Online: ESL

Length: 13 weeks

Location Offered: Live Online Delivery

Do you want to study in English at a Canadian university but need to improve your English before leaving home? Our  ESL program will prepare you for academic success by taking you from an intermediate to an advanced speaker of the English language in 6 levels.

Program Details

  • Livestreamed 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
  • Small class sizes
  • Levels 1-5: 2 courses per level -
    • Course 1: Reading & Writing
    • Course 2: Listening & Speaking

 Successful completion of University Preparation level 5 allows you to enter Vancouver Island University degree, diploma and certificate programs directly (as long as academic pre-requisites met).

Successful completion of Grad Prep allows you to enter Vancouver Island University's graduate programs (as long as academic pre-requisites met).

Course Structure

  • 6 levels: high beginner to advanced
  • 4 hours of classes per day
  • Live virtual delivery of courses using the Zoom platform

How long does it take to pass a level?


Sample timetable for all levels (13-weeks)

Monday - Friday

Saturday - Sunday

4 hours/day - Classes

 No classes


What time do classes start?

Start times will vary depending on the location of the student.

Most classes will be scheduled in the morning (local time for the student).

This program accepts applications throughout the calendar year.

Students can choose between six start dates per year. The schedules are outlined here.

Students must be at least 15 years of age.

Students must have basic English skills before entering the English Language Centre (ELC) programs. The ELC cannot accept students who are at the very beginning level of using English.

To register for an online course, it is not necessary to be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, or even to live in Canada. The program is open to everyone.

Vancouver Island University accepts international students under one of the following conditions:

  • direct applications (online or paper applications);
  • applications through authorized representatives;
  • institution-to-institution exchange programs;
  • sponsorship through inter-governmental agreements;
  • winner of academic competitions or international scholarships.

Please keep in mind that students applying for conditional admission to an undergraduate (or diploma, certificate or trades) program at VIU, or thinking of applying upon completion of ESL programming, will still be required to provide proof of high school graduation and their secondary school transcripts.

  • Application fee (Online ESL only): $150
  • Application fee (Online ESL plus Academic program): $150
  • Course Fees: 
    13-week session: $5,100 + Student Union fees + ancillary fees

*Prices are in Canadian dollars and are subject to change without notice.

1. Fill the online application form at

2. Under ELC Program, select Online: ESL.

3. Upload a copy of your international passport (photo page) or National Identification Card in PDF format.

4. Pay the non-refundable application fee of $150 by Visa, MC, AMEX or wire transfer. Applications will NOT be processed until this fee is paid.

5. We will send you an offer letter and ask you to pay the tuition fee.

6. After you have paid the tuition fee, you will receive your letter of acceptance, instructions on how to take the online computerized placement test (if necessary), and a class schedule.

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