Explore English Program for Canadian Bursary Students
The Explore English program is an integrated skills program offered to Canadian students who have received a bursary from Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC).
The Explore English program at a glance:
- Offered July 14 – Aug 13, 2020 - Cancelled due to Covid-19
- Full-time, 5-week program
- Approximately 25 hours of instruction per week
- Morning classes are dedicated to reading, writing, speaking and listening
- Afternoon workshops provide practice in speaking fluency and language production
- Theme-based classes focus on topics such as global citizenship, civil society and sustainability
You must be a full-time student for at least one semester in the academic year prior to the start of the program and at least 19 years old.
For students who want to join this program without the bursary, please read the information on how to enrol as a non-bursary student.
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Through the Explore English program, you can:
- improve speaking and listening skills
- enhance fluency, accuracy and pronunciation
- increase vocabulary
- develop academic writing skills and grammar
- build critical reading skills
- gain confidence in communicating in English.
Who It's ForThe Explore English program is open to:
- Canadian students who have received a Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) bursary. To participate in the Explore English program, Canadian bursary students must be at least 19 years old prior to the start of the program. Find out more information about how to apply for a bursary.
- International students and non-bursary Canadian students.
Keep in mind that the CMEC awards bursaries by lottery and that you may not get your first choice of institution. Do not make any travel arrangements until you have received an official confirmation from the institution for which you have been selected.
The Explore English program is a full-time, 5-week integrated skills program (reading, writing, speaking and listening), with morning classes running from Monday to Friday, and afternoon classes Monday to Thursday.
Learn from experienced language instructors, who guide your practice and provide opportunities for you to explore global topics through group projects, student presentations, debates, guest speakers and educational field trips.
Program Levels and Assessment
The program can accommodate students with elementary level English to advanced level. Assessment for class placement is on the first day of the program.
Final assessment is based on attendance, participation and achievement.
What takes place in the classroom is just the beginning of the learning experience at the Explore English program. Our socio-cultural activities program is just one of the special features that make the program an exceptional place to learn English.
You will meet UBC students, also known as Cultural Assistants (CAs), who will help you adjust to campus life and introduce you to Vancouver through fun and interesting activities and events. To find out what's going on or to read up on your CAs, visit our Student Life page.
|12:15pm-1:15pm||Lunch break||Lunch break||Lunch break||Lunch break|
Our instructors are highly skilled professionals who have extensive experience in English language teaching, curriculum design and assessment. They are specialists in second language instruction and have expertise in a wide range of subject areas.
|May 25 – June 24, 2021||5 weeks||$3350|
|May 24 – June 23, 2022||5 weeks||$3400|
Cancellation and RefundsThe registration fee and deposit are non-refundable should you cancel your registration. The Explore English program may exercise discretion in some extenuating circumstances.
To be eligible for a bursary, participants must be full-time students for at least one semester in the academic year prior to the start of the program, and at least 19 years old.
How to Apply
- You must first apply for a bursary with the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC).
- Once approved for a bursary, you will receive an email from the Explore English program to offer you a space. You must confirm that you meet the program requirements by the deadline indicated in your offer.
- Information on how to register and pay the deposit will be sent to you in an email from the Explore English program. You will also receive a document detailing Frequently Asked Questions. Later, when you have accepted your offer, you will receive further information about the first day of the program.
The Explore English program will arrange your accommodation for the duration of the program. Please be aware that students are not permitted to move from residence to homestay, or from homestay to residence, once they have been placed.
- The majority of students in the Explore English program will stay in campus residence.
- There are a limited number of spaces in homestay. The placement of students in homestay will depend on the availability of families. If homestay is not available, students will be placed in residence.
- Students are required to stay in accommodation arranged by UBC for the duration of the program.
Students who wish to arrive a few days before the program and/or stay a few days after the program ends, can make arrangements to stay in campus residence. More information about this option will be available in your student handbook. Homestay is available for the program dates only.
Homestay gives you the opportunity to live with a local family, improve your English and learn more about West Coast life and culture. You participate in an orientation on the first day of the program, and meet your family after the orientation.
What's Included in Homestay?
You have a furnished room (including a bed, bed linen and towels) and three (3) meals a day. This includes a packed lunch on school days. You may have your own bedroom with a place for studying or you may be in a shared room with another Explore or ELI student. You are able to ride the public bus to the UBC campus within 60 minutes.
Transportation to and from UBC is NOT included. You will need to purchase bus fare.
Please be aware that most socio-cultural events organized by the Explore English program depart from and return to the UBC campus. Students who want to participate in these activities might prefer to live in residence. Homestay students will have to organize transit to and from socio-cultural events, which could add quite a bit of extra travel time.
Host families are interested in Canadian and international students and are happy to include them in their daily family life. The program’s homestay placement staff visit each host family and take special care to match students with families who have similar interests. Host families are selected carefully with your safety and comfort in mind.
Our host families come from many different cultures. They may be from Canada, Europe, the Philippines, China, India, South America, or any other part of the world. A host family may be a family with or without children, an older couple, a single parent or even a single person. Host families may live in apartments, small houses or large houses. Bedrooms may be on the first floor, second floor or in the basement. Families may or may not have a car. Many families keep dogs or cats as pets in their homes.
