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Learn English in Vancouver, Canada

7

All about English courses in Vancouver for foreigners — how to go and to choose a language school or a long-term program.

Vancouver is the biggest seaport in British Columbia, and is known for having the densest population in Canada. The city boasts its ski resorts, sandy beaches and the biggest in Canada urban park. The list of attractions is not definitive. Vancouver is an excellent place for language learning.

  • Courses for children

    English language camps or children in Vancouver include lessons at modern campus, afternoon activities and full-day trips at weekends. 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 a meal ticket is provided on full-day excursions. The age range of children varies from school to school. Some of them welcome students from the age of 10, some – from 16. Here are examples of camps with the highest ratings from Linguatrip.com: Summer Junior Camp ILAC and LSC Junior summer camp.

  • Courses for adults

    Vancouver schools, such as ILSC, ILAC, Oxford International, Greystone College, EC and St. Giles offer a range of English courses: General, Business, Intensive English, and exam preparation courses.

    General English courses are designed for the development of conversation skills, learning grammatical structures and increasing the vocabulary. Doesn’t matter what level of English you have. General English is available at all levels from Elementary to Advanced.

    The Business English program is taught for individuals who pursue career abroad or want to advance at home. Students learn business through listening, reading, speaking, writing alongside real case studies and current events. Topics include negotiating contracts, management and HR, branding and promotional strategies, project management and many more. Some language schools also prepare for the Cambridge Business Examinations (BEC).

    The Intensive English course 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 give students all the skills needed to take the TOEFL test and achieve their desired score. Teachers are experts in training students for test taking. They will give you the skills, confidence, and techniques to help you achieve your goals.

  • What Else

    There are quite a few important things to know before going to Vancouver as a language tourist. Here they are:

    Visa. There are two types of visas:

    • Short-term (Temporary Resident Visa) — up to 6 months, suits short-term language courses;
    • Student visa (Study Permit) —more than 6 months, for long-term language courses and educational programs.

    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 115 CAD.

    School residence - stay in a student residence in a single room or with other mates. Cost for two weeks: from 680 CAD.

    Independent lodging - you can rent accommodation in any part of Vancouver. We recommend the well-reputed service Airbnb. There are more than 300 variants of flats and rooms. The cost for two weeks is from 45 CAD per night.

    Food. If you like to cook yourself, it’s better to buy groceries in Whole Foods Market and IGA supermarkets. You can find them in every district of Vancouver. For example, in IGA, apples cost 12 CAD per kilo, cheese – 3 CAD per pack, milk – 2 CAD, cookies – 3 CAD per pack. If you would want to go out for a meal, we recommend visiting Downtown, West End or Mount Pleasant. 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. Vancouver has an excellent transport system and taxis.

    You can use a travelcard for buses, trolleybuses, overground and a ferry. The cost of a one-way trip starts from 2,85 CAD. A day ticket – 10 CAD, a month ticket — 93 CAD. You can buy them online or on any station.

    A one-way ticket for a shuttle train costs 5,6 CAD, a two-way – 13,25 CAD.

    Taxi rates: 3.2 CAD for boarding and plus 3 CAD with each kilometer. Bear in mind that there’s no Uber in Vancouver yet.

    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. Vancouver is a city with lots of tourist attractions. Your must-see places should be Vancouver Art Gallery (24 CAD for a ticket), Science World (27 CAD), Space Centre (18 CAD), and Capilano Bridge (43 CAD).

    We recommend to take 1000-1200+ CAD for a two-week stay.

Summary

So, if you already know what language course you want to take and you’ve chosen the school, take care of the rest: pocket money for the bread and the circuses, insurance and all the necessary documents. Print out your return ticket and the invitation from your school – this will save you time during passport control.


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