In 1987, Nelson International School opened on the former grounds of Notre Dame University, welcoming over 250 Japanese students to study English and business. Today, the Kootenay Lake School District’s International Program has grown and is an inspiration for many. Despite being a smaller region of BC, or maybe because of this, the International Program has received praise from students around the world and now has 125 students from 11 countries.
International students are drawn to Nelson for several reasons. “Nelson is caring. We have the lifestyle of the rich and famous, but you do not have to be either. The cost of living is cheap. The ski hill is 20 minutes from downtown. And the tennis courts, beach and malls are just a quick walk from the high school” said former student Prentice. Top source countries include South Korea and China, but Germany, Mexico, Brazil, and Japan are growing markets.