International Programs Office

English Academic Immersion Program


COVID 19 UPDATE March 2021  – As John Abbott College resumes certain activities essential to the operation of the college, the worldwide pandemic remains unstable. This being said, we are currently in discussions with regards to resuming the Academic Immersion Program to International students, start date to be determined.  Please refer back to this page for continued updates. 

The English Academic Immersion Program at John Abbott College is designed for multilingual international students, aged 16 through 19 years of age.This provides them with the opportunity to obtain academic credits from their home institution, while immersing themselves in Canadian culture. Students will improve their English language skills through their active participation in courses, programming, activities and life with their Canadian family.

*Participants must have completed 11 years of schooling and be at least 16 years of age on the first day of classes

Academic Program


While at John Abbott College, you will participate in 6 courses per semester from the following disciplines:

Click here to view a sample schedule

  • English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • French
  • Physical Education
  • Geography
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Nutrition
  • Introduction to Programming

Academic Support Services

The College Academic Success Centre (ASC) will help you to be a more successful and independent learner in all of your college courses. Available to all of the JAC community as an effective, relevant and open resource, the ASC offers the following services and resources:

  • English second language tutoring;
  • Peer tutoring;
  • Online tutoring;
  • Custom one-on-one tutoring;
  • Workshops in the following areas: exam preparation, study skills, time management, and more.



Homestay is a unique opportunity to live with an English or French speaking family near the College. You will enjoy practicing English and French in the family home and learn firsthand what it means to live in Canada. A furnished bedroom and three meals a day (plus snacks) are required as a part of the homestay program.

Host families are located an average 50-minute bus ride from John Abbott College via Montreal’s clean, comfortable, and efficient public transportation system.

Homestay Families

John Abbott College operates our own homestay program. Living with our multicultural families will give you the chance to experience a real Canadian lifestyle. Your hosts will treat you like a member of their own family. All homestay families are assessed by John Abbott College and are required to maintain a valid police check for each individual over the age of 18 in the home. Should you require additional support throughout your adjustment, a member of the College staff is available 24/7 to assist with personal matters.

Alumni Testimonials

The John Abbott College International Program has run for over 25 years, welcoming students from across the globe. We reached out and asked for feedback from our alumni such as what still has the biggest impact on them after having returned home, memorable experiences they shared with their homestay families and what advice they would have given themselves when they first arrived.

These are just a few from the overwhelming number of immediate responses received:

  • Living in other country for the first time was amazing, and I actually lived as if I was Canadian, so it meant so much for me how inclusive all my classmates were.
    Salvador Omar Acevedo Reyes, Mexico, 2016
  • I was responsible for all my actions in preparation for adulthood.
    Lourdes Cortés Velázquez, Mexico, 2016
  • After my experience at JAC, I can say that I am more independent and self-confident in what I think and what I want. I am more determined to pursue my goals and keep travelling. I am also more confident when it comes to expressing myself in English, in the academic world as well as in my daily life.
    Julia Bussard, Switzerland, 2016-2017
  • Time management, meeting new people and being open minded are 3 notable changes in my life since returning from JAC.
    Santiago Barcena Kramsky, Mexico, 2018
  • Be open to changes, talk and listen to people, don’t hesitate to try new things, enjoy every minute of this wonderful experience.
    Claire Trotti, Switzerland, 2018-2019

You can also find blogs written by our students here

Campus Activities

The Student Activities department at John Abbott plays an important role in strengthening the communication and leadership skills among both local and international students. Thirty student clubs such as student government, newspaper, and radio station thrive on campus.

Many, many, many, fun activities are also organized to help reduce stress for students, such as:

  • Intramural sports like ball hockey, basketball, badminton, volleyball and more.
  • Stand-up comedians, bands, magicians and other entertainers also perform shows regularly throughout the year.

Other JAC Clubs you can join: anime, educational activism, environmental, model United Nations, fitness, breakdancing, kayaking, outdoor adventure club, rock climbing, squash, Chinese club, Hillel, Christian Fellowship, Muslim students association, Pagan, chess, gamers (role playing), and more!

