In Canada you can learn French and pick up or improve your English in the meantime. You can also learn English and pick up a little French, or Korean, Japanese or even Spanish. Although the main official languages in Canada are English in most of the territory and French in the province on Quebec, the amazing mix of cultures, communities and people, make it a place to know the world in just one trip.
In Canada you could be taking English classes with Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Brazilian, south African and Polish fellow students every week. It is major language destination given its temporary immigration policies and the large number of language training opportunities not just in one, but in two different languages.
The reasons why every year more and more people choose Canada to improve their language skills resides on various factors. First, world class universities and language institutions offer intensive or part/time courses in English and French. Second, there are several profession/oriented courses, this means that there are legal or business english courses, courses specifically build for the medical sector and the list goes on. Third, and one very strong reason, the fact that students are “forced” to use the language they are studying, on a regular basis. Unlike some places in the United States were a Latin American english student for example, will find a place where he can find a Spanish speaking clerk, waitress or salesperson, in Canada such student will have to practice another language if he or she wants to survive.
Another important reason is the possibility to work as you take language courses. A very attractive option for improving your skills on the real world while making money to support your stay.
What are the approximate costs of language courses in Canada?
Depending on the intensity, as in, hours a week you want to take classes, course prices are quite competitive. Ranging from 2 weeks to a full year of sessions, you can also look for information based on the length of your stay or your budget. Take into consideration that Canada is indeed an expensive country, being 20% more expensive than the United States, for example.
That being said, a rough estimate suggests that the costs start on 500 CAN for 20 sessions. The more intensive they are, the more expensive the bill per week goes. These prices also relate to the reputation of the school or university you choose.
In addition to these costs you have to consider rent, food, visa and traveling costs. We strongly suggest that, while having these numbers in your hand, you make a budget of at least 20% more so you do not fall short in the middle of your trip. Another advice is to get a traveling health insurance.
Do I need a Study permit or Visa?
In the event that the course schedule is less than six months you do not need a study permit. This means you do not need any special documentation for this type of courses, but it is imperative that you have a valid VISA to legally enter Canada.
In the event that the course has a longer extension than 6 months you need the said study permit. Also, you can apply for an extension of such permit, while being in the country.
How do I apply for a Study permit?
You must gather the complete documentation prior to applying. It is important that you already are accepted or in the process to be accepted into the language institution (if you need a study permit) as it is a mandatory requirement for the application. Your documents have to be translated into either english or French in order to be reviewed by the authorities.
You will also have to provide your passport, including all relevant dates and picture. A proof of financial support is also requested. Additionally, you will need to provide a letter of acceptance from the institution where you will take your language classes.
In the event that you are travelling to Quebec to learn French, a CAQ (certificate du acceptation du Quebec) is mandatory. If you are travelling alone you must fill and provide an IMM5707, family information form.
In the event that you are planning to work off campus or elsewhere, please look into the restrictions regarding the number of hours and apply for a temporary residency in addition to your study permit.
Overall, Canada provides great conditions for studying English or French. A beautiful country to visit while improving one of the most valuable skills in the labor world while learning from a multicultural environment with incredible life standards. Who knows? You might end up liking it so much that you decide to stay in Canada for the rest of your life.