General and Vocational Education). There they will enroll in either a pre-university program, or in a technical and professional program.
Focus on French high schools abroad (AEFE)
These schools are private and require tuition from all students. Study grants are available for students with French nationality.
The admission criteria are strict and the number of places are limited. Even if it’s your greatest desire, there is no guarantee that your kids will be admitted.
We hope you can see that this major life transition will not be without any difficulty. Your choices will be guided by the age of your children, by your future neighbourhood, and your situation. Count on us to help you reinvent your family life in Quebec!
All young parents in Quebec face the difficulty of finding a place for their child in day care. The waiting lists are long, and the final decision depends more on availability and location than on the day care itself. For new arrivals, the situation is even more difficult because it’s hard to anticipate the necessary steps. You have to be prepared to spend several weeks without day care. The good news is that C&G Relocation can help you to optimize your search, to choose a day care, and to minimize time spent on a waiting list. Before you contact us to benefit from our advice and Read more…