Saint Mary's University English Language Standalone Program

Language Standalone
Globally Recognized
Delivery Method:
Multi Term, Single Term

About the Program

The vibrant Saint Mary’s University (SMU) campus is a global community of students from more than 117 countries. Faculty and staff are deeply supportive, nurturing academic pursuits and contributing to the university’s values of recognizing the importance and contribution of each student.

In Halifax, Nova Scotia, SMU is a few miles from the Atlantic, which is ever-present in the lives of citizens and students. There’s also an abundance of the outdoor adventures, kayaking, skiing, hiking Canada is so famous for. Canada is also famous for being one of the world’s friendliest and safest countries.

The restaurants and nightlight of Halifax downtown is minutes away

SMU has one of the best Canadian women's basketball programs

A backdrop of iconic buildings, green spaces, and fresh ocean air

Safe and friendly, Canada is know for its genuine welcome

Program Advisor

Student Counselor SAFFY
Your Student Counselor is your study abroad ambassador and supporter. They join your application journey when you’ve confirmed you’re interested in studying abroad. At this point, they guide you through each stage of the application, notify you of the documents you need, let you know when your admission results are in, and walk you through the next steps, including class enrollment and organizing pre-arrival tests.
Schedule a Consultation

At a Glance

Language of Instruction:
Language Prerequisite Level:
Academic Level:
Academic Strengths:
Art, Design & Fashion, Biological & Physical Sciences, Chemistry, Business, Economics & Finance, Computer Science & Math
Visa Required:

Stay Healthy & Safe While You Study Abroad


Former SAF Scholar

This is a great opportunity to broaden you horizons and improve yourself, it is one of the most precious experiences in a person's life.

Saint Mary's University SAF Alumni

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About the University

Saint Mary’s University

Canada ranks consistently as one of the world’s friendliest and safest countries, so you are bound to feel comfortable and welcome from the moment you arrive. A few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, Saint Mary’s University celebrates its beautiful home of Halifax, Nova Scotia, by offering myriad outdoor clubs and opportunities for students, from kayaking and horseriding to skiing and hiking.

You will look back on your time at SMU and remember lively, engaging classes and friend-filled adventures exploring Canada and the United States East Coast.

Learn more at Saint Mary's University's official website.


St Mary's University's Academic Approach

Since 1802, St. Mary’s has fostered a tradition of academic excellence, small class sizes, and a supportive student community. The university is a multi-cultural paradise, housing over 7,000 students from 115 countries. SMU specializes in experiential learning opportunities, providing students the opportunity to apply classroom lessons in real-world situations. The campus is small and attractive, making it easy for you to become familiar with your surroundings.

As Canada’s only university offering academic courses, SMU is your best option if you’re even slightly interested in Canadian academics. Its University Bridging Program (UBP) program is intensive, with a combination of classroom learning and real-world practice. You also join the Conversation Partner Program, giving you frequent access to native English speakers to better your speaking, reading, listening, and writing abilities.



On the first day of the semester, as part of orientation, you take the Oxford Online Placement Test to determine your language skills and place you in the best level.

The Oxford Online Placement Test is a tool designed to measure your ability to function communicatively at different levels of English language proficiency, according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

You take the 90-minute test digitally and answer questions in two parts:

  • Use of English: approx. 30 questions on vocabulary, grammar, and the understanding of meaning in a conversation. This includes reading short texts
  • Listening: approx. 15 questions testing on your understanding of meaning in a conversation

Classroom Hours

The SAF program fee tuition rate covers 25 hours of language instruction per week.

Language Levels Six levels offered in eight-week sessions

  • Levels 1-3 focus on developing accuracy and fluency in general English and cross-cultural communications
  • Levels 4-6 is more academic-focused, preparing you for academic coursework

Get To Know Our Application Process

From academics to visa requirements, our structured process helps you choose the right program and university for your goals. Complete a strong application, and prepare for success abroad.

Personalize Your Study Abroad Plan With Your SAF Counselor

Each student has unique academic goals for a study abroad experience. As you think about studying abroad, your SAF Counselor will help you plan for success and support you every step of the way.

