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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

The LEAF program provides training in academic English to help prepare you for your future undergraduate  studies at Laurier. The LEAF program also helps you to adapt to life in Canada and the academic culture at Laurier.

Our Approach to the Fall 2021 Term

For the fall 2021 term, all classes will be delivered online. This means you can attend classes from anywhere in the world, and instructors will be available to provide support and guidance no matter where you are.

You also have the option of traveling to campus for the fall term. If you do travel to campus, your classes will still be online but you'll have access to several in-person options in the LEAF program:

  • In-person presentations and group discussions with classmates.
  • 1:1 assignment feedback and English interviews with teachers.
  • Academic writing support appointments.
  • Hard copies of learning materials.

You will also have the option to live in residence if you come to campus, as well as participate in available in-person student events and services. To arrive safely and meet the government-mandated quarantine requirements, you will need to complete the Safe Arrival, Travel and Quarantine (STAQ) program.


As a student in the LEAF program, you will learn from certified, highly qualified ESL instructors who have experience teaching in Canada and around the world. Small class sizes mean you’ll get to know your instructors as well as your classmates as you progress through your studies.

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.

Laurier is planning a return to campus for the fall 2021 term, with a mix of remote, hybrid and in-person learning as well as a robust set of student services and activities. For the latest updates, refer to our coronavirus information page.

For the fall 2021 term, all classes, assessments and exams in the LEAF program will be delivered virtually. This provides students with the option of studying in the LEAF program at Laurier or from home.

LEAF program students who travel to Laurier for the fall term will have the opportunity to engage in in-person activities and events, as well as the option to live in residence. 

All LEAF program students will have access to student services that will support their academic experience and success. 

For more information on the LEAF program for the fall 2021 term, please email

LEAF Program Levels

Before you start the LEAF program, submit your most recent IELTS or TOEFL score to to determine which of our 5 levels you will start in.

English Proficiency Test Scores to LEAF Program Levels
Your IELTS Score Your TOEFL Score Your Duolingo Score LEAF Program Level in Which You Will Start
6.0 65 114 - 105 5
5.5 50 104 - 95 4
5.0 35 94 - 85 3

See the complete list of accepted tests of English proficiency and minimum score requirements.

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 and a weekly tutorial. 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.

LEAF Program Term Dates

You can start your studies in the LEAF program in any one of the following four terms:

  • Spring 2021: April 26 to June 18 (virtual delivery only)
  • Summer 2021: June 28 to Aug. 20 (virtual delivery only)
  • Fall 2021: Sept. 13 to Dec. 22 (virtual delivery only)
  • Winter 2022: Jan. 5 to April 15

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.

Academic Support

Your course instructors are always happy to meet with you to answer any questions you have about your coursework and assignments. Each instructor will tell you how you can make an appointment to speak with them when you start your courses.

You can also schedule an appointment with the Learning Skills and Development department, which offers writing support and study skills support specifically for English-language learners. 

International Student Support

Laurier International and the International Student Support team are your resources for support on immigration needs and questions, like renewing your study permit and ensuring you have the correct visas and travel documents.

Staff at Laurier International also host orientation programming for new LEAF program students as well as information sessions and transition programming when you're in level 5 and getting ready for your undergraduate program. 

Health and Wellness

As a LEAF program student, you will have health insurance coverage through, a leading provider of international student health insurance. Health insurance coverage is required for all students studying in Canada. Your health insurance will provide coverage for medical needs, such as doctor's appointments, as well as coverage for prescriptions and visits to the dentist. 

As a Laurier student, you will also have access to the Student Wellness Centre, which provides services to support your physical health, mental wellbeing, financial wellness and safety needs. You will also have access to the Laurier Brantford YMCA, which as a fitness centre, aquatics centre, multiple studios for fitness classes and more.

As an international student, you will have free access to the My Student Support Program (MySSP) app. Through the app, you can access wellness supports in multiple languages through text and live chat functions, as well as read support articles on a variety of topics like managing stress, how to eat healthy, coping with homesickness and more. The app is available on Apple and Android.

Student Events and Activities

We know that your academic succes is important to you and we want to help you meet your goals and succeed at Laurier. But there are also opportunities expand your student experience outside of the classroom. 

Staff in the LEAF program plan regular events and activities throughout the year where you can meet other students, make new friends, and experience the local community and culture. Past events have included trips to Niagara Falls, visiting an outdoors facility where maple syrup is made, movie nights and drop-in lunches. 

We also celebrate the diverse cultures and backgrounds of the students at Laurier with cultural celebrations, such as Lunar New Year, Diwali and our annual Multicultural Gala.

And to help you buid your English-language skills outisde of the classroom, we developed the Hawk 2 Hawk English Conversation Project, which pairs you with another Laurier student for weekly conversations. This program allows you to practice your English skills while meeting someone new and sharing about your cultural backgrounds and experiences. 


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