Updated: May 9, 2022

Jackie ProwseAfter many years at the helm, Dr. Jackie Prowse has stepped down from her position as director of the English Language Centre (ELC). Jackie started with the University of Victoria as an English language teacher in 1993 and remained committed to student learning throughout her career. She made the shift to educational administration first as co-director of the ELC in August 2000 and then as director in July 2011. Under her leadership, the ELC won a number of international awards including iStudy’s “Language School of the Year.”  

Over the years, Jackie traveled widely on behalf of the ELC, visiting many of our institutional partners and agents. I know that she valued these professional relationships deeply, so we are inviting partners and agents to share messages, photos and memories on this padlet electronic board, which will be given to Jackie at the end of May 2022. 

During the past two years, Jackie helped the ELC to navigate uncertain and difficult times, always remaining confident that in-person programming would return. She was right! Our first group of students came back to campus in September 2021 and each month more students arrive. It is an absolute joy to see our building filled with activity and students eager to improve their language skills and see the world. Summer is right around the corner and we look forward to welcoming our largest group of students to campus in two years! 

Our search for a new ELC director will begin shortly. In the meantime, we will put these director updates on pause as our International Recruitment team takes the opportunity to evaluate our communication channels with partners and agents. You can look forward to receiving a feedback survey in the weeks to come.  

While Jackie's departure from the ELC represents a significant staffing shift, we are committed to making a smooth transition for our partners and agents. If you have any questions about students who are preparing to study with us, or any other aspect of our programs or partnership, please do not hesitate to contact one of our recruitment specialists:   

  • Kyla Jardin: International Recruitment for Latin America, China, Europe, India, the Middle East and Africa at kjardin@uvic.ca
  • Rena Fowler: International Recruitment for Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, and the Philippines at renaf@uvic.ca

Again, I know you will join me in expressing thanks to Jackie for her many years of service and wish her well in this next chapter.  



Dr. Jo-Anne Clarke, Dean, Division of Continuing Studies

Updated: April 1, 2022

As conditions around COVID-19 continue to improve, we are seeing increasing numbers of students planning to study in Victoria at ELC this spring and summer. On April 4, we'll welcome over 168 students and for summer we have already heard from over 300 students that they plan to come in July and/or August to join our various ELC programs. It is wonderful to be able to welcome students back on campus and to see them enjoying meeting new friends, learning about new cultures, and of course improving their English.

As COVID restrictions are eased, we are also resuming a wider range of our socio-cultural activities such as whale watching, Butchart Gardens visits and kayaking. We are waiting for information from the companies, and will have more details up on our website soon.

One issue we continue to struggle with is the number of host families that have not yet returned to our homestay program. While about 100 families are excited to start hosting international students again, many others are still concerned about COVID. Many of our hosts either have young children who are not yet able to be vaccinated or are seniors and so have concerns about the health of their families.

For July and August, we have moved all our programs into the on-campus dormitories, so housing will not be a problem this summer. In the fall, when the dorms are no longer available to us, we expect to have reduced capacity for the number of students we can accommodate. At this time, we anticipate we can accommodate up to 200 students in our homestay program. Usually in September, we have about 400+ students in homestay. At this time, there is capacity for the 12-week ELPI program, but we are not able to offer accommodation to students in the fall monthly programs. We hope more families will feel comfortable to resume hosting soon and we will update you if there are changes in capacity to house students. If you plan to study with us in September, please apply as soon as possible to ensure accommodation.

We continue to offer online programs. The 11-week Intensive English Online (ELPI-O) program starts April 18, English for Global Communication (4 weeks) will run in July, August and September, and University Admission Preparation Online (UAP-O) (6 weeks) will run April 11 and July 11. Read more information on all our programs.

COVID travel regulations update:

  1. As of April 1, fully vaccinated travellers no longer need to take a COVID test before flying to Canada. 
  2. If fully vaccinated travellers are selected for random testing, they do not need to self-isolate while waiting for COVID test results. (Arriving students can go directly to homestay or dormitories as of April 11).
  3. All travellers entering Canada continue to be required to input their mandatory information in ArriveCAN within 72 hours before their arrival in Canada.

Read the full news release—Please note that these travel restrictions and requirements are subject to change at any time, so we recommend monitoring the government website for the most up-to-date policy information.

It is certainly excellent news that travel and university studies are getting back to normal. I look forward to welcoming all of our students to UVic and to being able to travel to visit our partners soon.