Homestay Placement Day
Homestay placement day is on the first day of your program. On homestay placement day, host families come to UBC to meet their students and take them to their new homes. You will receive more information about this after we have confirmed your placement.
For campus stay, all students live in the Place Vanier Residence.
Style of Accommodation
UBC residences offer single-size beds in shared bedrooms. Please be aware that you will probably have a roommate if you stay in campus residence. Bed linens are provided, but you need to bring your own towels. There is a shared TV lounge, bathrooms and a kitchenette with a fridge, microwave and sink. Please note that eating and cooking utensils are not provided.
The residences are on the UBC campus, a few blocks from the buildings where classes are held. The residences are a 10-minute hike from the beach and a 20-minute walk from the nearest grocery store. The Student Union Building (known as the Nest), has a number of food outlets and is about a 10-minute walk from the residences.
Food and Cooking
Students in residence will be provided breakfast daily and dinner Monday – Friday. Students should make their own arrangements for lunch.There are no cooking facilities in residence. There is one small kitchenette with a fridge, microwave and sink on each floor of the residence. It is possible to heat leftovers or keep food in the fridge, but the fridge gets very full quickly. Rooms don’t have hotplates, stoves or ovens, and for safety reasons, you are not allowed to bring your own appliances. You may wish to bring your own kettle to keep in your room. You can also bring one set of silverware and a couple of microwave-safe dishes. There are grocery stores, restaurants and cafes on and near the UBC campus.
Overnight visitors are not permitted, and having a guest stay overnight may be cause for dismissal from the program. Visitors are not allowed to stay in the program's residences on their own (i.e., when students are in class or participating in activities), and they must leave the residence by 1am. However, visitors are welcome to stay on campus in their own rooms.
Phone and Internet Connection
There is a free public phone in the Commons Block that you can use to make local calls, but it does not receive incoming calls. If you bring your cell phone, consider making arrangements with your service provider before coming to BC to avoid long-distance charges.
Internet access is available for a $10 (plus tax) activation fee in all guest rooms at the residence, provided you supply your own laptop, networking card and Ethernet cable. The front desk will activate the port in your bedroom upon your arrival. You may also use desktop computers that are freely available at several locations on campus. Wireless service is available in most UBC buildings and in the Commons Block at the residence, but not in your room.
If you wish to arrive before the program starts, you can book directly with UBC Accommodations. More information about this option will be available in your pre-departure handbook.
Extended Stay After Completion of Explore English Program
You have the opportunity to make arrangements for an extended stay while attending the program. You may have to move to another residence if you decide to stay more than a couple of days. You can book directly with the UBC Accommodations. There is a special rate per night offered to Explore English program students at the Pacific Spirit Hostel shared apartments for those arriving a few days before their program and leaving a few days immediately following it.
1. What does the CMEC Bursary Cover?
- Accommodation from the first afternoon of the program, May 21, to the last night of the program, June 20, inclusive
- Three meals per day in homestay or daily breakfast and dinner (Monday to Friday) in residence
- Class materials and activities
- Some socio-cultural activities
- Your registration fee and your refundable deposit
- Transportation to Vancouver
- Transportation within Vancouver (including to and from homestay)
- Some socio-cultural activities and meals
- Weekend trips
2. I am a bursary student and I just received your email. Can I buy my airline ticket now?
No. First you have to register and pay the non-refundable registration fee and the refundable deposit. You should only buy your ticket after receiving a confirmation of your registration from UBC.
3. Can I leave the program early?
If you leave before the end of classes at 3:30pm on Thursday, June 20, you will not receive a certificate or a refund of your deposit.
4. Can I arrive late?
No. You must be present before 1pm on the first day of the program, Tuesday, May 21, 2019.
5. Is there any reason UBC would not accept a student in the program?
You may be denied participation if UBC has reached its quota or if you are not 19 years old on the date the program starts. You may also be denied participation if you cannot arrive at UBC for the program start date or if you cannot stay to the program's end date. If you have already participated in the Explore English program at UBC, you are not allowed to repeat it.
6. How many students will be in the program? In my class?
There are approximately 200 bursary students in the program, plus some international and non-bursary students. Each class has approximately 18 students.
7. Can I attend other classes while I am attending the Explore English program?
No. The Explore English program is a full-time immersion program and students are not allowed to attend other courses while they are enrolled in the program. Online or distance education courses can be an option, but you should be aware that there is little time between classes and activities to do anything else.
8. How do I get credit for the course?
UBC does not give credit for the course, but students may be able to get credit from their institution. At the end of the program, students receive a certificate that includes the dates of the program and the hours attended. Transcripts are mailed a few weeks after the program end date. Please contact the Explore English program directly if you require any additional documentation.
9. Can I work in the evening or on weekends during the program?
No. Salaried work during the program is not allowed. You will be in a full-time immersion program, and there are scheduled activities in the evenings and on the weekends. Volunteer work in English that does not conflict with classes is acceptable and can be a great addition to classroom work.
10. Will someone help me find a job after the program?
Languages at Work is designed for Explore bursary recipients, and it offers unique opportunities to continue learning English in a workplace context. Following the completion of the Explore English program, you could have the opportunity to stay in BC for job placements ranging from 6 to 8 weeks.
Learn more about the Languages at Work program before you arrive so that you can plan in advance.