Learn a language in Vancouver
Are you planning to learn English? Many language schools in Vancouver offer English speaking courses, conversation classes, grammar lessons, easy English courses for beginners, and many other language training courses that can be tailored to almost every demand and level! Find out why Vancouver is a great city for English language learners from all over the world. Read top facts about the benefits of taking English language courses in Vancouver, also considering the best accommodation options and the living costs in Vancouver. Don’t miss out on important safety tips and information about the weather, either. Find and compare the best English programs in Vancouver to start studying at one of the top language schools in Canada.
If you have considered studying in Vancouver, and want to improve your English skills, you should know the city offers many language-learning opportunities including free trial lessons and practice sessions. Most of the local Canadian population speaks English as either a first or second language, so you will have plenty of chances to practice and master the language.
Vancouver is the largest metropolitan area in Western Canada, counting over 2.6 million people.
English language courses in Vancouver
In Vancouver, you will find many language centres and language schools, as well as conversation clubs dedicated to English and French learning. Some of them combine classes with fun activities that include excursions in the city. In these schools, you can improve English in regards to: practice listening, pronunciation, formal and informal writing. Some teaching centres even offer home study or private tutoring options.
An interesting aspect is that the Canadian government sponsors a free language instruction programme that provides basic and intermediate level English training for adult newcomers to Canada. This programme is also available in Vancouver. Some language schools offer free English trial lessons.
The most popular English courses offered by language centres in Vancouver are: English for academic purposes, general English, English for business. Bilingual French and English courses are also good language learning options that will advance your language skills at double speed and efficiency. Vancouver’s growing industries are computer technology, television and film production, mining and finance and taking a business English or business French language course can greatly advance your job market value for working in industries in the city.
If you plan to study in a university, institutions in Vancouver require English language proficiency. Enrol in an English exam preparation course, like IELTS or TOEFL preparation to gain language skills sufficient to be accepted to a university in Canada or other parts of the world.
You can sign up for special English courses for different professions like English for medicine, law, or art. If you want to get involved in any business or work opportunity in Vancouver, English language skills, along with French knowledge are an unbeatable advantage.
As an ethnically diverse city, in Vancouver you can sign up for learning many other foreign languages like: French, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Turkish, German, Italian, Spanish or Russian.
Speaking English in Vancouver
Vancouver welcomes a mix of cultures, leading to a multilingual environment. People here mostly speak Canadian English and French. Canadian English is not so hard to understand, as it combines elements from British as well as American English. Although French is not as widely spoken, in this city you can find small communities that speak French, so you will get a chance to practice it. Due to the city’s ethnical diversity, you will hear many foreign languages on the streets of Vancouver, like: Chinese, Greek, Italian, Polish, or Indian.
Although relatively reserved, the people in Vancouver are friendly, polite and willing to chat with you, if approached respectfully.
Most language schools in Vancouver include social, cultural and sport activities in their language programmes, or they are offered at additional costs. The most common activities involve trips to the city visits to important attractions. Enjoy discovering the Vancouver Opera, Stanley Park (includes a beautiful aquarium), the Vancouver Maritime Museum, the H. R. MacMillan Space Centre, the Vancouver Museum, The Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Nitobe Japanese Garden.
Some language centres organise nights out as part of social events, in popular clubs and pubs in the city, thus language learners can practice language skills while having fun in a relaxed environment.
Because Vancouver is a city that celebrates nature and open-air sports, as a bonus to language classes, you could enjoy mountain biking, golf or skiing during winter.
Accommodation and costs
Vancouver is a relatively inexpensive city compared to other language learning destinations in the world. Some language schools will help you with accommodation and meals for extra charge. If you sign up for a long-term language course, it is advisable you plan your accommodation earlier.
Get ready to spend an average amount of 1,150 CAD of monthly expenses that include accommodation, food, public transport and going or eating out.
The following student accommodation options are available in Vancouver:
- On-campus hostels (usually for summer schools) – a great and safe choice. The campuses usually have private or shared dormitory rooms and cooking or dining facilities.
- Rent or share apartment – prices for monthly rent in apartments vary greatly, depending on location, facilities and other services.
- Homestay (host family) – monthly prices also vary depending on what’s offered and the location of the homestay.
Local supermarkets are pretty affordable, your monthly food bills would go around 150-180 CAD, while meals offered on campus are usually about 450 CAD/month. A monthly public transport ticket is around 100 CAD.
Vancouver is a really safe city to live in. It is advisable to take in consideration the normal precautions for any big city, and that is to avoid alleys and unfamiliar areas at night. You should also not entertain people on the streets offering you different objects at a sale price or any other possible scam.
Vancouver is one of Canada's warmest cities in the winter. The Oceanic climate is marked by hot summers, typically dry, with maximum temperatures of 28-32°C (82-89°F). Rainfalls occur only in one out of five days during July and August. In contrast, snow precipitation falls more frequently from November through March.