ELI Policies

The information on this page outlines the policies of ELI. Please read this information before you apply.

​​Except in special circumstances, to be a student in the following programs you must have completed high school or be at least 18 years old for on campus programs:

  • ASPIRE Intensive
  • Business English
  • English For Academic Purposes

The minimum age for online programs is 16 years old, and for ASPIRE High School is 15 years old.

Please email eli.registration@ubc.ca if you do not meet the minimum admission age requirements and would like more information.

All program and service fees are quoted in Canadian dollars.

Tuition and fees may be paid in the following ways:

  • by bank draft, in Canadian (CAD) funds, payable to The University of British Columbia
  • by credit card (Visa or MasterCard only)
  • by wire transfer

A non-refundable $150 application fee and non-refundable tuition deposits are required for each application.

For the English for Academic Purposes program and DISCOVER program, the tuition deposit is $600. The tuition deposit for all other programs is $300.

The tuition deposit guarantees you a place in the program until one month before the program start date; only tuition paid in full guarantees you a place after this date. We will continue to accept payments and applications until programs are full.

Medical insurance, housing services and textbook costs are not included in the tuition. Please budget for these additional expenses accordingly.

The English Language Institute reserves the right to cancel any program because of insufficient registration. You will be refunded any fees you have paid for the cancelled program.


It is your responsibility to notify ELI of any changes in your plans before your program starts. Please be aware that if you change your registration dates, ELI is obliged to report such changes to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada under the Immigration Act.

Requests to withdraw from a program must be made in writing to ELI, and must be accompanied by a brief explanation for the withdrawal. The following charts list the schedules for refunds:

English for Academic Purposes & DISCOVER

Withdrawal Date Refund
One week before the first day of the program 100% of balance of fees*
Up to and including the Friday of week 2 of the program. 70% of balance of fees
After week 2 of the program. No refund

*The balance of the fees is the tuition minus the deposit for cancellation of a full session or a term.

Please note: if your English level is not ready for the English for Academic Purposes program (intermediate, CEFR B1), we will register you in the DISCOVER program running during the same period and apply the non-refundable deposit of $600 to this program. There are no extra charges.

Other program transfers are subject to a cancellation penalty of the non-refundable deposit ($600) and other applicable fees (see cancellation schedule).

ASPIRE Intensive, ASPIRE, EXCEL & EXPLORE (non-bursary)

Withdrawal Date Refund
1 week before the first day of the program (testing day). 100% of balance of fees*
Up to and including the 3rd day of classes. 70% of balance of fees
After the 3rd day of classes. No refund

*The balance of the fees is the tuition minus the deposit for cancellation of a full session or a term.

Transfers among short programs are subject to an extra charge according to the difference of tuition fees and the date of the request, based on our cancellation schedule.

EXPLORE for Canadian Bursary students deposit is non-refundable should you cancel your registration. Extenuating circumstances may be considered.

For ASPIRE High School cancellation and refund policies, please visit the ASPIRE High School page.

Visa or Study Permit Refusal

If you must cancel your registration because Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has denied your application for a study permit or visitor visa, ELI will refund your deposit provided you meet the following two conditions:

  • You notify ELI immediately, or at least seven days before the program starts, in writing about your visa denial or delay,
  • ELI receives the letter of visa denial within 30 days from the date shown on the letter.

Please note: the deposit for online programs is non-refundable. Since these programs are online, students do not need a visa or travel to Canada.

Transfer a Deposit

If you do not receive your study permit or Visa in time for the program for which you have registered, you may select a new start date from any of the dates published at the Dates and Fees page. The new start date must be within 1 year of the original start date. Your deposit or full tuition will be transferred to the new session once only. We require a minimum of one week’s written notice that you wish to postpone your start date, or the cancellation schedule will apply (see above). Postponements after the payment deadline (one month before the program start date) might be granted if the balance of tuition and the medical insurance fees are fully paid.

Note: You may transfer your deposit to another session once only.

All students are required to enrol in a mandatory medical insurance program. For more information, please see Mandatory Medical Insurance.

It is your responsibility to register for ELI programs in sufficient time to apply for and receive your Canadian visa or study permit. If you want to study for less than six months, you may need a temporary resident’s visa. If you want to study for longer than six months, you must obtain a study permit. Ask at the nearest Canadian visa office to make sure you have enough time to get the proper documents you may require.

Although your local Canadian visa office may publish shorter study permit/visa processing times on their website, we recommend that you allow at least three months before the start of your program for your study permit or visa application to be processed.

View the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website for more information. If you plan to visit the United States, check with the US embassy or consulate in your country. You must get your US visa before you come to Canada.

All students are expected to be present for the first day of their program. If you are unable to arrive on time, you must notify ELI prior to the program start date. If you arrive late without notifying ELI, you may lose your place in the program.

To respect the privacy of ELI host families, ONLY students in the ELI Homestay program may visit or contact their host families. No other persons are permitted to visit the ELI host families.

Housing Placement Fees

If you are applying for Homestay, you are required to pay a non-refundable Homestay placement fee.

All accommodation services are subject to availability. Accommodation forms must be received at least two months prior to the start of your program.

Cancellation of Homestay or Moving

Students must give 14 days' notice before moving or leaving homestay.

The ELI fosters and promotes the use of English as the main mode of communication within the ELI building, in all ELI classes and while participating in any ELI activity. All instructors, staff and students will play an active role in creating an environment that is respectful, equitable and inclusive where English is practiced in a comfortable and supportive atmosphere.

In extreme weather situations, please check for the most up to date information on ubc.ca for updates on campus conditions, classes or exams.

If UBC classes or exams are NOT cancelled, but there is bad weather, ELI on-campus classes will continue to be offered in-person. If UBC classes or exams are cancelled, ELI on-campus classes will be moved online. Please contact your instructor if you have not received information regarding switching your class to online in this case.

A communicable disease is an illness caused by an infectious agent or its toxic product that can be transmitted in a work, research or academic environment from one person to another (i.e. influenza, COVID-19, norovirus).

Routes of Transmission

Communicable diseases may be spread through direct contact between people or contact with a contaminated object, droplets during coughing, sneezing and talking, carried by dust, or through contaminated items such as food and water.

Prevention Measures

A daily health check allows you to determine if you are exhibiting symptoms of communicable disease and may keep you from attending UBC campuses and spreading illness.

Your daily health check should include answering: Am I experiencing any of the following new or worsening symptoms?

  • sore throat
  • fever
  • fatigue
  • cough
  • chills
  • difficulty breathing
  • body aches
  • headache
  • nausea/vomiting
  • diarrhea

Other prevention measures include covering coughs and sneezes, frequent hand washing, getting vaccinated, frequent cleaning of your environment and getting outside.

To read more about the communicable disease prevention framework, click here.