St. Michaels University School: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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A great independent boarding school in America. St. Michaels University School in Victoria offers excellent academic and extra curricular programme. Boarding grades 8-12.  SMUS is the only nationally CAIS accredited co-educational urban boarding school on the west coast of Canada.  St. Michaels University School remain the #1 ranked Advanced Placement (AP) school in Canada with 28 AP courses on offer including AP Capstone. Graduating class of 2015-2016 consisting of 147 students received over 658 university acceptances worldwide and won over $1.4 million in scholarships. Most popular courses were AP Microeconomics/Macroeconomics, AP Psychology, AP Calculus AB , AP Human Geography. The highest scores were achieved in AP Chinese Language and Culture, AP Calculus BC, AP Comparative Governments & Politics, AP Biology, AP English Literature, AP Physics C. St. Michaels University School offers a balanced focus on five areas of development: Academics, Athletics, the Arts, Leadership, Outdoor Education, and Global Service .  Academic excellence and university counselling that prepares graduates for higher education at schools that include the Ivy League, Cambridge, Oxford, LSE, Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, MIT, Caltech, University of Toronto, McGill University, University of British Columbia. An international and multicultural experience with a community of 258 boarding students from 26 countries (two students per room with private bathrooms/showers).

Number of students

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7 days boarding: 

About the school

School Colours

Blue, red and black. Blue and black were the school colours of St. Michael’s School, while University School used black and red. When the two schools amalgamated in 1971, St. Michaels University School adopted all three colours.

School Crest

The original crests of University School, with the martlets and the book on the left, and St. Michael’s School, with the chevron and stars on the right, were combined to create the current-day crest of St. Michaels University School.

School Cheer

„Vivat!” Which means „long live the school!”

School Song

„Vivat – Universitas!” Written by Captain R.H. Harvey with music by Leslie Conyers as the school song for University School, it was adopted after amalgamation with modified lyrics contributed by Cyril Genge. Junior School celebrates its special link to St. Michael’s School each year by including the St. Michael’s School Hymn in their closing ceremonies.

School Mascot

The Blue Jaguar. Senior School sports teams are known as the „Blue Jags.” 

Ice Cream Day

On June 2, every SMUS students enjoys free ice cream. Why? Because on June 2, 1931, Kyrle C. Symons, who founded St. Michael’s School in 1910, celebrated his 50th birthday by treating the whole school to ice cream. This annual tradition continues, with alumni returning to hand out ice cream at all three schools.

The Boot Game

As the season-opening rugby match between cross-town rivals SMUS and Oak Bay, the Boot Game is always an exciting affair. The Boot Game debuted in 1995, to celebrate the wonderful rugby rivalry between the two schools, and the winner of the match takes home the Rees Boot, which is a bronzed shoe from SMUS alumnus and Canadian rugby icon Gareth Rees.


SMUS is located at a beautiful 18 acre mid-city campus with immediate access to all the amenities a city has to offer; Victoria is our campus and consistently ranked one of the world’s safest and most livable cities.  Students are walking distance from a major mall and multiple places to eat, as
well as a quick bus or bike ride away from downtown, nearby athletic
facilities, and more. Victoria citizens have a reputation for being
eco-conscious, friendly Canadians who love their city

The Junior Campus (K-5) is located on two acres at 820 Victoria Avenue, in the heart of Oak Bay. Middle and Senior Schools are located on 17 acres on the Richmond Campus.

Facilities – Richmond Campus 

School House:
 restored and reopened in the fall of 2006. Houses the library, math classes and school administration.

Crothall Centre for Humanities and Arts: 22 classrooms, Copeland Lecture Theatre, innovation and computer labs, ELL and language labs, University Counselling, art studio, drama studio.

John and Anne Schaffter Hall for Music: music teaching classrooms for choir, band, strings, practice and rehearsal studios.

Science Building: Seven science labs, two computer labs.

Monkman Athletic Facility: Graves Squash Centre, single gym, double gym, fitness centre.

 CAIS accredited
SMUS is also member of the following organisations:
TABS ( the association of Boarding Schools, NAIS ( National Association of Independent Schools),CASE, NAWIS ( Northwest Organisation of Independent Schools ), Western Boarding School Association, ISABC ( Independent School Association of British Columbia ), IECA

Three co-ed residence buildings, each with a boys and girls wing (called a house) and a shared common room. Two students per room, private bathroom, dining hall, common room kitchen, storage areas, resident houseparents, weekend activities, house games.

