Get prepared for university abroad with a Pathway Program

Published On: April 14, 2023

If you have the desire to study at a university or college outside of your country, but don’t have the necessary academic English skills, there is an alternative that you may not know about: Pathway programs.

If your English level is not yet sufficient to achieve the minimum score required by international institutions of higher education in proficiency tests like the IELTS and TOEFL, don’t let that be a reason to give up on your plans to study abroad.

In this post, we’ll explain what Pathway programs are and how they can help you master academic English for universities in Canada and USA, while also better preparing you for academic life in the country, which can be a bit different than what you’re used to in your home country.


What are Pathway programs?

To enroll in a higher education program at a college or university abroad, you need to take an English proficiency test that demonstrates your mastery of the language. This could be a test administered by the institution where you plan to study, or you can present one of the more well-known and accepted proficiency tests, such as the TOEFL or IELTS. In either case, each school may require a different minimum score, so it’s important to check directly with the institution where you plan to study.

The issue is that these tests are expensive and, depending on your English level, may require significant preparation before taking them to avoid the risk of wasting money. And sometimes you may not have enough time to prepare adequately for the IELTS, for example, as the results of the proficiency test need to be submitted with mandatory documentation for admission to a university and subsequent application for a study visa.

In these cases, to avoid the risk of missing application deadlines or failing to achieve the minimum score on one of these tests, you can opt to take a Pathway program. This is a preparatory course for entry into universities and colleges in Canada and the United States, aimed at international students. 


Pathway programs are not just simple English courses. They’re more like English for college within a larger context of preparation.”


What are the benefits of Pathway programs and how does the process work?

In addition to developing your fluency in the language so that you can be eligible for higher education in the country of your choice, Pathwayprograms also prepare you for practical situations specific to the university or college you will attend. This includes developing skills such as oral presentations and essay writing in academic English, according to the standards required by that particular institution. Therefore, when you begin your course, you will be much more prepared for the challenges of international academic life.

At London Language Institute, we offer our University Pathway Program designed to equip students from diverse backgrounds and nationalities with the necessary skills to succeed in academic courses taught in English. LLI has established partnerships with local high schools, colleges, and universities throughout Canada and the United States.

Through this program, you can obtain a conditional letter of acceptance into a post-secondary program before arriving in Canada, eliminating the need to study for IELTS and TOEFL exams.


A plus advantage: University Preparation Program

The London Language Institute is proud to present its University Preparation Program, which is specifically tailored to meet the needs of our Pathway students.

Our UP Program are meticulously designed to equip you with the necessary skills and proficiency required for your Conditional Letter of Acceptance.

At LLI, we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive Academic Preparation Programs that include TOEFL and IELTS training and testing, Canadian cultural classes, math upgrading (if necessary), and specific skills required for academic success. Starting with our core ESL program, you will progress onto AP1 and AP2 as required. As a student on our University pathway, you will receive an additional 6 hours of instruction per week for the last 4 months of your ESL program.

Our AP1 and AP2 students will have the opportunity to explore the valuable educational, entertainment, and volunteering opportunities that Canadian institutions offer to first-year international students. The course will also equip Pathway students with the necessary skills for university success, including note-taking, essay writing, citation and referencing, PowerPoint creation, presentation delivery, test-taking, and more.

With our proven track record of success, you can confidently embark on your academic journey with LLI’s University Preparation Program!


Who is the Pathway program for?

Pathway program is not for those who need to learn English from scratch, but for those who already have at least an intermediate level of English but still not enough to enter a higher education course. To determine your English level and even decide whether you should try IELTS or opt for the Pathway program, there are numerous free tests available online that can give you a better idea.


Do I have to apply to a university at the same time?

If you have already decided on the higher education course you want to take, it is recommended that you apply jointly for the visa (Pathway + University), obtaining permission for full-time studies and avoiding payment of new fees when you are already in the country to apply for a new visa when you finish the Pathway program. However, you need to be confident in your choice as the application fee is non-refundable. In this case, you will receive two acceptance letters: one from the language school where you will take the Pathway program and another from the university, which is conditional upon completing the Pathway program.

If you haven’t made this decision yet, you can choose to apply first for a visa only for the Pathway program. In this case, you can decide during the Pathway program which university you want to attend. If you don’t reach your preferred university’s requirements, we can suggest alternative schools. The advantage is that you can count on the LLI’s guidance to help you choose the most suitable course for you, as well as support in all stages of applying to the university or college for the chosen course.

Unclear about the GPA standards needed for admission to your College or University?

If you’re uncertain whether you meet the language requirements for your desired academic program, fret not! Simply contact our admissions team at and let us assess your language proficiency. Our team of language experts will provide you with valuable feedback and determine whether you are qualified to enroll in the program. If you pass the assessment, you will receive a conditional letter of acceptance from the university, setting you on your path towards academic excellence.

But that’s not all – while studying at LLI, you can work towards upgrading your GPA, giving you the opportunity to reapply to your preferred universities once you arrive in Canada. Our experienced instructors are dedicated to helping you achieve your academic goals and will support you every step of the way. So, what are you waiting for? Embark on your journey to academic success with LLI!

What is the duration of a Pathway program?

The duration of the program will depend on your level of fluency, ranging from 2 to 6 months on average. Before arriving in Canada, you will take an online test (click here to learn more about how you can be fully prepared for the upcoming text) to get an estimate of the duration of your Pathwayprogram. On the first day of the program, you will take an in-person test to evaluate your reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills, which will determine the actual duration of your Pathway program.

It’s important to continue studying English and improving your skills during the admission and visa application process so that you can reduce the time you’ll need to spend in the Pathway program when you arrive at your international study destination. Did you know that you can study English online from the comfort of your own home? Click here to know more!

Completing the Pathway program within the predetermined time frame is sufficient for you to be considered eligible to start the chosen course at the university or college, without needing to take another test.


Can I work during the Pathway program?

It’s also important to note that during the Pathway program, you will not be allowed to work. Once you complete the Pathway program and start your higher education course, you can apply for a work permit that is part-time (20 hours per week) during classes and full-time (40 hours per week) during breaks or holidays. In the United States, study visas, in general, do not grant the right to work.

For spouses, who are allowed to work while their partner is studying, they can only work during this period if the Pathway program is done at the same institution of higher education and is directly linked to the higher education course that their partner will take. Otherwise, they will only obtain permission to work when their partner finishes the Pathway program and starts the course. The student, on the other hand, cannot work during the Pathway program under any circumstances.

Take the first step towards academic success today with London Language Institute’s University Pathway Program! As a student from a diverse background or nationality, you may find yourself struggling to keep up with academic courses taught in English. But with our program, you can equip yourself with the necessary skills to thrive in the classroom and beyond.

Our partnerships with local high schools, colleges, and universities throughout Canada and the United States mean that you will have access to a wide range of opportunities to enhance your education and achieve your goals. Don’t let language barriers hold you back any longer – enroll in our University Pathway Program and unlock a world of possibilities!



Click here to complete an online application form for the Pathway Program!

💬 Phone / WhatsApp: +1 (519) 439-3350

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