Alternatives to Classroom Education

The following is a list of educational alternatives open to young Ontarians. If you know of other programs not mentioned here, please let us know so that we may add them to this list.


Katimavik is a federally sponsored program for Canadian youth ages 17 to 21. There are no requirements other than filling in an information form, getting a medical and submitting your application. Names are randomly selected (it seems to me that everyone who applies has an excellent chance of getting accepted as the program is currently expanding and recruiting is vigorous).

To summarize the program, the government pays the whole shot, transports the applicant to three places in Canada (one of which is in Quebec) with his/her group of eight to twelve other Katimavictims where they do volunteer work, get five dollars a day spending money and $1000 bursary at the end of the program if they stick it out.

There is lots of room for learning about one's self, other people, the french language and culture and this great country of ours.

Katimavik's web site


Canada World Youth

Here is the Overview from their web page:

This program is open to young

Canadian citizens or landed immigrants aged 17 to 20: workers, students, or those

seeking employment are all encouraged to apply.

For over twenty-five years, Canada World Youth has provided young people with

exciting international, educational and training opportunities.

By participating in Canada World Youth international educational exchanges, work

placements, community and family living experiences and volunteer work, young

people from across Canada and from over 50 other countries have gained valuable

employment, leadership and citizenship skills.

Every year, over 1,000 young people from Canada and from more than 20 countries

in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Central and Eastern Europe

participate in a Canada World Youth program.

Canada World Youth programs focus on a range of educational themes including:

sustainable community development

cross-cultural learning

health issues

environmental awareness

active citizenship

small business development

leadership training


Programs are designed to respond to the needs of a range of young people, male and

female, rural and urban, students and workers and all income levels, from Canada and

from our partner countries.

Canada World Youth programs emphasize the development of leadership and

teamwork skills, the exploration and understanding of social justice issues, and the

importance of youth participation in community development at local, national and

international levels.

Canada World Youth is a national, not-for-profit organization. We are a member of

the Canadian Council for International Cooperation and related provincial and

regional councils, the World Assembly of Youth, Youth Net International and the

Canadian Centre for Philanthropy.

Over the past 27 years, many people and organizations have helped make our vision a reality:

Our partners in 55 countries and across Canada

Host families in Canada and overseas, as well as work supervisors and

colleagues and all the other community supporters;

The Canadian International Development Agency and other government and

non-government funders as well as many thousands of donors.

And the nitty-gritty:

Canada World Youth covers the costs of food,lodging and transportation for the

duration of the program and also provides a small amount of pocket money.

Each participant who is selected incurs certain costs as well as making a

commitment to fundraising and public awareness activities. Costs include a

participation fee ($250), medicals, vaccinations and dental stuff (approx. $250),

passports and extra photos (another $70) and any travelling equipment they might

need (ie: backpacks, sleeping bag, etc.) Participants are also expected to collect

$1500 from community organizations to help offset program costs. In return

for this community support, the participant pledges to share what they have learned

by doing presentations, writing articles or other awareness raising . Fear not!

Training and encouragement are provided.

Canada World Youth web site

Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF)

WWOOF is an exchange: in return for our help on organic farms, gardens and homesteads, (full time and quite hard) we receive three wholesome meals, accommodation - bring sleeping bags, and if necessary, transport to and from the local bus station.

From the web site below you can select the country you are interested in discovering. You're free to stay for one week, or two weeks or longer, depending on whether the farm can use your help for longer periods. Some WWOOFers have stayed two or three months at one place; others stay a few weeks, then move on to another farm on the list.

WWOOF web site

Global Opportunites for Service Learning
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