Application Requirements

When applying to study abroad, you must meet the entry requirements set by the host university - and SAF is here to set you up for success.

The requirements outlined in this section include the language proficiency scores you may need to demonstrate your language skills, a guide to the GPA range and other academic prerequisites required by your host university, and a list of documentation and other application materials you will need to finalize your application. You may need to supply additional information throughout the process, and you will be alerted through your emails and SAF Student Portal if this is the case for you.
  • Language Proficiency
  • Academics & GPA
  • Application Documents & Materials

Language Test Score Requirements

There are no English language requirements to join this program.

Learn More About Language Requirements

Program Dates

When studying abroad, you will want to consider the time of year and how long you are away. Most programs follow the host university's academic calendar.

The dates shown below are general estimates, and as you get closer to the start of the term, you will get more detailed information from SAF. If you have any questions, your Student Counsellor and Program Specialist are always here to support you and point you to the correct information.

Spring Quarter 2024 Language Pathway + Summer 2024 Language Standalone + Fall 2024 Language Standalone

Program dates:
Late February - Mid December
Application Deadline:
Fees Starting From:

Housing Information



For the full Canadian experience, you live with a local family in a homestay to develop your communication skills and build friendships that last a lifetime.

*Housing is subject to availability. For specific questions regarding housing please contact SAF.

About Halifax

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Why Halifax

On the Atlantic coast, Nova Scotia, is a haven of pristine lakes, clear rivers, and untouched ocean shorelines. A maritime city, Halifax has a strong community feel and abundant scenic neighborhoods and trails to explore, with the central business district built around the historic harbor. 

Learn more about Halifax

The Student Experience

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Student Health & Safety

We champion health, safety, and security. As part of IES Abroad, the largest study abroad organization in the United States, we have set the standard for health and safety in study abroad for decades. We plan for the ‘what if’, so you can get on with the experience of a lifetime.
International Health Insurance

International health insurance included in the cost of your program

24/7 Emergency Phone Support

Total coverage to support you while traveling and in your new city

Location-Specific Information

Health and safety information prepared based on your destination

Health In Your Language

Highly trained multilingual staff to connect you to healthcare providers

Secure Housing

Quality, safe, secure housing within close proximity to your classes

Dedicated Expertise

Protection by a Dean of Students Office advocating for your interests


On Arrival

Your SAF pre-departure process will arm you with all the information you need for a smooth arrival to your new campus, city, and country.

To Housing

Your SAF program will include a safe transfer from your arrival airport to your new study abroad housing. We'll even provide you with top tips to make the most of your new city!

Home Sweet Home

Your SAF Program Specialist will coordinate with you to ensure you have arrived safely and settled into your new secure housing.

Keeping You Safe

As you settle in, you will learn about the SAF emergency alert system, our 24/7 phone support, and any safety concerns relevant to you.

Get Social

Your new university and SAF will arrange social and cultural events so that you can meet other study abroad and local students. Make the most of your adventure!

Advising and Support

The process of studying abroad could quickly feel overwhelming, but we have been doing this for decades and do everything we can to support you through it. 

Many SAF staff are alumni and have walked this path. They have real-life experience to draw on as they advise and support you through every step of our comprehensive services. They’re in your corner, taking care of all the details and explaining what you need to do next.

Take the first step in your study abroad journey by scheduling a consultation with your closest Student Counselor. You can discuss your for-credit academic courses and language programs and explore internships, research programs, and study tours. When you know what you want to do, we guide you through the pre-program steps, help you arrange your visa and transport, and finalize your accommodation or digital experience.

Get To Know Our Application Process

From academics to visa requirements, our structured process helps you choose the right program and university for your goals. Complete a strong application, and prepare for success abroad.

Personalize Your Study Abroad Plan With Your SAF Counselor

Each student has unique academic goals for a study abroad experience. As you think about studying abroad, your SAF Counselor will help you plan for success and support you every step of the way.

Commonly Asked Questions About Studying Abroad

Student Blogs

Why Travel With SAF?

Studying abroad is an unforgettable experience, one that stays with you in your career, your contacts, your future. It can define you. At any of our prestigious university partners, you can build personalized for-credit programs that can last up to a whole year.

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