English for Academic Success (EFAS)

Begin your Canadian university experience by improving your English

English for Academic Success (EFAS) is a unique program in that it offers students more than just English language instruction in the conventional way.  Students who participate in the EFAS program not only improve their English language competence, but do so in an integrated and dynamic manner that reflects what is truly needed to succeed in an academic and professional environment. The EFAS program is benchmarked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), a global standard in English language proficiency. The program has four levels including level 100 (low-intermediate, CEFR A2), level 200 (intermediate, CEFR B1), level 300 (high-intermediate, CEFR B2), and level 400 (advanced, CEFR C1). Successful completion of EFAS level 400, satisfies the English language requirement for studies at the University of Waterloo. It also equips you with the skills and strategies you need to do well on any standardized proficiency test. 

EFAS is a great option if you are looking to:

meet the university of waterloo's undergraduate language requirements with three students sitting on grass

meet the university of waterloo's graduate language requirements with student facing a board with papers on it

strengthen your english language proficiency while studying in canada button with group of students crossing a street

In addition to the core EFAS program, you may also be interested in pursuing the EFASplus option which allows you to audit a University of Waterloo course. For more information about this option, visit EFASplus.

"I chose English for Academic Success because this program provides intensive courses that help students to improve their English language skills. We're not only learning the English language, we are learning a lot of skills that are hard to find anywhere else. It's very helpful and has really made my academic journey less stressful. I'm so happy that I joined the EFAS program. I really recommend any  international student to also join EFAS, because it's going to help us a lot to be successful."

- Asma, Past EFAS student

Quick links

Who is EFAS designed for? Sample class schedule
Program features Student experience
What makes the program unique? Enrichment components
Program duration and levels Program dates, fees, and application process
What will you learn? Residence and homestay

What makes the program unique

  • An integrated approach to teaching and learning which ensures that students are applying all language skills in each of their courses.
  • An exceptional Student Experience team committed to helping you adjust to life in Canada
    red fading to black maple leaf iconLearn from our ‘Life in Canada’ workshop and other social events
    two hands shaking iconTake advantage of our leadership and volunteer opportunities
    people icons connected by linesConnect with us through WeChat, KakaoTalk, LINE, or WhatsApp
  •  Opportunities to work with a student advisor to support your learning success
    person icon holding a book openDevelop an individual study plan
    one green and four black gear iconsAttend an academic skills and strategies workshop
    mouse arrow graphicGet help applying to university


Student experience

Our Student Experience team is dedicated to ensuring you have an exceptional student experience during your time in the EFAS program. We are here to help you:

Experience life in Canada

  • Social events and activities offered each term
  • Explore southern Ontario, including Toronto, Niagara Falls, and St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market

Practice your social and English skills

  • Speed Friending and video game parties         
  • Weekly conversation lunches
  • One-on-one meet-ups with your Peer Leaders

Be a successful student

  • Support with adjusting to academic life in Canada
  • Individual check-in meetings with every student
  • Informative virtual and in-person workshops

Transition to university studies

  • Individualized support to help you research university programs
  • University application assistance, including proofreading your application
  • Help with searching for a graduate program supervisor

Build your leadership skills through volunteering

  • Join EFAS student council to plan community events
  • Attend leadership workshops to build your soft skills
  • Make a difference in the community through local food drives

Stay connected

  • Helpful emails to prepare for your studies
  • Weekly email newsletters about upcoming events and program reminders
  • Texting app communities where you can ask questions and connect with your classmates
  • Ongoing invitations to our events and workshops even after you finish the program

Participate in the Conversation Partner Program

  • Meet each week with a University of Waterloo student to practice your English

Learn more about the student experience at Renison’s English Language Institute.

To download an activities calendar, visit the Event Calendars webpage.