Lake Louise

Explore Bursary – ESL

If you are a Canadian or permanent resident student who has been awarded the Explore bursary, build your speaking and listening skills in our five-week ESL intensive program. 

Choose a language:   English   Français

EXPLORE ESL Intensive Program

Join students from all over the world and build your speaking and listening skills in our 5-week EXPLORE Summer ESL Intensive Program. Our program is both challenging and fun, and aimed at students serious about improving their English accuracy and fluency. It consists of separate classes in General ESL, Literature Circle discussion groups, Pronunciation, and Vocabulary. Optional free and paid sociocultural activities are offered 2-3 times a week after classes or on weekends. 

Program highlights:

  • Emphasis on formal instruction in the morning and afternoon with highly-qualified instructors who specialize in teaching English as an additional language. 
  • Wide range of optional sociocultural and recreational activities 
  • Full immersion experience with opportunity to live with local families
  • International Program: study with students from all over the world

Example activities:

  • Day trip to the Canadian Badlands, Horsethief Canyon and Royal Tyrrell Museum
  • Optional day or overnight trips to Banff and Jasper National Parks available for purchase with additional fees

2024 Bursary includes:

  • English instruction, textbooks and hand-outs 
  • Free socio-cultural activities
  • Homestay accommodation*. Homestay includes:
    • A private furnished bedroom
    • Three meals a day (at least one prepared), 7 days a week
    • Laundry facilities for you to do your own laundry
    • Shared common areas (e.g. kitchen, living room)
    • Transportation to and from Homestay and the Calgary airport

               * Please contact the English Language Program office if homestay is not appropriate for you.

2024 Bursary does not include:

  • Transportation to/from Calgary
  • Transportation to the University, or in and around the city
  • Paid socio-cultural activities
  • Accommodation of special diets
  • Travel or health insurance (the University of Calgary does not provide health insurance for EXPLORE students. Please ensure that you are covered by your home province’s health care program)
  • Child care
  • Accommodation of children or spouse
  • Use of University of Calgary recreation facilities (recreation pass available for $25)

Note: This course is limited to Canadian and permanent resident part-time and full-time students who have been awarded the Council of Ministers of Education Canada (CMEC) EXPLORE bursary. In addition to an approved bursary, all EXPLORE students must pay a $275 application fee and a $150 deposit to register in this program. The application fee is non-refundable. The deposit is refundable to students who attend a minimum of four weeks. Participation is expected for the entire program (check your home institution's fall term dates before registering). 

For more information about the EXPLORE bursary, please visit

International students and Canadian citizens/permanent residents who have not been awarded a bursary should register in a Summer Intensive Course.

Summer I 2024 - ESL Intensive Program

June 24 - July 26


Summer I 2024 - Homestay Accommodation

June 22 - July 27


Summer II 2024 - ESL Intensive Program

July 29 - August 30


Summer II 2024 - Homestay Accommodation

July 27 - August 31



$275: Non-refundable application fee 
$150: Refundable deposit*

*Students who attend a minimum of four weeks will have their deposit refunded


EXPLORE bursary recipients who are 17 years of age or older, have completed high school, and have a beginner to advanced level of English by the program start date.

How to Register

Class Schedule

Monday to Friday

Mon-Thu: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
                 1 – 3:30 p.m.
Friday:      9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and some afternoons

Optional sociocultural activities are offered 2-3 times a week after classes or on weekends. 

Sample Timetable

Sample timetable pdf

There were fun activities and really nice instructors. I was learning while having fun. They helped me to love studying.


Yahya from Quebec, Canada

Banff Gondola

Summer Activity Programs

July – August

Activities include hiking, sports, guided tours and trips to Banff, Lake Louise, Columbia Ice Field and Jasper.

Learn More


The University of Calgary does not award degree credit for the Explore program. However, it is possible that students may receive credit from their home institutions. Contact your home institution directly to find out if this is possible and what Explore program documents you will need (e.g. student assessment, certificate of participation, course outlines, etc.). The student is entirely responsible for all inquiries and arrangements regarding credits. 

Students will receive a certificate and student assessment at the end of the program.