Take care and stay well.

Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: Feb. 22, 2022

Very good news from Canada! The Canadian government has announced in a news release that as of Feb. 28, 2022:

  1. Fully vaccinated international travellers to Canada will no longer need to self isolate upon arrival while they wait for their negative COVID test results.
  2. Travellers will now have the option of using a COVID-19 rapid antigen test result (taken the day prior to their scheduled flight or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry) or a molecular test result (taken no more than 72 hours before their scheduled flight or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry) to meet pre-entry requirements. Taking a rapid antigen test at home is not sufficient to meet the pre-entry requirement – it must be authorized by the country in which it was purchased and must be administered by a laboratory, healthcare entity or telehealth service.

Read the full news release – Please note that the policy and wording/instructions are not yet posted, so we will need to monitor the government website for the most up-to-date requirements and details on how the policy will be implemented.

These changes will certainly make travel to Canada easier for our international students, and I know students and partners will welcome this easing of COVID restrictions as much as we do.

As the safety of our students, host families and ELC colleagues is of primary importance, please note that we will still ask students to stay in a hotel for the first three nights after arriving in Canada for the March and April programs. Our homestay families agreed to take students on this condition, so we will honour that until April 15. For the programs that start afterwards, the three-day hotel stay will not be required.

It was announced that COVID numbers and hospitalization peaked at the end of January/early February in British Columbia (our province BC), and we have been seeing cases of both drop over the last week. COVID vaccination rates are high in BC with 80.69% of all people (all ages) being fully vaccinated. When considering people over 12 years old, the vaccination rate is 90.1% fully immunized, and 47.6% of people over 12 have also had a booster. Based on this information, the provincial government is starting to lift restrictions on gathering sizes for indoor and outdoor activities, but wearing masks inside and proof of vaccination to access restaurants and other venues will continue.

As conditions around COVID continue to improve, we will be reverting to our standard refund policy as of April 1, 2022.

Should the conditions around COVID become more serious once again, we will look at returning to a more flexible refund policy. Please note, in cases of illness with a doctor's note (or official positive COVID test result), we will refund the deposit less the application and homestay application fees.

We look forward to welcoming larger groups of students in March and April this spring and are expecting strong enrolments this summer. For our regular partners, it seems about half of the students plan to come to Victoria and the other half will continue with online programs. We look forward to welcoming everyone.


Take care and stay well,

Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: Jan. 18, 2022

At the beginning of January, the ELC welcomed ELPI (12-week) and Monthly English students to campus in Victoria, and the session has been going well. We are following the UVic COVID policies strictly, and students are able to enjoy being in class together and joining our socio-cultural events. We are looking forward to welcoming more students to campus soon for our February and March Monthly English programs.

For our students in Victoria, things look different on campus than pre-COVID. Classes are smaller and everyone has to wear a mask at all times. There are specified rooms designated as eating areas where students can be safely distanced while they enjoy lunch. We are keeping windows open wherever possible and many of our social events are outside, so everyone needs to dress warmly. In Victoria, gyms, movie theatres, IMAX, the museum, hockey games, restaurants and pubs are open but at reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing.

Looking at the COVID situation, 2022 is off to a rough start based on world-wide case numbers but (hopefully) the year will be much brighter as spring approaches. In Victoria and throughout our province of British Columbia, it has been announced that COVID Omicron community transmission peaked around Jan. 8; as such, cases are expected to drop markedly over the next two weeks and into February. This is all based on scientific modelling, the number of people testing positive, and the proportion of COVID virus in the waste water. I hope the modelling proves to be accurate and that we will start to see a reduction in COVID numbers soon. In the meantime, we are following all safety precautions.

The ELC has also had several online programs start in January, with approximately 300 online students studying with us this month. In February, we will be running two more programs: Cultural Discovery (Feb. 11 start) and English for Global Communication (Feb. 28 start). We are happy to see so many students are continuing their English studies during this time when travel is still inconvenient. Even once COVID is over, we will continue to offer online classes so students who do not have the time to travel can enjoy learning English at UVic.

I hope in my next update in February, I’ll be able to report great improvements with the COVID situation here but for now we’re continuing to take all precautions carefully to ensure everyone stays safe.


Take care and stay well,

Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: Jan. 4, 2022

The University of Victoria has announced that most classes will be offered online until Jan. 24 as a COVID circuit breaker precaution. A limited number of courses are allowed to proceed in person. ELPI and Monthly English are included in those that will continue on campus. Our students have travelled a long way to take face-to-face classes and I am happy we don’t need to disappoint them. 

