(Did you know? Kelowna means ‘Grizzly Bear’ in Okanagan First Nations language)
Kelowna is situated in British Columbia’s picturesque Okanagan Valley
This semi-desert region boasts Canada’s best climate. The weather is sunny, dry and mild with average temperatures of 35C in summer, 15C in autumn, 2C in winter and 17C in spring. Kelowna is rated as Canada’s #1 resort by the Canadian Tourism Commission and as a result it is a top destination for both local and international tourists.
Kelowna is Canada’s fastest growing city (population 150,000) and is famous for its internationally acclaimed vineyards, championship golf courses, bountiful orchards and azure lake waters. NATURE is KING here with world class hiking, sightseeing and mountain biking on the door step as well as skiing and snowboarding at nearby Big White and Crystal Mountain. There are over 130 wineries to visit and wine, food and agricultural tourism are booming; Kelowna plays host to the Canadian Culinary Championships until 2020. The Okanagan Wine Festivals are held every May and October and the appellation is consistently voted one of the world’s top ten ‘must see’ wine routes. Finally, a visit to the city would not be complete without trying to sight the legendary lake monster, the Ogopogo.
A variety of unique shops, restaurants, pubs, spas, museums, art galleries, stadiums and beaches are located a 5-10 minute walk from the school’s downtown campus. Prospera Place Stadium hosts concerts and events and is home to the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) ice hockey team. The Kelowna Chiefs (KIJHL) and the West Kelowna Warriors (BCHL) ice hockey teams, the Okanagan Sun Canadian football team and the Kelowna Falcons baseball team also make Kelowna their home.
Air Canada, West Jet, Alaska, Air North and New Leaf frequently service Kelowna International Airport (YLW) with nonstop flights from Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Whitehorse, Toronto, Seattle, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Cancun, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Havana. Greyhound bus also serves Kelowna.
How is International Gateway Kelowna different from other Canadian language schools?
International Gateway Kelowna offers small class sizes (average 6-8), fast paced dynamic lessons and personalized attention as well as a wide variety of ESL programs and camps for ages 8-80.
International Gateway Kelowna organizes weekly extracurricular activities and learning adventures so students will never get bored.
According to Statistics Canada, 93% of Kelowna residents speak English as a first language, compared with less than 50% in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver where there are many new immigrants and non English speakers. In Kelowna’s total immersion and ‘REAL’ Canadian environment students’ English ability improves much faster than it does in larger cities where it is easier to use their own language.
Plenty of employment opportunities exist for Canada Experience/Working Holiday students due to the city’s resort status.
Kelowna is a very safe place, with a strong community spirit and an easygoing lifestyle. The local people are friendly, laid back, open and easy to converse with.
Entertainment, transportation and living costs are 10-50% lower in Kelowna than in many other Canadian cities so students can save money while studying here. For example, a monthly transit pass is $45-$70 in Kelowna, $91-$170 in Vancouver and $112-$141 in Toronto.
International Gateway Kelowna home stays are closely monitored and frequently inspected by our onsite Homestay Coordinators so students are guaranteed high quality accommodation during their stay. Unlike Vancouver, Toronto and many other North American cities all of our host families speak English as a first language which further accelerates your language acquisition. IGK students can talk to one of our friendly Homestay Coordinators anytime and resolve their concerns immediately.
The warm, caring and professional staff at IGK treat students like family so they don’t want to leave!