English Courses in Vancouver



English Courses in Vancouver

Vancouver is one of the top destinations for learning and studying English as a second language (ESL). The city of Vancouver has several English language schools, institutes, and prestigious universities that offer English classes.

Vancouver stands out for studying English over other cities, mainly for being one of the main metropolises in Canada, in terms of both population and economic relevance. It the biggest city in British Columbia, is considered by many as the most livable cities in the world, where you can also find one of the mildest climates in the country. Known as Hollywood North due to the many productions filmed there, Vancouver is full of exciting urban life, but is also perfect for those who love nature, as you can visit the wonderful Stanley Park, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, the Cypress Provincial Park, and several other smaller parks and green areas. All things considered, Vancouver it is a great location where you can study English and improve your proficiency, while you have lots of fun and experience life in Canada.

The city of Vancouver has English programs for all ages and budgets. We suggest that you read this page and click on each language school you think is a good option. All universities and language institutes listed here offer English programs that allow you to apply for a student visa. Most of the programs are also available for citizens and residents in full-time or part-time options.

The most common programs are "General English" or "Academic English Programs", which allow you to improve your English level for academic or professional purposes.

Common questions

  • Where to study English in Vancouver, British Columbia?
  • What is the best English language course in Vancouver?
  • How can I study English in Vancouver?
  • English programs near Vancouver?
  • Cheap and good English courses in Vancouver?

You will find the answer to these questions on this website and a complete list of English language schools available for international students and residents. Click on the specific language school or university to get more information. You will find more details about the programs on those pages, helpful resources, and tips as housing, reviews, comments, and testimonials. As a leading world agency in ViveCampus, we can guide you in all the steps to study English in Vancouver, Canada.


One of the best destination for international students in Canada


There are several universities and language schools where you can learn English as a second language in Vancouver by taking one of the numerous courses available.



The fees of some courses include the usage of sport facilities, signing up for student clubs and, in some case, even trips to local tourist destinations.



With all the fun activities you can find in Vancouver, you will have the best of times, while continue practicing your English language skills in the real world.



The English language courses you can study in Vancouver are also a great way of meeting new people and professionals coming from other parts of the world.



Just like other Canadian cities such as Toronto, Vancouver is a multicultural center full of people coming from all parts of the world, who contribute to a rich and fascinating cultural environment, where you can discover new cultures, different cuisine styles, and live an enlightening experience.



Vancouver has great commuting through buses, trains and ferries, so you can easily move around the Greater Vancouver area.



You can experience innumerable fun activities and visit tons of places in Vancouver: Stanley Park, and its beautiful and spacious green areas; Granville Island, its artistic scenes, restaurants, and freshly made products; Grouse Mountain; the Museum of Anthropology, located inside the University of British Columbia; among others.

4. Requirements to take an English Course in Vancouver, Canada

Some programs can have their own special requirements

Visa Requirements

If you are planning to study for less than six months and your passport belongs to a visa-exempt country, you will only need an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) to visit Canada and study, which costs $7 CAD. If on the contrary, you are not from a visa-exempt country, you must apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) online or directly at a Visa Application Centre. You can find the nearest one here:https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/.

On the other hand, when enrolling on a program that lasts for six or more months, you will need to apply for a study permit before travelling to Canada. For this purpose, you need a letter of acceptance from the English language institution, and later, fill in an online or on-site visa request, this last one at a Visa Application Centre. This whole process can take up to three months, so we recommend applying as soon as possible.

For the study permit you will need to submit the following information: a letter of acceptance from the English language school or university, a proof of identity (passport + two recent passport-size photographs, with the name and date of birth written on the back), a proof of financial support, and an optional letter of explanation, which can help your application by giving your reasons to study and showing that you are aware of all your responsibilities.

Age Requirements

Due to the fact that these English programs are planned for adult students, there is a minimum age limit of between 16 and 19 years old usually set by the school or university, with no particular maximum age. Moreover, in the province of British Columbia the age of majority is 19 years old, and students under the age of 17 must arrive with one of their parents, a guardian, or have a custodian in Canada, who must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. Those who are minors over the age of 17 might need to fulfill the previous requirement if the visa officer deems it so.

Proof of Sufficient Funds

As we previously mentioned, one of the visa requirements is to provide a proof of sufficient funds, which must cover all expenses, such as your course fees and your personal expenses. The amount of funds you need to prove will depend on which institution you choose and where is located, since different cities have different costs of living. These funds must be on your own personal account or on the account of your sponsor if that is the case.

Minimum English Language Level

Usually, there is no minimum English level requirement for the programs, because there are different levels of English proficiency in which you can study, and your current level will be assed with a placement test the day you arrive. However, there are still courses that require certain English language proficiency levels, which are proved with an IELTS or TOEFL score, which you must have beforehand.