Just a reminder that Monthly English will be offered online for testing Jan. 4 and classes will start Jan. 5. ELPI will offer testing and orientations online Jan. 4 – 5 and classes will start Jan. 6. 

Thanks everyone.


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: Dec. 8, 2021

As the end of 2021 approaches, we are all waiting to see what the new Omicron COVID variant will bring. Of course we are all hoping it will not be very serious and that the gradual recovery we were enjoying will continue in the new year. 

Several countries have implemented restrictions and Canada is no different. Now in addition to having a negative COVID PCR result within 72 hours of flying to Canada, travellers need to be tested upon arrival and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. At this time the process is just being put in place, so we don’t know in detail how long the test results will take but have been told it may take “up to three days.” According to the local news, all expenses for the testing upon arrival will be paid for by the government.

In order to reduce the chance of COVID spread and to protect our host families, we are asking students to make hotel arrangements for arrival and to join their host families only after they have received the negative COVID test results. We are compiling hotel information and will send it out to registered students soon so that they can make arrangements. We regret the expense that this will add to students’ budgets. 

At this point, we will offer a full refund, less the $300 homestay application fee, to students who decide they are not able to accept this added expense, but of course we really hope to see them in Victoria in 2022! Other countries are also having travel restrictions put in place which affect students’ mobility from their home countries. 

We encourage students to stay with their on-campus plans or to switch to one of our online programs. I truly hope this issue will be resolved soon.

On a positive note, Canada now accepts additional vaccines including Sinovac and Sinopharm. Please check the government website for a full list of vaccines that are accepted to enter Canada.

2022 is the "Year of the Tiger" in the Chinese zodiac. The tiger is known for chasing away evil, so let’s hope that is what we see next year! Stay safe and have a wonderful holiday season.


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: Nov. 1, 2021

As 2022 approaches, we look forward to welcoming back more students to the UVic campus for both one-month and 3-month English language programs. The fall term has gone very smoothly and happily, everyone has stayed healthy. Students are able to study and enjoy activities here safely.

It is encouraging to see that travel seems to be opening up. Students who qualify as fully-vaccinated travellers (currently Canada has approved Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson) are no longer required to apply for a study permit for stays of less than 6 months. Students do need the required travel documents such as the eTA or visitor visa depending on their country of origin. Fully vaccinated students can also apply to be exempt from the mandatory 14-day self-isolation requirement. This makes entering Canada a much easier process than before. International travellers still need to test negative for COVID-19 (PCR test) within 72 hours of boarding their flight.

We expect to see COVID restrictions reduced as more and more people become vaccinated. In our province 84.9% of people 12 years old and up are fully vaccinated as of the end of October. Restaurants, movies, gyms, night clubs, schools, and sports events are all open, though you must be fully-vaccinated to enter these discretionary venues. Currently everyone is required to wear a mask in public indoor places.

For those who are not ready to travel, our online programs remain a great option and will be running throughout the year. We enjoy the wider reach of online and being able to connect with and teach so many students through Zoom and Brightspace.

You can learn more about our on-campus and online programs for 2022 here: https://continuingstudies.uvic.ca/elc/programs/all.

If you are concerned conditions might change, we are also able to move students from on campus to online studies should the COVID conditions in Canada or in your country worsen and travel becomes a concern.

Stay safe and we hope to see you in Victoria or online soon. 


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: Sept. 28, 2021

Canada has continued to ease its border restrictions for international travel.

As of Sept. 7, 2021, international travellers can enter Canada for discretionary purposes and can be exempt from the 14-day self-isolation requirement if they have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine at least 14 days before travel. International travellers will also need to test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of boarding their flight. Approved vaccines are currently: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson. Upon arrival in Canada, there will be random COVID tests but testing will no longer be required for everyone. Travellers will still need to have a COVID plan in place in case they test positive upon arrival.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have provided new policy wording noting that study permits are no longer required for fully vaccinated students who are studying for less than six months inside Canada. This change means that students from visa exempt countries, such as Korea or Japan or Mexico, are eligible to travel to Canada with only an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and students from countries that require temporary resident visa (TRV), for example China or Iran, will only be required to get a TRV to travel to Canada.

