5 Idioms to Practise While You Study English in Canada

 Is it a piece of cake, or did she bite off more than she can chew?
Is it a piece of cake, or did she bite off more than she can chew?

Ready to move all the way over to Canada, hit the books, and maybe give up your native language cold turkey during your studies? Worried that if you do, you’ll have bitten off more than you can chew?

Don’t worry, it’ll be a piece of cake!

Not sure what any of these English idioms mean? Idioms are expressions that are commonly used in writing and speech. However, while native speakers know the meaning of the words in these expressions, it can be confusing to understand their significance from their words alone—especially for students still learning the language.

Read on to learn the meanings behind some of the most popular English idioms you’ll hear during your studies.

1. Hit the Books While You Study English in Canada

When someone says hit the books, they don’t want you to actually hit your textbooks. That would hurt! What they really mean is study. And, as a student, you’ll be doing plenty of studying as you learn a second language during your ESL program in Canada.

A CultureWorks student ‘hitting the books.’
A CultureWorks student ‘hitting the books.’

2. Go Cold Turkey: A Strange English Idiom You’ll Learn at ESL School

A turkey is a type of bird that lives in Canada’s wilderness, and as you may have already noticed, it can get very cold during the winter. However, these two bits of information actually have nothing to do with the meaning behind this expression. In fact, this idiom actually means to quit something suddenly. For instance, a smoker might quit smoking cigarettes cold turkey. Another example might be if you decide to only speak in English during your studies, then you’d quit speaking your native language cold turkey.

3. Don’t Bite off More than You Can Chew at English as a Second Language School!

Let’s imagine that you were eating a tasty meal—like a warm poutine or pancakes with maple syrup. In your excitement, you might stuff a huge fork full of your food into your mouth. Unfortunately, it’s too much and now you can’t chew it.

That’s what English speakers mean when they warn you to not bite off more than you can chew. But this idiom doesn’t only apply to food—in fact, it rarely does. It usually means that you’re taking too many classes, committing to too many extracurricular activities, or taking on more responsibility than you can handle. It’s always best to avoid biting off more than you can chew during your English studies.

4. Learn a Rule of Thumb at ESL School in Canada

What is a rule of thumb and why would you ever need to know one? Fortunately, when someone says that something is a rule of thumb, they don’t really mean that it’s a rule made for thumbs, or by thumbs.

Instead, what they mean is that it’s a common rule that everyone follows. For example, in Canada, professionals applying for work will typically show up to their job interviews approximately 15 minutes early. This is not a law, nor a requirement that they must follow. However, it’s a practice or guide that most people adhere to—a rule of thumb.

5. Piece of Cake: A Popular Food-Related English Idiom

This is another popular idiom you might hear while you study English. When someone says something will be a piece of cake, they don’t really mean that it’ll be a tasty dessert.

What they do mean is that it’ll be easy and fun, just like eating a piece of cake. For instance, if a friend tells you that having the support and help of an instructor makes learning English feel like a piece of cake, what they’re saying is that it’s an enjoyable and fun experience.

Want to discover other popular English idioms while you study at an English as a second language school?

Don’t forget to ask your instructors! At CultureWorks, our friendly instructors will be more than happy to answer your questions.

Taking English Courses for Carleton University? 3 Fun Facts About Canada’s Capital!

English Courses for Carleton University

Are you thinking about studying English in Canada’s capital city? If so, then you’re in luck! Ottawa is a unique city with a rich culture and many top sites to visit. From the Rideau Canal—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—to the beautiful Parliament buildings, there’s always something to do while you study at the CultureWorks Ottawa campus. And, there are plenty of opportunities to practice your English too.

Read on to find out a few fun facts about Ottawa, and learn about some of the city’s unique festivals and shows—ones you’ll likely get the chance to see during your studies.

1. Students Skate along the Rideau Canal to Get to Their English courses for Carleton University

If you decide to take English courses for Carleton University, you might notice something unique during the winter: some students skate to school.

During the cold winter months, the Rideau Canal, which is located right alongside the Carleton University campus, freezes and becomes one long skating rink. In fact, the Rideau Canal is considered to be one of the longest skating rinks in the world at 7.8km.

This scenic route becomes a top tourist attraction, but it is a part of local life too. Just like the students who use the canal to make their way to Carleton University, many Ottawa citizens also skate along the canal to get to work.

CultureWorks students skate on the Rideau Canal during the winter.
CultureWorks students skate on the Rideau Canal during the winter.

2. Students at ESL School in Canada Can Enjoy a Sound and Light Show on Canada’s Parliament Buildings

When we say that you can enjoy a sound and light show on Canada’s Parliament Buildings, we mean it. During the summer, a beautiful light show is projected right onto Canada’s Parliament Buildings.

You can see the show in action in this short preview:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNbQKh-WDcw]The sound and light show, which is offered in both of Canada’s official languages, takes place during the summer months. However, if you arrive in September, you might be able to catch one of the season’s last breathtaking shows.

3. Ottawa’s Tulip Festival Began as a Thank You Gift from the Netherlands After WWII

In the month of May, Canada’s capital city comes into full bloom at the annual tulip festival, where thousands of beautiful tulips blossom. If you love flowers, this is one event you’ll want to experience while you study English as a second language for Carleton University.

The story behind the tulip festival is a heartwarming one. During World War II, Canada welcomed members of the Dutch royal family who needed a safe home during the war. During her stay in Canada, Princess Juliana gave birth to Princess Margriet. The Canadian government temporarily declared the Ottawa Civic Hospital an international territory in order for Princess Margriet to keep her Dutch citizenship.

