4 Reasons ESL Students Take English Courses for Durham College

CultureWorks grads get ready to start their university studies at Durham College.
CultureWorks grads get ready to start their university studies at Durham College.

CultureWorks is partnered with 6 top quality Canadian universities. Once our students successfully complete their English language program, they get accepted to one of these universities and can start their degree program right away. But how do you know which university is right for you?

A few weeks ago, we shared some of the advantages of choosing our partner, Carleton University. Here’s a look at another one of our amazing partner schools, Durham College, and 4 reasons why it could be your top choice for post-secondary studies in Canada!

1. Durham College Offers the Latest Training in Business & Engineering

At Durham college, programs are market-focused, which means that they are carefully researched and adapted to fit new trends in engineering, business, and other fields. Each program is designed to prepare students for jobs that are currently in demand. That’s why Durham college graduates find work quickly after graduation. In fact, 85.1% of recent grads found work just 6 months after graduating!

And, if you already have a degree like a Bachelor’s in Science, Durham offers fast track diplomas in Electronics Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Environmental Technology and more that can take as little as one year to complete.

Elective courses in ESL programs like CultureWorks ensure students are prepared for business and engineering courses at Durham College. We make sure you learn the special English vocabulary and academic skills you will need to succeed during your degree.

2. Study English on a Beautiful Campus in an Ideal Location

Durham College has two campuses in Oshawa and Whitby that are packed with amazing facilities. These campuses offer a welcoming small town Canadian atmosphere, and for city-loving students, Toronto is just a short drive away.

Durham College campus in Oshawa, Ontario
Durham College campus in Oshawa, Ontario

At Durham, you can enjoy amazing local food at Bistro ‘67, study in the spacious Learning Commons, or explore the vast collection of Durham’s library.

You can also stay fit while you study English by visiting Durham’s 28,000-sq.-ft. triple gym, 10,000-sq.-ft. fitness centre, or two squash courts. Durham College even has an indoor golf range where you can practise your golf swing!

CultureWorks students play soccer on the Durham College campus
CultureWorks students play soccer on the Durham College campus

3. Durham College Offers Support & Guidance to International Students

Studying in a new country and in a new language can be intimidating! That’s why Durham College offers plenty of support services for international students. From the moment you step on campus, Durham’s staff provides you orientation, academic, and career support.

And if you’re the first in your family to go to university, Durham even offers special assistance programs to make sure you succeed in your studies and make a smooth transition to university life.

4. Durham Offers a Memorable Experience from ESL School to University

Part of the fun that comes with studying abroad is getting to meet new friends, enjoy new experiences, and make memories that will last a lifetime.

From your first days at the CultureWorks ESL school at Durham, to your first term as a student at the college – you’ll find this is the perfect place to earn a degree while exploring the best of Canadian culture!

Would you like to take English courses for Durham College? Why not visit our website and find out how CultureWorks can help you get there.


4 Journal Writing Ideas to Help you Study English

English program

Intensive ESL programs like CultureWorks are all about teaching students the English skills they need to get into a Canadian university – and a big part of that preparation is mastering writing in English.

At first, you might start off writing simple paragraphs or working on your sentence structure in Level 1 at CultureWorks. But, by level 7, you’ll have progressed to the point where you can write case studies, academic papers, and research projects – all in English!

While you’ll get plenty of opportunity to study English in class, the best way to improve is by using your skills outside of class too. By keeping a journal, you can store fun memories, brainstorm new ideas while on-the-go, and practise new vocabulary and grammar. On top of that, a journal makes a nice keepsake to help you remember your adventures while studying in Canada.

Here are four journal writing ideas to help get you started!

1. Record your Experiences during your Intensive English Program in Canada

A journal can be a great place for you to write about new experiences. You can write about a fun trip to Niagara Falls, the first time you tried poutine (and loved it, of course!), or about the new friends you meet and the fun times you have together.

Intensive English program in Canada

2. Practise Your Vocabulary with Constrained Writing Exercises

You’ll learn a wide range of new vocabulary in your intensive English program. To help those words stick in your long-term memory, try using them in your journal.

One way to do this is through constrained writing exercises. Constrained writing means that you give yourself specific rules to follow – like writing one paragraph that includes all of the words “lion, coffee cup, and adventure”. Challenge yourself by using the words you just learned in class, or ask a friend to give you words and see what fun stories you come up with together!

3. Study English on-the-go by Carrying Your Journal with You

You’ll have plenty to do while you complete your intensive English program in Canada. Classes, trips, and study sessions will mean that you’ll often be on-the-go, exploring your new campus, city, and meeting up with friends.

Try bringing your journal with you – or by keeping your journal online on a private blog or app. That way, if you have a few minutes to write during your day, or suddenly have an idea that you don’t want to forget, you can jot it down in your journal. Making writing in English a regular part of your daily routine will help you build your skills and your confidence more quickly.

Study English

4. Get Your Creative Juices Flowing With the Help of a Writing Prompt

Sometimes we get writer’s block and it feels impossible to come up with new ideas to write about. It happens to everybody, so don’t worry! If you’re feeling stuck, then try out a writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing again.

Plenty of websites offer suggestions. In fact, here are some great ones from the New York Times that you can try out today:

“Do you want to be a space tourist? Why or why not?”

“What superpower do you wish you had?”

“What was your most precious childhood possession?”

Start simple, with just a few sentences – then progress to longer more descriptive paragraphs to test your skills. Show your writing to your English instructor for feedback, corrections, and helpful tips.

What other activities do you do to study English while preparing for university in Canada?

7 Quick Tips to Help You Study English

 ESL program in Canada
A CultureWorks student works on an English assignment at the computer lab

Students planning to pursue a university degree in Canada must be prepared for every aspect of post-secondary life, like attending lectures, studying, speaking up in class, and going out with new friends.