Joining a club is a great way to improve your English skills and meet Canadian students.

Athletes can participate in JAC varsity athletics programs ($): American football, flag football, soccer, swimming, volleyball, baseball, rugby, lacrosse and ice hockey.

You can also take weekend trips ($) to amazing North American cities, like:

  • Toronto and Niagara Falls
  • Ottawa
  • Quebec City
  • Boston
  • New York City

And during the winter, you can go skiing in various locations throughout Québec!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General information for international students:
  • Take some time to learn about Canada to minimize the risk of experiencing culture shock. Here are some tips
  • Weather: The average temperature in Montreal from winter to summer ranges from -35°C to +35°C. Make sure to pack suitable clothing; especially for the winter. You might even find that you will need to purchase items locally to keep you warm
  • Electric appliances in Canada run on 120 volts with a 60-cycle alternating current
  • Study permit & CAQ wait times can take +/- 6 weeks; speak to your agent for more information to ensure your documentation is submitted on time
  • Accueil Plus: Register in advance to get your Study Permit printed faster at the Montreal-Trudeau Airport when you land. This service is only available for students arriving for the Fall term and certain eligibility requirements apply. This does not exempt you from having to apply for your Study Permit and obtain a Letter of Introduction prior to arriving in Canada.
  • Here are a list of restrictions at the border upon entering Canada
  • You have been automatically enrolled in John Abbott College’s health insurance policy for international students. Here is a link to the digital Group Insurance Policy to familiarize yourself.
After arrival:
  • Arriving late? Do not panic; the International Programs Office will keep your future teachers informed and offer you support for a seamless integration upon arrival.
  • Spend time with and get to know your homestay family; they have welcomed you into their home to will treat you as a member of their family
  • You will take part in an orientation session which will give you general and academic orientation, bring you on a tour of our campus and feed you lunch
  • Although homesickness does happen, homestay families as well as the services and welcoming community at John Abbott College help students feel supported and as if they are at a home away from home.
  • Advocate for yourself. You will become increasingly comfortable communicating your questions or concerns.

Important Dates

Fall Semester

  • Mid-August to late December

Winter Semester

  • Mid-January to late May

Winter Break

  • Optional activities ($) will be organized for students including but not limited to:
    • Day trip to Ottawa or Quebec City
    • 2 night trip to Toronto and Niagara Falls
    • Activities in and around Montreal

Support for Students

Support for students is a priority for John Abbott College. The International Programs Office collaborates with the Student Services department to ensure that all students feel comfortable, personally, socially, and academically during their stay in Montreal.

The following services are available to you during your stay at JAC:

  • 24 / 7 emergency access to an International Programs Office staff member;
  • College nurses discuss health concerns and health choices, nutrition, emotional well-being, stress, and more;
  • Psychologists are available to assist you with personal, career, and educational concerns;

A doctor is available at the on-campus medical clinic.

Medical Insurance

Full insurance coverage is provided for all international students. Details of the insurance package can be found here.

Welcome to Canada

Canada is one of the safest and most prosperous countries in the world. Every year, people from around the globe choose to live, work and study in Canada. The welcoming nature of the Canadian people and their multicultural heritage makes experiencing the culture most enjoyable.


Founded in 1642, Montreal is one of North America’s oldest cities. Montreal is a cosmopolitan, urban centre with an ever-present creative and energetic flair. Often referred to as a festival city due to the numerous and varied festivals that take place in Montreal, students have the chance to experience the best of live music, art, sports, and many more all year long.


Charming Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, home to John Abbott College, is located between two beautiful lakes on the western tip of the island of Montreal. Famous for its’ quaint shops, farmers’ market, and charming restaurant-lined boardwalk, Ste-Anne’s, as it’s known by locals, is the perfect place for students to enjoy the fresh air and scenery for which Canada is famous.

Contact Us

International Programs Office
Herzberg Building, room 410 (H-410)
Tel.: +1 (514) 457 6610, ext. 5469

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