English Language School

Student Engagement Centre

Engage, Empower, Enjoy!

The ELS Student Engagement Centre (SEC) is a unique place for students to make friends, take part in extra language activities and engage with the community in Edmonton.

In addition to their classes, all ELS students have access to the daily activities, workshops, and events in the English Language School’s Student Engagement Centre (SEC). This centre complements and supports students’ English studies and gives them opportunities to develop interpersonal language skills through social and cultural activities. 

A dynamic calendar of workshops and events include language skill-building, community volunteer opportunities, guest speakers, and seasonal celebrations where students can showcase and share their cultures with peers. Students can also receive one-on-one academic advising and support from EAP instructors. SEC frequently partners with groups and organizations on campus and in the community, allowing students the valuable experience of building relationships outside the classroom. Access to SEC is included in all course fees. 

Academic Support 

(View details & schedule) Please login with your UAlberta CCID.

The SEC can support you every step of your academic journey.

• Grammar Workshops
• SEC Student Advising
• Listening Labs
• Writing Workshops

Authentic Language Learning Experiences

(View details & schedule) Please login with your UAlberta CCID.

Improve your language skills by using English to take part in fun activities.

  • • Conversation Club
  • • Guest Speakers
  • • Social Activity Club

Community Engagement

(View details & schedule) Please login with your UAlberta CCID.

Build your confidence through engagement with the community in Edmonton.

  • • Edmonton Food Bank
  • • Student Engagement Centre (SEC) Assistant 
  • • Hope Mission
  • • USchool
  • • ITU World Triathlon Edmonton

Special Events

(View details & schedule) Please login with your UAlberta CCID.

There are a variety of exciting activities and opportunities that will improve your academic and social English language skills, enriching your life at UAlberta and in Edmonton, Canada.


The Student Engagement Centre (SEC) promotes a positive learning environment for English language learners


  • Fostering supported and independent forms of active learning
  • Advising students on coursework and through one-on-one tutoring
  • Supporting curricular and non-curricular activities
  • Developing English language skills in academic, fun, and practical contexts
  • Accommodating students unique educational and social needs 
  • Creating an open, safe, inclusive learning space free of discrimination
  • Engaging in academic, cultural, and social activities in support of curriculum goals
  • Encouraging a sense of belonging and school spirit within the student body
  • Generating knowledge of practical steps to academic and professional success

“Participate in every activity. Do not miss the chance to continue your education. Get yourself involved in helping people.” 


“If I were a future student, I would study harder and participate more in the UofA ELS social activities.”


“Be active and do not be afraid to speak English. People are patient.”


“Yesterday was awesome! I really enjoyed it a lot! I think [it] is not about how much we do; [but] how much enthusiasm we put in. Also, I think that if the guys can see what happens after they made sandwiches, they can have a better idea of how important and nice job they do. I mean, they can see that volunteering is not only fun, also can help and change the place where we live.” 

Maria Dolores

“It was a great experience since the students got to leave their comfort zone and spoke English to people outside of the "ESL community"! And now, they do realize that they do not need to have "perfect English" before they can communicate with people.

EAP instructor

"Being [a] volunteer has many benefits for international students. Not only I tried to improve my English skills but also it kept me busy. I mean if you know that you have lots of work to do, you will not feel bored and lonely specially for international students who are far from their family and friends. In addition, I made many  friends during my volunteer work. Plus, after a while, I felt that I’m more confident to speak in English and I learnt many new words and expressions. Also, if someone wants to stay in Canada and get a job, volunteer work is really important in the resume."