More information for travelling to Canada can be found on the IRCC web page here: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/wizard-start

Students can check if they will be required to have a study permit for their studies in Canada at the following IRCC web page: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/study-permit/study-permit-tool.html

This term we have a small number of students back on campus in Victoria studying in our 12-week Intensive English program. It is wonderful to welcome students back! We look forward to sharing pictures and stories on our social media channels.

I hope COVID numbers start to reduce worldwide and that travel rules become more standardized across countries over the next few months. We are waiting to welcome our students back to Victoria, and of course our online programs are available for those who are not yet ready to travel.

Stay safe and we hope to see you in Victoria or online soon. 


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: Aug. 12, 2021

This week, Canada implemented some easing of COVID-19 restrictions for entry into Canada. On Aug. 9, our borders re-opened to fully-vaccinated Americans who test negative for COVID before arrival. We have also ended the mandatory requirement of three nights’ accommodation in a government-designated hotel upon arrival.

Provided that COVID vaccination rates in Canada continue to rise and COVID numbers remain within acceptable limits, the Canadian government is now planning to allow all fully-vaccinated international travellers to enter Canada for discretionary travel as of Sept. 7. Currently, the vaccines accepted in Canada include: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. Vaccines must have been administered more that 14 days in advance of arrival.

If travel restrictions into Canada are lifted on Sept. 7 as hoped, international students will not need to self-isolate upon entering Canada if they test negative before arrival. This will also mean that students who previously did not require a visa for less than six months of study, will again not need visas to enter Canada. This has been great news and we look forward to easier travel for all international students soon. 

Please check the Government of Canada website for all the details of what is currently required to enter Canada.

We will update you again after Sept. 7, and hopefully the changes we are expecting will be implemented.

As of September, we will be welcoming back ELPI students on-campus and ELPI-O online students from their own countries. We plan to offer our full suite of on-campus programs as of 2022, while also continuing to offer online programs so students have a choice of where and how to study.

Stay safe and we hope to see you in Victoria or online this fall.


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: July 8, 2021

We are looking forward to welcoming students back to campus in September! We have an updated safety plan and are working hard to ensure everyone will have a safe and productive program on campus at the English Language Centre. We expect a small enrolment in September ELPI; limited numbers will be a good start to a return to closer to normalcy for 2022.

I am happy to announce a big step forward in the loosening of restrictions to enter Canada. As of July 5, people authorized to enter Canada (such as international students with study permits) may not have to self-isolate upon arrival if they have been fully immunized with a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada. International students still need to have a negative PCR test before coming to Canada and upon arrival. This is a good step forward and hopefully we’ll see changes to allow tourism and further reduction of restrictions in the fall.

Here are some helpful websites with further information:

For students who are not fully immunized or who received a vaccination that is not recognized by Canada, they will be able to be vaccinated in Victoria and will still need to undergo 14 days of self-isolation. In the September ELPI program, our first two weeks will be online so that students won’t fall behind if they need to fulfill the self-isolation requirement.

In British Columbia, we have entered “Stage 3” of reopening, so as of July 1 we are once again able to do most things. Recent additions include: travel throughout Canada, indoor gatherings of up to 50 people, and pubs/restaurants/nightclubs fully open with restrictions of no socialization between table and no dancing lifted. We hope to have easier rules around international travel introduced in the fall.

As of July 8, 78.3% of all eligible Canadians 12 years and older have received one dose of the COVID vaccine and 44.8% have been fully immunized. We hope to have all eligible people who want the vaccine fully immunized by August. Canada’s seven-day rolling average is 551 new cases per day. On Vancouver Island there are currently only 10 active cases.

It is wonderful things are looking up in Canada and I hope all countries will be able to get their citizens fully vaccinated soon. I know we all look forward to being able to travel and study abroad again soon.

Take good care of yourselves, and stay safe and well. 


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: June 10, 2021

I hope everyone is well and that cases of COVID are decreasing in your area. I am happy to report that after a spike in April, COVID numbers have dropped considerably in Canada and in our province of British Columbia. As of June 9, 72% of people in BC aged 12 and over have had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The second doses are now being given. Our province has a 4-stage recovery plan and we are scheduled to enter Stage 2 on June 15. Changes will include allowing recreational travel throughout the province, gatherings of up to 50 people outside, and gatherings of up to 50 people in organized, seated indoor events. On July 1, we expect to enter Stage 3 which will include travel throughout Canada. Stage 4 will begin in September when we expect most things to return to normal including on-campus classes, concerts and movies.

