Starting the School Year Right: 4 Tips for ESL Students

Students at the opening ceremonies at the London CultureWorks campus.
Students at the opening ceremonies at the London CultureWorks campus.

For ESL students, back to school is a busy time of year. If you’re starting an intensive English program this September, then you’ll be learning a new language, experiencing a new culture, and maybe even moving away from home for the first time. That can feel like a lot to handle all at once!

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can make a smooth transition back to school this fall. From getting to know your campus, to making new friends, there are plenty of strategies you can use to start the school year off right.

Read on to learn six tips you can use this September to make the most of your ESL education!

1. Get Involved in Activities and Clubs at Your ESL School

Finding ways to make new friends in your ESL program is step number one to getting settled in, feeling comfortable, and making contacts you can practise English with.

One of the best ways to meet new people is to get involved with student clubs and activities. Intensive English programs like CultureWorks offer plenty of activities, volunteer programs, and student-led events. All of these extra-curricular activities help you meet new people – from other students learning English, to locals who are eager to make new friends from around the world.

CultureWorks students can participate in many different activities like cooking classes.
CultureWorks students can participate in many different activities like cooking classes.

2. Get to Know Your Campus

At CultureWorks, students get to live and study right on their future university campus. That means that the libraries, student buildings, and other facilities you use now will also be available to you once you begin your degree program.

To get a head start on this school year as well as your future university education, try and take some time to get to know your campus. Take a campus tour, or explore the grounds on your own to learn where club rooms, student residences, libraries, labs and lecture halls are.

Student lounges are a great place for CultureWorks students to relax after class
Student lounges are a great place for CultureWorks students to relax after class

3. Write About Your Study Abroad Experience in a Journal

As you complete your English as a second language program in Canada, you’ll make many memories that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. From meeting new people to visiting beautiful Canadian sites, there are plenty of rewarding experiences that come with studying abroad.

To help you practise your English and keep those memories fresh, consider keeping a journal. Not only will keeping a journal help you remember exciting trips and fun times with friends, but you’ll also get to practise writing in English. Over time, you’ll also see how much your English has improved.

4. Make a Schedule

Learning a second language in an intensive English program is hard work. To help you manage your time, try downloading an app like Timeful or Focus Booster. Time management apps help remind you of important due dates for assignments, as well as how much time you need to set aside for studying.

You can also use an agenda or good old fashioned calendar to write up your study schedule if you don’t have a smartphone.

What other advice do you have for making a strong start at ESL school in Canada this September?