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Seneca students

English Language Institute

The English Language Institute (ELI) is an intensive, full time ESL program designed for international students who want to improve their English language skills for personal, academic or professional reasons. ELI students are a real part of Seneca College. They take their classes, eat lunch, socialize and take part in activities with the other 5,000 students at our Newnham Campus. Visit our Seneca International page to learn more about free airport pickup, housing assistance and all our fantastic International student services.

What makes ELI unique?

You can:

  • start your classes with confidence after our 4-day orientation program that includes a welcome BBQ, campus tour, city tour, and several information sessions.
  • bring your TOEIC ® score with you.
  • study English and Seneca courses for credit at the same time.
  • graduate directly from the ELI into your Seneca program (no additional IELTS/TOEFL/PTE score needed).
  • improve your English faster in our world famous language computer labs which are also available over the internet, 24/7.
  • study extra English for free every evening with ELI professors; improve your grammar, writing, speaking and pronunciation.
  • take exciting trips in and out of Toronto with professors and international staff. Visit Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa, New York, Niagara Falls and more!
  • be part of a big College and can use all of Seneca’s facilities and resources like our gym, computer labs, fitness centre, libraries, health centre, cafeterias and coffee shops, book store, student lounges and more.


  • There are 8 levels in the ELI.
  • Levels 1 to 7 are seven weeks each.
  • Level 8 is seven weeks in March, May, July or November (we call this SHORT 8) or 14 weeks in January, May or September (we call this LONG 8).
  • In May you have a choice between Short 8 or Long 8.
  • There are 6 start dates per year: January, March, May, July, September and November.
  • The placement test is the TOEIC® test. Take the test at Seneca or bring your existing score.
  • You study 25 hours per week, Monday - Friday. See sample schedule here.
  • In Levels 6, 7 and 8, you can study English and Seneca subjects for credit at the same time.
  • When you finish Level 8, you can enter into your Seneca program without another English test if you have a conditional admission to your program.

The English Language Institute is an officially approved program of Languages Canada.

Did you know?

You can study at Seneca even if you don’t have an IELTS Academic, TOEFL or PTE Academic score. You can apply to your program plus ELI at the same time.

You can study English at Seneca even if you are not going to study a professional program. You can study English in the ELI for 2 months or more.

ELI students can live with host families or in the on-campus residence, and use all Seneca facilities and resources.

Seneca has an ice-skating rink and our ELI students can borrow skates, and skate for free.