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All about English courses in Toronto for foreigners: how to choose a suitable course, get a visa, choose accommodation, and tips on your future stay.
Toronto – the biggest Canadian city located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. People flock here to visit the annual Toronto International Film Festival and have long walks in numerous parks and The Financial District. What’s more, Toronto is a wonderful place to brush up your English skills.
English language camps for children in Toronto include comprehensive theme-based syllabus focusing on language development and communicative competence. The curriculum for such a course is designed for the development of conversation skills, learning grammatical structures and increasing the vocabulary. Classes take place in academic buildings on campus which are a very short walk from the residence. All meals are taken in the dining room at the residence. A packed lunch or meal ticket is provided on full-day excursions.
A full afternoon and evening activity programme is provided. There is a range of activities per week including discos, film nights, karaoke, soccer, swimming, arts and crafts, shopping, and trips to the beaches and local attractions. The age range of children varies from school to school. Some of them welcome students from the age of 9. Here are examples of camps with the highest ratings from Linguatrip.com: St Giles Summer Camp, Summer Junior Camp ILAC, ILSC Toronto Junior summer camp.
University Pathway Preparation is a course for international students from 16 to 18 years of age who want to study at a Canadian University or College. ILAC’s award-winning Pre-Degree Program prepares students for Canadian post-secondary level and teaches sophisticated fluency and written English skills. Students learn to write university essays of 1000+ words, strategies for teamwork in an academic environment, critical thinking, time management, oral presentations, exam techniques, academic research and IELTS preparation and practice. What’s more, university placement specialists help students enroll in ILAC’s 62+ partner universities or colleges throughout Canada.
Toronto schools, such as ILSC, ILAC, Oxford International, Greystone College, offer a range of English courses: General, Business, Intensive English, and TOEFL preparation courses.
General English courses are designed to improve your English language skills and provide you more professional and academic options in the future. The course is semi-intensive, and is available at all levels from Elementary to Advanced, with classes made up of different levels. The focus is on the four main aspects of language: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Business English program provides general foundational knowledge, as well as specialized business training. Business English courses are taught in English for use in professional business situations. Students learn business through listening, reading, speaking and writing alongside real case studies and current events. Topics include negotiating contracts, management and HR, branding and promotional strategies, project management and many more. Level of language proficiency required: Low Intermediate to Advanced.
Intensive English course allows you to combine the fundamental skills learned in the Basic Course with the addition of more focused and specific skills in an afternoon elective option class. It provides you with the opportunity to focus and refine your knowledge based on your area of importance or interest. Usually, the course consists of 20+ lessons per week in listening, speaking, reading and writing at the student's tested level.
TOEFL, FCE and CAE preparation courses teach students the test delivery strategies and improve their academic language skills required for success in the exam. What you learn from the course are the skills necessary for confident and free communication, strategies for listening, understanding the essence and highlighting details, methods and strategies for integrated and independent writing, skills of introductory reading to understand the meaning and to be able to search for details, skills of paraphrasing and drawing conclusions.
There are quite a few important things to know before going to Toronto as a language tourist. Here they are:
Visa. There are two types of visas:
Accommodation. There are three options of lodging available: stay with a host family, live in a school residence or find lodging independently.
Host family – stay with a Canadian family, breakfast and dinner included. Be ready to follow certain house rules, e.g. eating at a particular time, no guests allowed. Cost for two weeks: from 430 CAD.
School residence - stay in a student residence in a single room or with other mates. Cost for two weeks: from 630 CAD.
Independent lodging - you can rent accommodation in any part of Toronto. We recommend the well-reputed service Airbnb. There are more than 300 variants of flats and rooms. The cost for two weeks is from 35 CAD per night.
Food. If you like to cook yourself, it’s better to buy groceries in Metro and Loblaw supermarkets. You can find them in every district of Toronto. For example, in Metro, bananas cost 2 CAD per kilo, beef – 12 CAD, milk – 2 CAD, croissants – 4 CAD per pack. If you would want to go out for a meal, we recommend visiting Downtown, Chinatown, and the Entertainment District. Here you’ll taste the dishes of Canadian, European, and Oriental cuisine. A dinner for one in a cafe on average will cost 20 CAD.
Transport. Toronto has an excellent transport system and taxis.
You can use a travelcard for buses and trams. The cost of a one-way trip starts from 3 CAD. A day ticket – 12.5 CAD, a week ticket – 43.75 CAD, a month ticket — 146.25 CAD.
Taxi rates: 3.2 CAD for boarding and plus 3 CAD with each kilometer.
Connectivity. 30 days is a minimal term of usage for a tourist SIM-card. If you are planning to stay in Canada for more than half a year, it’s better to buy a SIM-card from Telus, Rogers, Freedom Mobile and Bell providers. A standard monthly tariff rate is 45-60 CAD.
Money. Toronto is a city with lots of tourist attractions, some of them are free, others are not. Take this into consideration. We advise you to take at least 1000–1200 CAD with you for a two-week stay.
Once in Toronto, take your time to get to know the city after a day at school, as the city offers lots of attractions. Just don’t forget to use the knowledge of English you’ve acquired.
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