Luckily, there are a few tricks that can help you prepare for these challenges quickly, get the most out of your English classes, and settle into your new surroundings more easily.

Read on to find out some of our top tips to help you study English in Canada.

1.     Ask Your ESL Instructors Questions

In CultureWorks classrooms, instructors are always happy to answer questions, because they understand that the more students ask, the more quickly they learn new English skills.

So don’t be afraid to speak up whenever you’re not sure about something.  All of our instructors have traveled and lived in other countries, so they know exactly how hard it can be to adapt to a new language and new city. They will ensure you get the help you need to reach your learning goals.

English as a second language program
CultureWorks instructors work with students one-on-one in class

2.     Get Social with Native English Speakers

The best way to study English is to speak it as much as you can. Because CultureWorks programs take place directly on the campus of your chosen university, you will get the chance to explore the university, and socialize with other students. Meeting native English speakers will help you improve your conversation skills, while you have fun and make new friends.

3.     Get to Know Canada as You Improve Your English

As part of our program, CultureWorks organizes trips to famous Canadian tourist attractions, and activities like skiing, rafting and hiking. We do this to help students feel more comfortable in their new community, make friends, and get talking in English with local residents.

When you feel at home, you are more likely to take a chance and talk to someone new in English.

Study English
CultureWorks students try out Curling (a favourite Canadian sport) at a local athletics centre

4.     Use Technology to Help Strengthen Your English Studies

Students pursuing an English as a second language program can improve their skills outside of class with the help of technology. There are some great apps for your phone that will help. Duolingo, Storehouse, and SpeakingPal all offer fun exercises and are easy to use while you’re on the go.

5.     Watch English Language Movies and TV Shows

Try watching your favorite movie in English, without subtitles, or tune into local TV. Hearing English at home regularly will help with comprehension and grammar, and make you feel more comfortable conversing in your new language.

6.     Read and Write in English as Much as You Can

Keep a journal in English of your experience at ESL school in Canada, and read English news articles. Text your friends in English and write English social media posts. Your grammar, vocabulary and spelling will quickly get better.

English as a second language program
A CultureWorks student works on a writing assignment at the London, Ontario campus

7.     Make your ESL Program Fun by Studying Subjects You Enjoy

Learning English is easier when you’re studying something you’re interested in.  CultureWorks offers elective programs where you can learn language skills for the degree of your choice, such as engineering or mathematics, as well as fun classes on current events and Canadian culture.

Are you looking for an ESL program in Canada?

Visit CultureWorks for more information about our courses.


Top Places to Visit While You Study English in Canada

CultureWorks students visit beautiful Rouge Hill in Oshawa, Ontario
CultureWorks students visit beautiful Rouge Hill in Oshawa, Ontario

CultureWorks organises trips to famous Canadian landmarks because it’s such a great way for students to learn about Canada’s history and culture, while practising their English skills.

Whether you love history, the arts, or getting outside to enjoy Canada’s beautiful natural landscape – our list of top places to visit in Ontario has something for everyone!

Visit the Famous Niagara Falls while you Study English in Canada

Out of all of Canada’s top tourist sites, Niagara Falls is among the most famous – and with good reason. It’s among the tallest in the world, and as much as two million litres of glistening green water flows over its edge every second!

CultureWorks students get to visit this iconic Canadian landmark that attracts about 12 million tourists every year.

CultureWorks students get close to the falls on a class trip
CultureWorks students get close to the falls on a class trip

Marvel at the CN Tower: an Engineering Wonder of the Modern World

If you visit Toronto, you’ll get to see the world-famous CN Tower. You can’t miss it. It’s one of the tallest towers in the world! Visitors can eat dinner and see amazing views of the city from the revolving restaurant at the top of the tower, and look down over 450 metres through its spooky glass floor.

The CN Tower lit up at night against the Toronto skyline
The CN Tower lit up at night against the Toronto skyline

Students at ESL Schools in Ottawa can Skate along the Rideau Canal

If you decide to enroll in an ESL school in Ottawa, then you’ll get to see one of the most famous canals in Canada – the Rideau Canal. Every winter, cold weather causes the canal’s water to freeze and thousands of people skate along it. There are places to stop for hot chocolate and other tasty treats along the way, and Canadians will often spend hours enjoying the view and the fun of ice-skating along the 202 kilometre waterway.

CultureWorks students on a skating trip in Ottawa
CultureWorks students on a skating trip in Ottawa

Practise Your Listening Skills at the Stratford Festival in Ontario

Attending a play in Stratford, Ontario is the perfect way for CultureWorks students to practise their English comprehension skills while enjoying some world-class theatre.

Every summer, the tiny town of Stratford fills up with theater enthusiasts from around the globe who come to see its famous drama festival. Catch some of the best productions of Shakespeare, or see one of the many musicals or modern plays also included in each year’s line-up.

Visit Thousand Islands and Discover the Tragic Story of Boldt Castle

As you study English as a second language in Canada, you should be sure to visit the famous Thousand Islands. Located in a small stretch of the St. Lawrence between the cities of Kingston and Brockville, Thousand Islands is a small cluster over 1, 800 little islands.

Try and spot the heart-shaped island with Boldt Castle – which was built by the millionaire George C. Boldt for his beloved wife. Construction of the castle began in 1900, but when Boldt’s wife suddenly died just a few months before it was finished, Boldt refused to complete the project. Student can tour this magnificent castle while enjoying beautiful views of the river.

Boldt Castle on the banks of the St. Lawrence River
Boldt Castle on the banks of the St. Lawrence River


Which famous Canadian landmark will you visit first when you study English in Canada?