5. Prices, dates and costs of English courses in Vancouver 2024 - 2025

Explanation about main costs

There is a variation in prices and dates for the English language courses in Vancouver, depending on which institution you choose, for how long you will study, if it is intensive or part-time, and for how many hours a week you will be studying.

When you calculate the estimated costs of your time abroad, you have to consider that English language institutions may include certain items on the final course fee. Some of these items are: accommodation, health insurance, use of facilities, extracurricular activities and events, books and materials, etc.

There are certain associated costs you have to consider if you study abroad in Vancouver. You can find some estimations below, that will depend on the program you choose, the institution and the city. You can use this as a guide to calculate beforehand how much of a budget you will need to study English in Vancouver.

Main costs to consider if you want to study in Vancouver, Canada

ENGLISH PROGRAMIt will depend on the institution and the course you choose, for how long you will study, and the number of hours per week.
HEALTH INSURANCESome institutions include the health insurance fee in the final costs, but this depends on the school.
BOOKSBooks costs depend on each school, some consider them in the course fee, while others charge them separately for each proficiency level.
HOUSINGThis cost will depend on where you live and the type of accommodation. Usually, you should consider between $500 CAD and $1500 CAD, for example depending if its shared or single accommodation.
FOODYou should assign at least $500 CAD for monthly food expenses. Housing costs could include food on the final fee, while universities offer meal plans you can buy so you can eat the cafeteria.
VISAStudent permit for students studying a long-term program (6+ months): $150 CAD. eTA for students from visa-exempted countries studying a short-term course (less than 6 months): $7 CAD. Visitor visa for students from non-visa-exempted countries studying a short-term program: $100 CAD.
TRANSPORTATIONStudent permit for students studying a long-term program (6+ months): $150 CAD. eTA for students from visa-exempted countries studying a short-term course (less than 6 months): $7 CAD. Visitor visa for students from non-visa-exempted countries studying a short-term program: $100 CAD.
FLIGHT TICKETSThis will depend on where you fly from, the arrival and departure date, and the seat class you choose. We recommend you to check different websites to look for the best prices. As a quick fact, the most expensive dates to fly are near Christmas and New Year's Eve.

6. Who studies English in Vancouver, Canada?

Students come from all over the world to learn English in Vancouver

Students from all parts of the world arrive in Vancouver to study English as second language programs (ESL). This choice is based on a desire to improve their proficiency level, thus improving their career prospects. This usually happens because students take English language lessons in their countries, but as English is not an everyday language, they do not reach a proficiency level that is high enough for their needs and goals.

Young Students

These are high-school or college students who want to improve their language proficiency academic or maybe work-related purposes. They usually take these courses during their vacations.

Young Professionals

Usually freshly graduate people and/or that do not have much working experience. Some of the reasons for taking an English program are preparing for graduate studies in other country or finding a better job.

Senior Professionals

Older, more experienced professionals that are usually in high job positions and need to improve their language proficiency to be able to communicate in a globalized world where English has become a largely common language in different areas. They sometimes ask for a leave of absence, resign, or take a free time between jobs.


Older, more experienced professionals that are usually in high job positions and need to improve their language proficiency to be able to communicate in a globalized world where English has become a largely common language in different areas. They sometimes ask for a leave of absence, resign, or take a free time between jobs.

7. Photos about studying English in Vancouver, Canada

Look some of the photos of the ESL programs
students English courses in Vancouver
students English language programs in Vancouver
international students kayaking in Vancouver

8. Videos about studying English in Vancouver, Canada

Click to watch the videos

9. Information about Vancouver, Canada

The city of Vancouver is part of a bigger metropolitan area known as Greater Vancouver, which has more than 2 million inhabitants and is the biggest metropolis in the Canadian west coast, and its located in the province of British Columbia. It was founded in 1886, although European and First Nations settlements existed in the area before that. The Greater Vancouver area is composed of 21 municipalities, one electoral area and one treaty First Nation, and particularly the city of Vancouver, is usually featured on the list of best cities to live in. At the same time, this city is composed of 23 official neighborhoods.

In terms of climate, Vancouver has one of the mildest weathers in Canada, with slightly hot summer days and warmer winters, mostly due to the influence of the Pacific Ocean. Regarding its population, the city of Vancouver has a high minority population, as it is the case in most Canadian cities. In this particular case, it makes up more than 50% of the total population, with those of Chinese origin being the biggest ethnic group.

Finally, Vancouver offers a good mix of urban city life and beautiful outdoor locations. Some examples of places you visit are:

  • The beautiful Stanley Park
  • The Capilano Suspension Bridge
  • Granville Island, full of restaurants, theaters and galleries
  • Grouse Mountain, perfect for winter sports, and hiking during the summer
  • The Museum of Anthropology of the University of British Columbia
  • Kitsilano Beach
  • The traditional Gastown district, full of restaurants, galleries and shops
  • Chinatown, where you can see beautiful architecture dating as far back as Victorian times and go shopping in the different Chinese stores
  • The Queen Elizabeth Park
  • The Vancouver Aquarium
  • The Vancouver Lookout, a 130mt/430ft tower from where you can experience wonderful sights
  • The Vancouver Art Gallery, full of contemporary national and international art

10. Frequently Asked Questions about studying English in Vancouver

Do I need a permit to study in Canada?