In Canada, travel rules are decided by the federal government. On June 9, it was announced that fully-vaccinated Canadians will no longer have to spend three days quarantined in government hotels upon arrival in Canada. They will instead be tested for COVID upon return to Canada and will self-isolate until their results come back negative. Currently this process is only for Canadians/permanent residents, but we expect it to be extended to other nationalities in time. 

The ELC is committed to offering on-campus classes for our 12-week ELPI program in September and to being fully open by January 2022. We look forward to welcoming students back on campus soon. We are, of course, continuing to offer our online summer programs, with the first start dates in late June—view all upcoming dates.

I am happy to announce two changes we are implementing for our Intensive English Online (ELPI-O) program, for the September intake and onward. To better support the many ELPI-O students who are working full-time while they study, we have added a “Reading Week” after the sixth week of the program. This means that ELPI-O’s 200 study hours are now completed over 11 weeks. During “Reading Week,” students will have no new obligations except a short check-in meeting with their instructors. Otherwise, the time is available to catch up on assignments and review. This change should give students the additional time they need to focus on their studies.

Another change we are making to ELPI-O is to improve the testing and class placement process. Students will continue to take the online English Proficiency Test (EPT), which focuses on listening and reading, after they register. They will then complete a writing test (asynchronous) about two weeks before the program start date, plus a Zoom speaking test the week prior to the program start. By testing all four language skills we will be able to better assess students’ language ability and support their success in the program.

Take good care of yourselves, and stay safe and well. 


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: April 22, 2021

I hope everyone is staying safe and well. In Canada, nearly 30% of eligible adults have now had their first dose of the vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca). While our ability to obtain vaccines has had a slow start, the program is speeding up and we hope to have “the jab” available to everyone in our province before July. As in countries that are further ahead in the process, we expect our COVID-19 rates to drop markedly as more people are inoculated.

Based on this, the ELC is planning to offer the 12-week intensive program on campus in September, and to be offering the full suite of on-campus programs by January 2022. As we are initially expecting a much smaller cohort of students, there will be the following changes to the program for September only:

  1. Program dates will remain as scheduled: Sept. 4 or 5 arrival and Dec. 3 departure.
  2. Currently international visitors are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Canada. If this requirement is still in place in September, the first two weeks of the program will be online. If the requirement is lifted, classes will be held as usual on campus.
  3. As part of the requirement to self-isolate upon arrival, international visitors need to stay in a government hotel for the first three nights. Hotel fees are non-refundable and rooms can only be booked 14 days in advance of travel. More information can be found on the Government of Canada website.
  4. For a limited number of students, we are able to provide the balance of the isolation period with your host family for an additional fee of $350 (paid to the family). We can also recommend approved hotel accommodation within Victoria. Please note for students in homestay: you will stay with your host family if you or your host should contract COVID. We do not move students, as this will increase the spread. 
  5. As we are expecting a total of about 60 to 75 students, we will only be offering the general stream of classes at the 200 (A1+), 330 (A2), 410 (A2+) and 490 (B1) levels. Academic-focused students are encouraged to take ELPI-Online as these programs are well-suited to students with academic goals. 
  6. Students will take an initial placement test before leaving their home country so that we can ensure we are offering the right class for each student’s ability. There will be additional testing once the students are in Canada to fine-tune the placement process, but we will be able to confirm compatibility soon after students register.
  7. Our “core classes” will be offered four days per week as usual, and on the fifth day, students will take electives focused on writing and discussion skills. The number of hours remains the same. 
  8. We will be offering modified socio-cultural activities and Learning Centre support as per social distancing rules and student numbers. 

For now, we are planning as if all COVID restrictions will still be in place, but we are hopeful many will be lifted by summer. We are working hard to ensure that everyone has a safe, happy and edifying experience in Victoria. The smaller number of students will ensure we can socially distance properly while delivering our usual high quality, engaging program. 

Please contact the ELC for more information or to register at your convenience.

Take good care of yourselves and stay safe and well. 


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: March 17, 2021

This week we had some exciting news in British Columbia. The government announced that universities are expected to offer the majority of courses on campus starting from September. This means we will not be returning to in-person learning this summer, but will have students back on campus in the fall. While this is excellent news for fall, we have not yet heard how international students will be affected and if any changes are planned for Canada’s in-bound international travel restrictions. 

