English for Success (EFS)

Improve your English and experience life in Canada

The English for Success (EFS) program at Renison is an exciting 4-week English immersion program offered in Canada’s summer months. This program includes a vibrant social calendar with daily activities and weekend day trips designed to help you practice your English skills outside of the classroom. You will visit famous attractions such as Toronto’s CN Tower, Canada’s Wonderland, and Niagara Falls.

You will live on campus in residence and participate in a true Canadian university experience. The University of Waterloo has a bustling community all year - so you will get an authentic campus experience with Waterloo students. Peer Leaders, Residence Assistants, and Peer Helper Volunteers provide support so you can enhance your language lessons with extra opportunities to practice English.

Remote video URL

As an EFS student, you will be invited to events planned and attended by peer leaders (upper-year University of Waterloo students) such as speed friending, carnival nights, meet and greet events, and conversation lunches – a fantastic opportunity to practice your English, gain invaluable social skills, and have fun!

This program helps you develop the necessary English skills that will be useful for your personal and professional life. During class, all the teachers will speak to you in English and since all your classmates are from other countries, you will always be speaking English...Participating in extracurricular activities with classmates allows you to create strong bonds of friendship while constantly practicing the English language.

Sergio (Mexico), past EFS student

Who is the program designed for? (EFS)

EFS is designed for individuals who are:

  • at a high-beginner to advanced English language level with an interest in developing cross-cultural communication skills
  • interested in exploring popular Canadian tourist destinations while developing their English skills
  • 18 years of age or older

Program features (EFS)

  • 25 hours (approximately) of intensive English language programming per week
  • multiple levels from high-beginner to advanced (class availability is dependent on enrolment)
  • placement test on the first day of the program to determine a student’s language ability
  • conversation practice and cross-cultural activities with University of Waterloo students
  • accommodation in an on-campus university residence
  • trips to local attractions, including Toronto and Niagara Falls
  • final achievement report (transcript)
  • certificate from Renison English Language Institute at the University of Waterloo

The EFS program is recommended for students with a CEFR level ranging from A2 to C1 (high-beginner to advanced). EFS is recommended for up to two consecutive sessions.

What makes the program unique? (EFS)

As an EFS student, you will have the opportunity to visit some of Canada’s most popular attractions. This means you will get the opportunity to use your English outside of the classroom. 

You will be invited to events planned and attended by your peer leaders; a fantastic opportunity to practice your English, gain invaluable social skills, and have fun!

What will you learn? (EFS)

presentation skills in green banner above a picture of a woman in front of a white board

In this course, you will:

  • build your confidence when giving presentations 

  • practice strategies for using your voice effectively in public speaking situations 

  • develop effective presentation slides to support your delivery 

  • enhance the impact of your presentations through the use of nonverbal techniques  

  • deliver planned and unplanned individual and group presentations 

In this course, you will:

  • improve active listening and speaking strategies for effective interpersonal communication 

  • explore and practice different contexts for speaking that require you to describe, summarize, explain, argue and persuade  

  • increase your understanding and use of new vocabulary 

  • practice and improve your pronunciation 

  • actively participate in group discussions to share ideas and perspectives 

integrated skills in green banner above a picture of someone writing with a pencil in a notebook

In this course, you will:

  • engage in the analysis and critique of various text types  

  • identify and discuss stylistic, grammar and language choices made in relation to audience and purpose for writing 

  • develop learning strategies in the areas of vocabulary expansion and self-editing 

  • build your confidence to understand and produce written texts for different contexts 

  • write on a variety of topics to improve accuracy and fluency

In this course, you will:

  • build your awareness of different aspects of culture 

  • develop an understanding of the social and cultural features of language 

  • explore and practice communication strategies to facilitate cross-cultural communication and manage cultural misunderstandings 

  • discuss similarities and differences in cultural phenomena while avoiding generalizations 

  • represent and share your unique cultural insights and experiences of Canadian culture using images, text and oral storytelling 

Program duration and levels (EFS)

The EFS program is a 4-week program typically offered during July and August.

Class levels may be offered from high-beginner to advanced should student numbers permit. If student numbers permit, students will participate in a placement test at the beginning of the program to determine the class level that is best for building their English language skills.

