Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) Program

Study English at Laurier

The Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program is an academic English program for applicants to Laurier who must provide evidence of English proficiency. As a student in the LEAF program, you will learn from certified, highly qualified English as a second language (ESL) instructors who have experience teaching in Canada and around the world.

LEAF will prepare you for success in your undergraduate program by helping you adapt to the academic culture at Laurier and to life in Canada. You'll also complete a course for academic credit, meaning you'll start your undergraduate program having already completed a course towards your degree.

You can also learn more by reading our top five reasons to study in the LEAF program.

Program Structure

There are two 14-week terms (fall and winter) and two eight-week intensive terms (spring and summer) in the LEAF program each calendar year. The 14-week terms are the same length and run at the same time as our undergraduate terms, allowing you to interact with both domestic and international students at Laurier while you experience university life in Canada. In LEAF Level 5, you also complete an academic course for credit.

2023 Terms

  • Winter: January 3 – April 14
  • Spring: April 24 – June 16
  • Summer: June 26 – August 18 
  • Fall: September 5 – December 21

Ready to apply to LEAF? See the application options.

Languages Canada logo

The LEAF program is accredited by Languages Canada, Canada's national language education association.

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"I would highly recommend the LEAF program to any student struggling to improve their English communication skills as well as looking to improve and develop strong study habits to succeed in university."

Jam (Yingjian) Liao, China, Business Administration (BBA) and Math (BMath) with UW


Your courses will focus on developing your English-language skills as well as the skills you'll need to be successful in your undergraduate program, like participating in group discussions and group work, managing your time to meet assignment deadlines, practicing English outside of the classroom and reflecting on your learning.

LEAF Levels

There are five levels to the LEAF program, each intended to increase your English proficiency. Upon application to an undergraduate program, or direct application to the LEAF program, you will submit an English-proficiency score from one of our accepted tests to to determine which of our 5 levels you will start in.

When you successfully complete a level of the LEAF program, you will progress to the next level. When you successfully finish level 5, which includes completing a course for credit that can be used towards your degree program at Laurier, you have met Laurier’s English proficiency requirements.


Your courses will focus on developing your English-language skills in listening and speaking, reading and vocabulary, and writing and research. These skills will help you with your coursework in the program as you learn essay writing, listening to lectures, reading academic texts and understanding university vocabulary. Additional courses in critical thinking and global engagement help to expand your learning and further prepare you for your undergraduate program.

In level 5, you'll take an undergraduate-level course for academic credit. This course is taught by a Laurier professor from our Faculty of Liberal Arts on the Brantford campus and consists of a weekly lecture. If you take this course in the fall or winter terms, you'll be able to enrol with other Laurier undergraduate students. Successfully completing this course means you'll earn credits towards your undergraduate degree before starting your undergraduate program, while also fulfilling the requirements of the LEAF program.

Student Experience

As a student in the LEAF program, you have access to a variety of student supports and services to help you excel at your studies, stay informed on immigration regulations, stay safe and healthy, and engage with the Laurier community. And you're a Laurier student so you'll have access to the amenities and activities available to all Laurier students.

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"Studying in the LEAF program was an important part of my student journey. The LEAF program helped me to learn about Canadian culture and to get to know how the education system works in Canada. […] I’m really thankful for the program because it helped prepare me for my first year of my undergraduate studies in general."

Sonaina Chopra, Pakistan, Biology and Psychology with a research specialization

Brantford Campus

You'll study in the LEAF program at Laurier’s Brantford campus, a small and friendly campus located in the heart of downtown Brantford. The campus is integrated into the downtown core of the city, giving you the opportunity to practice your English by interacting with locals in the community as well as other Laurier students.

Learn more about the Brantford campus and explore the campus with our on-demand guided virtual tour.


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