International students have to apply for a study permit if they are going to Canada to study at an elementary or secondary school, language school, college or university for more than 6 months.

How do I get the student permit to study English in Vancouver for more than 6 months?

You start by applying and sending all the required documents to the school, which are checked to see everything is in order, and they later send an acceptance letter you have to submit along with other documents in the online platform of the Canadian government or at a Visa Application Center (VAC).

After your permit application is accepted, you need to go to the nearest VAC to register your biometric information, in case you need to do so. For the online application method you will need a scanner or camera to upload your documents and a valid credit card to pay for the permit. This procedure may vary depending on your country, so you can visit the Immigration and Citizenship website of the Canadian government to check for more detailed information.

What are the accommodation options in Vancouver?

In most cases, accommodation is not included on the final cost of the course. However, you may be able to find on-campus accommodation during the summer season, when most college students are away on vacations. Some other options you can choose are sharing a furnished apartment, living inside a student residence, or opting for a homestay, which is basically living with a local family. The institution you apply to usually offers more information about the different options you can choose from.

Can I work and study at the same time in Vancouver?

As a student of an English course you can not work while studying.

Where can I study English courses in Vancouver?

There are several universities and language schools in Vancouver. You can check all options on our website.

Which is the best university or language institute to study English in Vancouver?

All universities offer high-quality English teaching, so it is your decision to choose where you want to study. You can make this selection based on your goals and needs, what you want to study, and where the school is located in the Greater Vancouver area.

Do universities offer scholarships to study English in Vancouver?

In most cases there are no scholarships for English language courses, although you can still check this information. However, in some other cases, language institutes may offer discount prices for foreign students.

What payment methods are available for these English programs?

The payment process depends on each institution. The school usually asks for an initial fee to start the application process, which will also cover the shipping costs for the documents you need to apply for the study permit. Any pending fees are paid once you arrive to the school, for which the preferred method of payment is credit card.

Do I need to be currently studying back in my country to apply to an English course in Vancouver?

No, there is no need to be a student before applying to these English as second language programs (ESL), as anyone that meets the basic requirements can apply. Therefore, there are all kinds of applicants, from workers to high school graduates, whether they are studying or not.

Is there an age limit to apply for an English course in Vancouver?

The English programs are planned for adult learners, so universities and language schools have a minimum age limit, usually between 16 and 19 years old, with no maximum. However, there are still courses planned for children and teenagers, in which the contents to study and the extracurricular activities are design to fit all their needs and goals, so they can truly enjoy their time abroad.

Which are the main tourist attractions in Vancouver?

Some examples of tourist attractions you can visit in Vancouver are: Stanley Park; the Capilano Suspension Bridge; Granville Island; Grouse Mountain; the Museum of Anthropology of the University of British Columbia; Kitsilano Beach; the Gastown district; Chinatown; the Queen Elizabeth Park; the Vancouver Aquarium; the Vancouver Lookout; the Vancouver Art Gallery; among others.

11. Testimonials of international students

Studying English in Vancouver was the best thing I could have done. The people in Vancouver and all over Canada are amazing and super friendly, so I never felt looked down upon for not speaking the language well. This gave me the confidence to start trying to speak with my very basic English and thus be able to go to an advance English level. Nature in Vancouver is incredible, you can ride a bike, kayak, and enjoy all the parks and green areas of the city. Without a doubt, Vancouver is one of the best cities in the world to study English and to live.

Francisca P.

Profile Image Testimony 1 Vancouver

Vancouver is a spectacular city with incredible landscapes and the experience of the English courses here was the best thing that has happened in my life. Not only did I feel that the city helped me improve my English level faster, but the life experience I had was the best. I met people from all countries in these courses, I feel that I opened my mind to new horizons, and I now feel prepared to continue exploring Canada and other countries, since I can finally communicate well in English. I spent 5 months in these English courses in Vancouver, and I want to return as soon as possible, as the city is a dream. Each neighborhood has its own personality, with Granville Island being my favorite. I also loved going to Capilano and enjoying nature there. Vancouver and everything around it is fascinating. I fully recommend studying English in Vancouver.

Sakura S.

Profile Image Testimony 2 vancouver

12. Benefits of studying English in Vancouver

In the global world we live in, mastering the English language and having experience abroad is highly valued by companies and employers.

But the benefits are not only professional, as people who study abroad develop valuable skills such as competence in a new language, cultural exposure, tolerance, adaptability, leadership, and independence. All these skills are directly fostered by learning and living abroad.

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