ESL Support Services In Five Universities In Ontario

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Most universities in Canada value international students. They bring diversity and a global appeal to the institutions. International students have been flocking to Canada since the mid-1950’s. They came looking for schools offering higher education. This trend has continued until today. Canadian Universities are destinations of choice for students coming from francophone countries and from countries as far as China and South Asia.

We have culled information from five universities in southern Ontario, which apart from offering programs of choice, also have large ESL departments where help is given to students from countries where English is not the language of instruction. Whether it is for reasons as complicated as writing an academic term paper or as simple as learning basic conversation level English – help is available.


1600 West Bank Drive
Peterborough, Ontario K9J 7B8
Tel: (705) 748-1011
Toll Free: 1-888-739-8885

Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario has an extensive ESL department in collaboration with the Trent International Program (TIP). It has its own ESL program called Trent ESL wherein it prepares international students who have come from countries where English is not the language of instruction.

It also provides a post-ESL workshop that assists students in making the transition from the Trent ESL program to full-time undergraduate studies.

An orientation session is offered to all graduates from the Trent ESL program.

For more information contact
Mike Allcott
Director of the Trent International Program
Tel: (705) 748-1280
email your queries to
Tel: (705) 748-1314.

There is an international students’ orientation camp held at the beginning of each semester. It is a three-day orientation camp for international and out-of-province students called Camp Kawartha at Lakefield. For a fee of $135. students can get to know each other and learn about living at a Canadian university. The fee includes boarding and lodging for the three-day camp.


One Georgian Drive
Barrie, Ontario L4M 3X9
Tel: (705) 728-1968 ext. 1218

Georgian College is spread over three campuses in Barrie, Orillia and Owen Sound. The main campus is located in Barrie. It has several programs for international students. However the focus is on the ESL program and English for Academic Purpose program.

For more information contact
Mac Greaves
Coordinator International Education and Training
Tel: (705) 728-1968 ext. 1216 or

The International Education and Training Centre has Peer Service advisors at all three college campuses:

The Barrie Campus also has facilities for hub tutoring where several students meet in a group and are tutored together in the Library Commons from Monday to Thursday 4 to 7 p.m. The contact for this feature is the Peer Service advisor at the Barrie


99 University Avenue
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6
Tel: (613) 533-2000

Situated in Kingston, Queens University has on campus language resources and programs for English learners. Queens University International Centre (QUIC) has support service for all members of the university community. It promotes an internationally informed and cross-culturally sensitive learning environment. There are several clubs that serve geographic regions, religious groups and social action interests.

The club manager is Igor Volzhanin and he can be contacted at
The QUIC is located at John Deutsch University Centre Queens University, Kingston
Tel: (613) 533-2604
There is also an English Language Support program. An English language conversation group meets every Thursday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the QUIC Ed Churchill Hall.
Tel: (613) 533-2472
The Queens University School of English, located at 96 Lower Albert Street, also has English language support where volunteers conduct one-on-one language support for an average of one to two hours a week.

There are several on-campus language resources and programs for newcomers and English learners. International education interns can be reached at


1151 Richmond Street Suite 2
London, Ontario N6A 5B8
Tel: (519) 661-2111

Situated in the town of London, Ontario, the University of Western Ontario is one of the oldest educational institutions of higher learning in Canada. It has a variety of services for International students under the umbrella of International Students Service.
They can be reached at (519) 661-3949 or email or visit The International Student Centre is located in Room 200, University Community Centre, London

The Student Development Services (SDS) offers the following programs

  • ESL
  • Peer Guidance
  • Special events including international potluck
  • English conversation programs
  • Effective writing program
  • Communication in the Classroom program
  • Learning Skills services
  • Effective writing program
  • Online Writing lab
  • Summer academic writing program

A unique tutoring program has been developed called GradWRITE! Initiative. It is one-on-one tutoring that enables international students to learn how to write university papers. They conduct workshops, give handouts and pod casts on the initiative.

For more information contact the Graduate Writing: Counsellor Johnston Miller


1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6
Tel: (613) 520-7400
Toll Free 1-888-354-4414

Situated in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, Carleton University has students from 147 countries attending various programs. The university offers two types of admission.

One is admission without ESL requirement wherein the student can directly enter an undergraduate academic program. This is subject to scores achieved at the TOEFL or other university approved test of English.

Another offer of admission is with an ESL requirement. Here the student must complete a foundation program in English to be able to get admission into their postgraduate program.

International students coming from countries where English is not the first language of instruction or from Quebec or any Francophone school must comply by Carleton’s ESL requirements, which include a foundation program before they are admitted.

For more information visit or email

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