As a thank you for Canada’s hospitality and kind gesture, the Netherlands sent thousands of tulip bulbs after the war. The Netherlands has continued to send tulips every year since—creating the world famous festival.

Do you want to attend an ESL school in Canada?

Find out how you could study at the CultureWorks Ottawa campus, or at one of our many other campuses.

How to Enroll in an Intensive English Program in Canada

intensive English programEveryone knows that applying to university can be a little tricky. But, applying to a university that’s located in another country can be very stressful! There are language classes to book, university applications to fill out, and study permits to apply for—that’s a lot to keep track of!

Fortunately, English as a Second Language (ESL) programs like CultureWorks are there to help you every step of the way. And, if you need extra help getting started on your study abroad application, read on for a guide to applying to ESL school in Canada.

Search for a Reputable Intensive English Program in Canada

The first step to studying English in Canada is to find the right ESL program for you. What should you look for in an ESL school? To start with, you’ll want to find a program with friendly and experienced instructors. You’ll also want your program to include:

  • A friendly and welcoming learning environment
  • Fun activities that let you explore Canada
  • Electives that teach you program-specific vocabulary
CultureWorks students try out curling – a popular sport in Canada!
CultureWorks students try out curling – a popular sport in Canada!

And, if you’re lucky, you’ll even be able to find an ESL program that’s located right on your future university campus – making it easier for you to transition into university life in Canada!

Create an Online Account With Your ESL School

Once you’ve chosen the intensive English program you’d like to attend, the next step is creating an account to start the application process. At CultureWorks, for example, students create an online account which helps them keep track of their application checklist. To create your account, you’ll need to enter your email address and create a password. Then, you’ll also need to include:

  • Your education history
  • Whether you are applying for ESL + undergraduate studies, ESL + graduate studies, or ESL only
  • The university and program you would like to study after ESL school

Choose The University and Program You Would Like to Study

ESL schools like CultureWorks help you complete your application to university. That’s why when you apply to CultureWorks, you’ll be asked to choose your university and program. CultureWorks will then send your application to the university for you.

Here’s a diagram that illustrates the process:

Once you’re accepted into CultureWorks, you’ll also gain conditional acceptance into university.
Once you’re accepted into CultureWorks, you’ll also gain conditional acceptance into university.

Obtain a Valid Permit to Study English in Canada

To attend an intensive English program in Canada, you will need a valid study permit. To be eligible for a Canadian study permit, you’ll need to prove that you don’t have a criminal record, you’re in good health, and you have enough money to cover your tuition and living expenses.

To find out which documents you’ll need for your application, visit the official government website.

Application processing times can take several weeks depending on your country of origin. It’s important to double check the application processing time for your country—and make sure that you don’t start the process at the last minute!

Still need more information about applying to study English in Canada?

Visit our website to learn more about our ESL program, and find out how you can get started!

Take ESL for Brescia University: Canada’s Only Women’s University

ESL for Brescia University

If you’re a woman and are interested in studying health sciences, management, food science and technology, kinesiology, psychology and more, then you might want to study at Brescia – Canada’s only women’s university.

As Canada’s only women’s university, Brescia offers an education unlike any other. Here’s a look at just some of the benefits that come with attending this top university, and why it just might be the perfect fit for you.

A Learning Environment Designed For Women

According to a recent study by UCLA, women learn best in an all-female environment. According to their findings, women who studied in a single-sex environment were more likely to:

  • feel confident about their math and computer skills
  • become leaders
  • achieve higher grades

Part of the reason for this higher achievement is that all-women universities can design their curriculums to best suit the learning needs of women. In addition, the inclusive and friendly environment of an all-women environment helps students feel comfortable expressing themselves, their opinions, and their insights.

Here’s a look at what Brescia students love best about studying in an all-women environment:

video: player.vimeo.com/video/47606787

[vimeo 47606787 w=500 h=281]Brescia teaches female learners from Brescia Bold on Vimeo.


Students Taking ESL for Brescia University Find a Supportive Community

As you take ESL for Brescia University, you’ll get to study at the CultureWorks London, Ontario campus – which is a co-ed learning environment. That supportive learning environment will help you learn the English you’ll need to succeed in a university environment.

That means that you’ll get to learn English right on your future university campus – making it even easier to make a smooth transition to university once you’ve completed your English as a second language program.

CultureWorks students enjoy a potluck together right on the Brescia University campus
CultureWorks students enjoy a potluck together right on the Brescia University campus

And, as Brescia students soon discover, their university will also offer a small, close-knit and welcoming learning environment – perfect for meeting new friends, expressing your ideas, and completing your university education.

A Campus Connected to Western University

For students who want the best of both worlds, there’s one more advantage that comes with going to Brescia: it’s affiliated with Western University. Western University is one of Canada’s biggest universities, consistently ranked among the top schools in the country with extensive campus facilities.

This means that Brescia students can take co-ed courses on the Huron and King’s campuses – as well as on Western’s main university campus. In addition, students have access to Western’s state-of-the-art gym and other facilities.

Students who graduate from Brescia receive a prestigious Western University diploma.

Learn to Lead Through ESL for Brescia University

Leadership is an important part of a Brescia education. Just how important is it? At Brescia, students can major in leadership studies with the Dimensions of Leadership program. Through this course, students learn how to become the leaders of tomorrow by learning the following:

  • theories of leadership
  • philosophical foundations of leadership
  • leadership skills and development
  • profiles of women in leadership roles
  • communication skills
  • business and political leadership

In addition to that classroom knowledge, students also develop hands-on leadership experience through their placement at a local community organization.

Do you want to take English courses for Brescia University?

Discover how CultureWorks can help you learn English for university by visiting our website or speaking with one of our friendly advisors.