Sample class schedule (EFS)







Cultural Studies

9:00 to 12:00

Integrated Skills

9:00 to 10:30

Listening & Speaking

9:00 to 12:00

Integrated Skills

9:00 to 11:30

Listening & Speaking

9:00 to 12:00

Cultural Studies 10:30 to 12:00

Lunch Break

Presentation Skills

1:00 to 3:00

Presentation Skills

1:00 to 3:00

Integrated Skills

1:00 to 3:00

Presentation Skills

1:00 to 3:00

Cultural Studies

1:00 to 2:30

NOTE: the schedule above is provided as a sample and is subject to change.

Student Experience (EFS)

Our Student Experience team is here to help you reach your goals. You will be offered a variety of opportunities for support such as one-on-one meetups and access to program peer leaders who are here to support your English language development. As an EFS student, you will:

Experience life in Canada

  • Explore Southwestern Ontario, including Toronto, Niagara Falls, St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market, and more!
  • Benefit from many events and activities aimed at improving your social and English conversation skills

Practice your social and English skills

  • Speed Friending
  • Carnival nights       
  • Meet and greet events
  • Conversation lunches
  • One-on-one meet-ups with your Peer Leaders

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

Residence (EFS)

Our residences are centrally located on the University of Waterloo campus and fill up quickly. The campus is home to Canadian students 12 months of the year. Renison is known for its small, family-like community of students and faculty, making it an ideal place for international students to learn English.

On-campus residence

  • Two-minute walk to the major student hubs on campus (e.g. Student Life Centre and Physical Activities Complex)
  • Upper-year student leaders on each floor to help international students learn about life in Canada
  • Organized activities available
  • Wellness programming available exclusively to students living or studying at Renison

Food in residence

  • Fill your plate up to six times per day at our cafeteria (your meal plan is included if you live in residence)
  • Acknowledging the diverse student population at Renison, our food services team prides itself in offering a wide variety of cuisine from around the world, accommodating a host of dietary restrictions and allergies, and ensuring students have food options that feel like home
  • “My Pantry” is a separate kitchen for residents who want to create their own culinary masterpieces. Ingredients are fully stocked by our cafeteria


Stay active in our two major sports facilities

  • Physical Activities Complex (PAC)
  • Columbia Icefield (CIF)

With the purchase of a one month membership, you’ll have access to on campus sport facilities including gyms and a pool (subject to availability).

The University of Waterloo has a health care clinic on campus just two minutes from Renison. Health Services provides convenient, confidential and comprehensive medical care that is included as part of your fees.

Dates, fees, and application process (EFS)

 Dates and fees

EFS sessions

Dates Program fees Notes

July 2024

June 26 - July 23, 2024

$4333 CAD

Registration open

August 2024 

July 29 - August 23, 2024

$4333 CAD

Registration open

NOTE: Fees are listed in Canadian dollars (CAD) and are subject to change at any time.

Program fees include the non-refundable application fee, tuition and incidental fees, mandatory health insurance, residence accommodation (including meal plan), social activities, and excursions. For more information, please visit our Tuition Fees page.

University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) coverage must be purchased regardless of medical coverage from your home country. Dependents (spouse and/or children) must also be enrolled in UHIP upon arrival in Canada for an additional cost. UHIP fees are subject to change September 1 each year. Renison ELI staff will assist with your enrolment.

Not included in program fees: travel costs and airport transfers. If you require assistance, please e-mail us at eli@uwaterloo.ca.

Application process

Applications must be submitted through our student portal. Follow these steps to apply for the EFS program:

Step 1: Visit the student portal to submit your application; if you are not signed in to or signed up for a portal account, you will be prompted to do so now.

Step 2: Once signed in, you will be directed to the Program Applications page; select the blue ‘Submit Program Application’ button.

Step 3: Proceed with preparing and submitting your application.

Step 4: You will receive confirmation of your application through e-mail to the e-mail address attached to your account.

Step 5: Pay the application fee and tuition deposit(s) to secure your registration.

Step 6: Receive your Letter of Acceptance within 3 business days of payment receipt.

Step 7: Pay your remaining fees two weeks before the start of the program.

Payment options

You may pay your fees through Convera GlobalPay for Students, online by credit card through your student portal, through online banking (only available from a Canadian bank account), or in person at Renison.

For detailed instructions, visit our Payment Instructions page.