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Academic life

The Junior School provides challenging programs for all students. The programs are not accelerated; they are enriched. By providing an interesting variety of subjects for all children,  students are exposed to a rich learning experience. Working with specialists in music, languages, computers, visual arts, and physical education in addition to their core-curriculum teachers, the children develop skills, knowledge and interests that broaden their understanding in significant ways. The curriculum is based on the mandated British Columbia curriculum with plenty of attention given to enrichment in all areas.

The Middle School program is comprehensive and includes a small number of optional subjects. The following courses are required for all grades in Middle School:

  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Humanities (English and
    Social Studies)
  • French
  • Mandarin
  • Art
  • Music (Band or Strings)
  • Physical Education
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Health and Career Education
  • Choir
  • Exploratory

In Grade 6, students take Mandarin. In Grades 7 and 8, students can opt to take Communication Skills, an enriched language arts course, or they can continue to take or Mandarin.

Senior School

Keen and interested young minds thrive when the curriculum is engaging and challenging, and offers significant breadth and depth. Senior School students receive a solid foundation in traditional core subjects, but this is only the beginning.

From Creative Writing, to Human Geography, to Macroeconomics, students are encouraged to select courses they are passionate about, and follow them to the highest level.

For many, this means Advanced Placement (AP) – the School is especially proud of its extensive AP program (including AP Capstone) – and results that consistently rank us as one of the strongest AP schools in Canada. The rigour of AP courses prepares students well for post-secondary studies, and in fact often earns them advance credit.

Our curriculum also reflects current best practices in brain research and education. Experiential learning is part of the content of most Senior School courses, and is an entire program of study at the Grade 10 level, should a student wish to pursue it. 

Sport and culture

SMUS offers  top notch developmental and competitive athletics programs with City, Island, Provincial, and National Championships in rowing, soccer, rugby, squash, field hockey, basketball, sailing, and volleyball; some of students have won full athletic scholarships to U.S. colleges and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash is an alumnus of SMUS 

International Summer Program for Youth ( ISPY)

Summer is the perfect time to explore new topics of interest or delve deeper to follow one’s passions. In July and August, we offer short-duration programs that are enriching and stimulating. Join students from around the globe in these unique summer programs. Youth between the ages of 8 and 18 can spend time enhancing their skills in a specific area through an intensive, hands-on learning experience with expert instructors.

Intensive English Language Programs

These intense, challenging and rewarding English language programs are designed to give beginner to advanced level English learners a well-rounded academic and cultural learning experience. Upon arrival, students take the iTEP English Assessment test, and are then placed into classes that range in size from 12 to 15 students who come from all over the world and have similar skill levels. Classes are also balanced to consider cultural background, age, gender, and maturity level. There are five distinct levels: Junior, Beginner, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, and Advanced. The curriculum and range of difficulty vary according to the level. All levels spend the morning in structured classes. The afternoons vary depending on the level. All levels include the following:


20–25 hours per week of formal English instruction, Monday to Friday

British Columbia-certified teachers

language-integrated skills workshops

interaction with local Canadian students who act as mentors and encourage participants to use and develop their English skills

Afternoon Electives:

Electives are designed to apply authentic language to controlled learning situations. Electives are taught using second language learning principles. Students are provided with solid scaffolding to introduce and support their learning, with vocabulary lists and simple, basic model foundations on which to expand their communicative skills. Students from a range of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds are all learning new skills and concepts in a common English-speaking environment.

* Afternoon electives could include sports, music, drama, dance, art, technology, and more.


The ISPY English Language Programs run for five weeks: July 14-August 18, 2018

ISPY BEGINNERS – ADVANCED (12-18 year olds)/ISPY JUNIOR (8-11 year olds )

2-weeks $2600/$2800

3-weeks $3800/$4125

4- weeks $4650/$5600

5- weeks $5060/$60Tuition includes:

  • Victoria International Airport transfers
  • accommodation in our campus residences
  • three meals per day plus evening snack
  • curricula tailored to students’ interest and ability levels
  • evening and weekend activities
  • weekend overnight excursions
  • weekly academic field trips
  • admission to all attractions
  • comprehensive medical insurance
  • free campus-wide wifi
  • SMUS program souvenir

Location Description

Victoria combines big city features – diverse restaurants, stores, and entertainment – with small town security and friendliness. It’s also close to large cities like Vancouver and Seattle, two popular travel destinations for students.

3400 Richmond Road Victoria, British Columbia V8P 4P5

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