Short term programs are very diverse in the types of learning opportunities provided, as well as the duration of the program. Some short term programs may be as short as 1 or 2 weeks, but most run for 1 to 2 months. Sometimes the short term programs arrive as a group, and alternatively students may attend as individuals. In most cases, Homestay is used to provide accommodation for students. Other short term programs may involve reciprocal exchanges where Canadian students visit and attend the school of the students who come to Ontario.
The purpose of short term programs is language skill acquisition and cultural awareness. Students attend and participate in the regular life of a school but with an extra emphasis and instruction upon language immersion where students study alongside Canadian students and progress is monitored by teachers. Often a teacher from the home country will travel with the students who are in a group. Short term programs usually offer opportunities for students to tour a region and participate in cultural or seasonal events.