5 of the Best English language schools in Vancouver

by Paul Joseph  |  Published February 15, 2019

Surrounded by dramatic mountains and home to thriving art, theatre and music scenes, the bustling west coast seaport of Vancouver is among Canada’s most diverse cities, attracting people of every age and ethnicity from across the world. Among its visitors are a large number of people keen to study languages here, with the city offering several renowned places of learning, ranging from independent language schools to nationally-recognised educational institutions.

Photo: Mike via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

There are a vast selection of options for studying English in Vancouver, with a range of courses available ensuring you’re certain to find one that suits your preferences and needs. Whether you’re planning to stay in the city for a few weeks or a few months, you’ll be able to use your time to sharpen up your English skills. Here are five recommended places offering English language courses for short-term visitors to Vancouver.

VGC International College

With more than 15 years of academic excellence, VGC International College has just been voted winner of the Top Choice Award 2019 for the Best Language School in Vancouver. Thousands of students from over 75 countries have studied here over the years. The school’s reputation is built around a strong focus on the student experience, enabling students to achieve their individual academic goals, creating a warm learning environment with highly qualified teachers and a vibrant intercultural student life. With two campuses located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, VGC is divided into two schools: the School of English Language and the School of International Business. In the former, students can study English courses of all levels and for all purposes: General English, University Preparation, IELTS, TOEFL and Cambridge preparation, and Summer Teen Experience. At the latter, VGC offers a variety of business programs with the same high academic standards, such as Six Month and One Year Diplomas (with and without Co-op), Four Week Business Certificates, and Two Week Intensive Business Seminars.

Photo: VGC International College

DEA Education Center

DEA Education Center offer a range of courses, including General English, Business English and Test Preparation courses, with options available for learners of all ages, levels and needs. Curriculums are focussed on role-plays, field trips and group learning activities to help students integrate and advance more quickly, and personalised study packages are designed to help you accomplish your goals. Students are encouraged to build their vocabulary for both formal and informal situations. All courses are offered online through SKYPE and the school also provides in-house tutoring. Beyond the classroom, there’s a busy social programme too, with regular socialising and sight-seeing trips.

Photo: DEA Education Center

Inlingua Vancouver

Part of the inlingua International Schools of Languages, the Vancouver branch is located in the downtown district close to many of the city’s main attractions. Courses include Intensive, Super Intensive, Accelerated Communication, IELTS Preparation and Tests Preparation options. Private and semi-private small group teaching is also available, and for students interested in University or College education, there’s a University Pathway Program. Teaching methods focus on ensuring that students pick up the language quickly, by encouraging conversational English from the very first lesson. There’s also a strictly-enforced policy that requires both students and teachers to speak English at all times on campus, including during non-classroom activities.

Photo: Inlingua Vancouver

St. George International College

A well-established language school originally founded in London, this Vancouver branch offers various language programs including in General English, Business English and English for Professionals. Comprehensive programs require students to practice all reading, writing, listening and speaking exclusively in English on a daily basis, or for those who prefer to learn at a slower, less intensive pace, there are alternative options. The school’s well-equipped campus has modern classrooms and a computer station, while a cafeteria with kitchenettes, coffee machine and a dedicated ‘party room’ help make it a comfortable, fun and sociable place to be. There are also diverse after-school activities scheduled every day.

Photo: St. George International College

Pera College

Situated a short walk from downtown Vancouver, Pera College boasts a modern and cosy school environment. A wide number of courses are available with flexible starting dates, so if you’re restricted in when you can come to Vancouver the school should be able to accommodate your dates. The General English programme includes 15 hours of integrated English lessons in the morning, and 10 hours of skill development classes in the afternoon, and is designed to improve your overall English proficiency by focusing on specific language skills. Short-term travel-study programs are also available for middle and high-school students keen to learn basic language skills. There are also English for Business and Management courses. Class sizes are kept small to ensure all students receive plenty of focus, and a hands-on teaching style centres on listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The school also offers on-going tutoring, troubleshooting and student advisory sessions, while there are a wide number of after-school activities that students can get involved in.

Photo: Pera College