English Language Centre

Study English at a university recognized for teaching excellence

The English Language Centre at Vancouver Island University offers academic ESL programs for students intending to continue to university, and short-term summer and winter programs for students who want to improve their English and experience Canadian culture.

  • 13-weeks
  • Beginner to intermediate
  • 20 hours per week of instruction
  • Start in January, February, April, June, August, October
  • Small classes, highly qualified, friendly, approachable teachers, and a wide range of learning materials
  • A minimum grade of C (60%) is required to pass any level of Language Foundations

More information on Language Foundations 1-3.

  • 13-weeks
  • 20 hours per week of instruction.
  • Start in January, February, April, June, August, October.
  • Small classes, highly qualified, friendly, approachable teachers, and a wide range of learning materials.
  • Students in University Preparation 5 may be eligible to take one academic credit course.
  • Graduates from University Preparation 5 can enter Vancouver Island University degree, diploma and certificate programs directly (as long as academic pre-requisites met).
  • A minimum grade of C (60%) is required to pass any of the University Preparation levels.

More information on University Preparation 4-5.

  • 13-weeks
  • Three start dates per year: January, May, September
  • 20 hours per week supplemented by individual and group tutorials
  • Small classes: average class size 15-16, maximum 20
  • Full access to University facilities including cafeteria, gymnasium, library, bookstore, health clinic and computer labs
  • Access to full-time International Student Advisory Services and Department of Student Services
  • Experienced professionals, trained in the most up to date teaching methods

More information on Graduate Preparation.

  • Livestreamed online ESL classes with a native English speaking teacher based in Canada
  • Interactive, engaging classes that give you lots of chances to practice your skills
  • Focus on Academic English. Topics include listening, speaking, pronunciation, reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, and phonetics
  • 1 on 1 weekly consultations with the teacher
  • 1 to 12 (1 teacher and maximum 12 students per class)

More information on Online: ESL.

  • 120 hour course including a 20 hour supervised practicum
  • Part-time and full-time options
  • Two intakes per year for the part-time program: September and January
  • One intake per year for the full-time program: July
  • Supervised practicum completed in VIU’s English Language Centre
  • Students taking the part-time course must complete their practicum weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. in the ELC.

More information on Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) certificate.

  • 3-weeks or 4-weeks
  • 4 start dates – July, August, mid-January or February
  • 3 levels of English instruction – developing, intermediate, or advanced
  • 20 hours of English language instruction per week
  • Integrated skills development in reading, writing, listening, and speaking
  • Small classes with highly qualified, friendly, and approachable teachers
  • Includes language labs and a wide variety of learning materials
  • Includes social and cultural activities and group day trips
  • Optional regional tours to explore Canada’s west coast
  • Farewell social and certificate of completion

More information on English Language & Culture Programs.


ESL Programs

Everything you need to know about our University Preparation, and Language & Culture Programs

more info+

Start Dates

With 6 start dates a year, let your ESL classes flow into the start of a certificate, degree, diploma or master's program

more info+


Each term, we provide orientation so you can become familiar with your program and feel at home on campus.

more info+

I believe that the teachers’ support and availability have been the most important part of my ESL studies at VIU. To be honest, if you need support, there will always be someone to help you.

 And my advice for new students joining VIU? Remember that you are living in another culture, and you are interacting with people from all over the world. Thus, always be open-minded and respectful. It will prevent you from being biased or worse.

Of course, you need to be focused on your studies, but try your best to enjoy your stay as much as you can.  Vancouver Island is a beautiful region, and there are many activities to do.

Andre, Brazil

International University Foundation year at VIU

If you do not meet the entry criteria for your chosen undergraduate course, a university foundation year at Vancouver Island University may offer an alternative entry route.
We welcome applicants with O-levels, AS and A-level subjects unsuited to their chosen course, non-standard qualifications or those who require additional English language support.

CLOSE X VIU International Menu