We are excited to welcome international students back on campus in September. In light of the government’s decision and pending further information, the ELC has decided to take the following steps: 

  1. We will cancel all 2021 on-campus programs this year except for ELPI September. Students registered in cancelled programs may transfer their fees or receive a 100% refund. 
  2. Our current plans for September need to be based on current conditions, which will hopefully improve over the next few months. These restrictions include students needing to undergo a 14-day self-isolation period upon arrival. To ensure the safety of all and the quality of our program, we will limit enrolment in September ELPI so that we can hold classes in larger rooms and have smaller class sizes if distancing requirements are still in place. Monthly English will not be offered until January 2022.
  3. We will be limiting registration in September ELPI and keeping a wait list so that as we are able to accept more students, they can be enrolled in order of application. We are taking this measure to minimize inconvenience to students, in the case that we are not able to increase numbers. 
  4. We will give a further update in May and will be able to give a clearer picture regarding program safety requirements once we have more information on the COVID restrictions in place at that time. This way, students have the most up-to-date information for their study status and can plan accordingly.

Please note that we expect on-campus studies in January 2022 to be completely back to normal for international students, so we strongly advise students to register for courses in 2022. Both Monthly English and ELPI will be offered from January 2022. We will continue to offer all our online programs so students who are concerned about safety and don’t want to travel yet still have an excellent option to study English with us. 

I am very sorry for the students who have had their programs cancelled and have not been able to travel in the past year. As things return to normal, I hope you will have the opportunity to travel again and we would be delighted to welcome you to our programs in Victoria in 2022.

Please take good care of yourselves and stay safe and well. The long dark tunnel of COVID is coming to an end!


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Read the University of Victoria’s update for international students

Updated: Feb. 10, 2021

Dear students and partners,

I hope you are all keeping well. With the new lunar year at hand, I’d like to wish you all a healthy, happy and prosperous Year of the Ox.

At the ELC, our winter online programs are all underway. We are happy to see more students joining the programs. It is wonderful to hear their positive feedback and see how much their English is improving.

As we wait for international travel to resume, we encourage all students to continue to pursue their studies virtually. By studying online, you will continue to build your English skills and work towards your goals. Once we are back to on-campus classes, we will continue to offer online programs. Students will then have the opportunity to come to Victoria, study online or take both types of programs. There are so many ways to learn and it is great to give students the flexibility to choose whether to study in Victoria or online. 

We hope to resume on-campus programs later this year. Currently, COVID numbers in Canada are starting to go down. To decrease the spread of COVID—especially the new more dangerous strains—Canada has implemented further travel restrictions. With vaccination clinics starting on a wider scale in March, the government is trying to keep everyone as healthy as possible until we can all be vaccinated. It has been projected that everyone in Canada will have access to the COVID vaccine by September. As more of the population is inoculated and as summer approaches, we expect travel restrictions to be eased and international students to be able to study with us on-campus once again. 

Due to safety concerns, the ELC will not offer on-campus classes through June 18, 2021. In April, once we have direction from the local health authorities and university, we will be making the decision about on-campus programs for the summer term. 

Happy Year of the Ox, everyone! I hope it brings us lots of good things, a return to safer communities, and a return to on-campus classes again.

Stay safe and healthy.


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: Jan. 13, 2021

Dear students and partners,

I hope 2021 will bring us all good things and in particular, good health and a return to on-campus classes at the English Language Centre. While it is very positive that COVID-19 vaccination plans have begun in many countries—including Canada—it is sad to see the number of COVID cases increasing in the world. Out of an abundance of caution, the English Language Centre has suspended on-campus classes until June 18, 2021. We want to be sure that our programs are safe and that when students return to Victoria, they can have the full experience of interacting with the local people and enjoying our beautiful city. We will assess the situation again in mid-April to decide if we can offer on-campus courses this summer. We are missing having students in Victoria so much, but as always, safety is the most important thing!

For students who have registered for on-campus classes that have been cancelled, please be assured that you will get a full refund of fees, be transferred to a future session, or be moved online (with the balance of fees settled). The choice is yours. Please see our website for a list of upcoming courses offered both on-campus and online.

I am looking forward to the day—I hope soon—when we no longer have to worry about COVID. It will be wonderful to welcome students back to Victoria but until then, ELC is here to help you meet your learning goals and to work with you to improve your English.

Stay safe and healthy.


