Canada has two official languages: English and French. You can get all official federal government services, documents and publications in both official languages.

In Alberta, majority of people speak English. Improving your English language skills is important to your success. It can help you to fit in with your community, find a job, or attend occupational training. Most English language training programs follow Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB). The first step is to take an English test to know your CLB.

    Step 1. Language Assessment

    The Immigrant Services Calgary’s Immigrant Language Assessment and Vocational Referral Centre (ILVARC) is funded by the government and gives free language tests to immigrants and refugees. Listening, speaking, reading and writing are all assessed. Please contact 403-262-2656 to book an appointment. For more information, please visit ILVARC-English Test

    Step 2. Language Improvement Programs

    After you have your English test results, you can identify the program that best serves your needs. Here are two options for improving your English:

    (1) Language Instruction for Newcomers of Canada Program (LINC Program) is funded by the Government of Canada and is free of charge for permanent residents. You can choose full time or part time programs. For the LINC Program directory in Calgary, please visit Calgary LINC and ESL Directory

    (2) English as a Second Language (ESL) Programs provide training from basic to advanced language skills. The program is not funded by the federal government, but some programs provide funding assistance. For an ESL program directory in Calgary, please visit Calgary LINC and ESL Directory

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    English as a Second Language (ESL)

    A Directory of ESL Programs and Services for Immigrants and International Students in Calgary

    April 2019 – August 2019 –  ILVARC

    Learn More



      In Canada, parents have to make sure their children get an education. To help parents, provincial and territorial governments provide their own public education system. There is no federal or national system of education.

      If you have a school aged child, you need to have him/her registered with a school board after landing. There are two school boards in Calgary: the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) and the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD). Both school boards provide education to students from kindergarten to grade 12. For school registration, please book an appointment and bring proof of the child’s immigration status, the child’s passport and a valid residential address in Calgary.

      Public school registration

      To register your child for Calgary’s public school system, the Calgary Board of Education (CBE), please contact CBE’s Admissions and Assessment Office at Kingsland Centre (7430 – 5 Street SW). 

      You need to have an appointment by calling 403-777-7373 before registering at the office.


      To find more information about registration, please visit CBE-School Registration

        Catholic school registration

        To register your child for Calgary’s Catholic school system, the Calgary Catholic School District(CCSD), please contact CCSD’s St. John Reception Centre (15 12 Street NW). 

        You need to have an appointment by calling 403-500-2007 and present appropriate documentation.


        To find more information about registration, please visit CCSD-School Registration


        In Alberta, there are over 2,000 post-secondary programs accredited and recognized in Alberta. You can explore these training and programs at ALIS’s website

        You can also download the “Time to Choose…a Post-Secondary Educaiton Program 2017-2018” at ALIS’s website

        Image source: Alberta ALIS

        In this document, you will find profiles of post-secondary institutions, a programs chart outlining which programs are offered and where, 2018-2019 application deadlines, as well as information on career planning, student funding, transfer credit and more.