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: Dec. 11, 2020

Dear students and partners,

As 2020 closes, we see some positive signs that on-campus instruction will resume in 2021. Canada has just started its vaccination program to stop the spread of COVID-19. It will be a huge undertaking to get everyone inoculated throughout the world. We are anxiously awaiting the results of the vaccine and how it will impact the return to face-to-face instruction at UVic and any safety processes that will need to remain in place. For now, the ELC is not offering on-campus classes in the January session and a decision will be made about April early in the new year. We are all hopeful regular international travel and studies in Canada will resume soon.

The university is approved as a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and currently students with student visas can enter Canada, but must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. We will update you if there are changes to this policy, and we have created an online resource with details about travel to Canada and self-isolation. As always, safety is our biggest priority.

For January, ELC classes will be offered online and all our programs will start Jan. 18 (with a registration deadline of Jan. 4). Please check our fees and dates page for more information. ELC online classes have proven to be very effective in helping students reach their learning goals, so we plan to continue to offer them even when on-campus classes resume. Many partners have discussed with us how online classes can help improve students’ English levels before they come to Victoria, so they can get the most out of their study abroad experience.

On behalf of all the ELC staff and teachers, I would like to wish all of our partners, students and friends a wonderful holiday season and I hope that 2021 will bring us health, safety and all good things. I look forward to welcoming students back to Victoria soon.


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: Nov. 5, 2020

Dear students and partners,

We are now seven months into the pandemic and the "second wave" seems to be striking many countries—I hope you are all staying healthy and safe. We are praying for all countries struck by COVID and for those affected by the recent earthquake in Turkey and Greece. On a positive note, there are still only a few COVID cases on Vancouver Island and we are all well at the English Language Centre. At the university, our new president, Kevin Hall, started this week. Everyone at the ELC looks forward to working with him to increase international education opportunities.

We still miss our on-campus students and are hoping for signs that travel will open up again in 2021. One encouraging sign is that the University of Victoria has been approved as a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) to receive international students with new study permits. This approval is based on UVic’s detailed Self-Isolation Program and processes. At this time, a 14-day self-isolation period remains in place and the majority of courses at UVic will be online through the January–April term. 

At the ELC, we have begun discussing how best to ensure the well-being of our students, teachers, staff, homestay families, cultural assistants and UVic colleagues once we are able to return to on-campus programming. Safety is our primary concern and we will not return to in-person classes until we can safely do so. We will continue to share updates with our institutional partners and agents as these on-campus program plans unfold.

For the January term, ELC programs will continue online—please check our fees and dates page for more information.

Stay safe and healthy!


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: Oct. 1, 2020

Dear students and partners,

Six months into the pandemic, we're finding that more and more students are deciding to study English online so that they can continue to pursue their academic and career goals. We continue to be very busy developing and delivering our online programs. They are going well and we have had excellent feedback from our students. Here is one student's comment from our August English for Global Communication(EGC) online course:

"It was really good experience to participate in EGC course providing by ELC. For any students who are thinking of studying abroad for the future and who are a little hesitant about studying abroad, this online program is a great program because people can easily participate in. The things they need is only PC and an internet connection, and also they could take classes suitable for their level because they take an English proficiency test before the program. I could learn English from interesting and various topics such as the problems of my country, introduction of recommended spots and problems of International marriage. I keep in touch with the other students after the program ends. I really recommend this program to students who wish to make overseas friends, to improve English skills and to live a fulfilling life."

– Mami, English for Global Communication, August 2020 

This feedback is so encouraging for us, but of course, we still miss our in-class students! 

The University of Victoria will be welcoming a new president in early November, and we expect that an announcement about returning to face-to-face classes will come from his office early in the New Year.

Stay safe and healthy!


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: Sept. 4, 2020

Dear students and partners,

It is with great regret (but not much surprise) that I must announce the ELC will continue its suspension of on-campus programming through to April 1, 2021. We will make decisions early in 2021 about the possibility of resuming face-to-face classes from April. Please know how much we miss having students in Victoria and we can’t wait to welcome you back as soon as it is safe to do so.

Until on-campus classes resume, the ELC is still here with online courses to assist students in reaching their goals by helping them to improve their English skills. We will be adding more program dates to the website soon, so please check back to see what courses are available in 2021. We are still offering the same great courses being taught by our wonderful teachers.

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy and that we will have a vaccine to end this terrible pandemic soon.

Stay safe and well in these difficult times!


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: Aug. 27, 2020

Dear students and partners,

I hope you are doing well and keeping safe. I was delighted to meet many of our English for Global Communication (EGC) students in our August program. Being online, we are now seeing students from both our traditional markets and quite a few from new markets. It is exciting to see students from different countries, getting a chance to meet and share their cultures. I was also pleased to hear from the EGC instructors how much the students' speaking skills improved over the four-week program.

The University will decide in late September whether we can hold face-to-face classes again in spring 2021. We will announce the decision as soon as it is confirmed, and in the meantime, we are encouraging students and partners to plan for online studies. Our wonderful teachers and staff are always ready to offer a warm welcome, whether you are studying online or on campus.

This is such a difficult time for so many of us, and I hope you are staying safe and well. I know many of you are having difficulties due to the pandemic, and my heart goes out to you. I hope there is a cure for COVID soon and that we can all travel again sometime in 2021.

Stay safe and well in these difficult times!


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: July 23, 2020

Dear students and partners,

We are missing the sound of our students’ voices at the English Language Centre and look forward to the time when it is safe for us to welcome international students back to Victoria. The university and BC Health Authorities will make a decision early in the fall about a return to face-to-face classes for the first term of 2021—this is in order to allow time for planning. 

We are still here to meet the English language education needs of our students and our online programs are going well. We are happy to announce that the promotional tuition of $695 for English for Global Communication (EGC) will be extended until the end of 2020. We will honour the promotional tuition cost for any EGC courses booked before the end of the year. The next course start dates are Aug. 4, Aug. 31, Jan. 4 and Feb. 8. Please note that the ELPI-O (10-week intensive academic program) promotional tuition of $2,645 ends July 31, so if you are interested, please book soon to get this special price. 

Through our online courses, you’ll see your English language skills improve. The courses are well laid out and easy to follow. Of course our teachers will be there to help guide you and give you feedback every step of the way. You’ll also meet other students from all over the world and have a chance to interact in the synchronous classes and during Café Social events.

I hope you and your families are staying safe and well in these difficult times.


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: June 25, 2020

Dear students and partners,

I hope you and your families are staying safe and well. To ensure the health and safety of our students, staff and the community, the ELC will not be holding face-to-face classes in the fall. We are hopeful we will be able to hold face-to-face classes in 2021. We expect to have confirmation from the university and Health Authorities early in the fall about our plans for 2021.

Students – we miss you!!!!

To help you reach your English language learning goals, our teachers have developed an amazing suite of online courses so you won’t fall behind in your studies. You will be able to improve your English and be a part of our learning community. Please see our website and videos for our four-week (40 hours) course English for Global Communication.

And our 10-week Academic program ELPI-O.

While the experience will be different, the exceptional quality of our programs remains. You will have the opportunity to meet with other international students and make friends. Our teachers and staff are here to help and guide you in your studies. 

Please stay safe and take care in these difficult times.


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: May 14, 2020

Dear students and partners,

To ensure the health and safety of our students, staff, and the community, ELC will not be holding face-to-face classes in the fall. We are deeply saddened that we cannot welcome you to Victoria in 2020 but look forward having students back on campus in 2021.

We don’t want you to fall behind in your English studies so would like to invite you to consider taking some of our online courses. While the experience will be different, the exceptional quality of our programs remains. You will still develop and improve your English and be part of a learning community. You will have the opportunity to meet with other international students and make friends. Our teachers and staff are here to help you meet your learning goals. Please see our website for more information on our online courses. Please stay safe and take care in these difficult times.


Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

Updated: April 21, 2020

Dear friends and partners,

We hope you are all staying healthy and safe during the COVID-19 crisis. At UVic, face-to-face instruction has been suspended until the fall which means all our summer face-to-face programs have been cancelled. We are sorry to disappoint students who planned to come to Victoria, but student safety is our highest priority. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and will be updating our website as things develop. For the latest COVID-19 UVic information, visit uvic.ca/covid-19

New – We are excited to launch ELC Connect, a new suite of online English language programs:

English for Global Communication

Aug. 4–28 (4 weeks / 40 hours)
Aug. 31–Sept. 25 (4 weeks / 40 hours)

5 levels offered

Tuition $695

Learn more

University Admissions Preparation Online

July 13–Aug. 21 (6 weeks / 100 hours)

Successful completion of this program meets the University of Victoria English language proficiency requirement. 

Tuition $3,200

Learn more


 Dr. Jackie Prowse, Director, and your friends at ELC

  • Posted April 4, 2022