English For Academic Purposes: EAP @ StFX

EAP goes online!

EAP is currently being offered online (see below). Continued online offerings depend on demand. Please confirm online or in-person delivery in the "Program Delivery Dates" section below or by contacting the program coordinator, Dr. Mark Leeming, at @email

More than 40 students and teachers doing the X sign of StFX outdoors (background of trees)

A pathway to X: Overview

English for Academic Purposes at St. Francis Xavier University is an English language bridging program for students offered a conditional acceptance to study at StFX. Successful completion of the advanced EAP course (Level 6) satisfies StFX’s language requirement (equivalent to 6.5 in IELTS) and allows students to enroll in full-time studies the following semester.

  • Programs begin in September, January, and June
  • Two academic levels offered: intermediate and advanced
  • Option to earn credits toward your degree in the advance level
  • Delivered full time for 12 weeks
    • In person: 300hrs, Monday-Friday, 8:30am-2:30pm (25hrs/week). Note: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as of Sept. 2020, this program will only be delivered in person if all students can get to campus. If some students can get to Canada and others cannot, the course will be redesigned to accommodate all students.
    • Online: Monday-Friday, approximately 2 hours of synchronous class time per day. The instructor will provide a schedule at the beginning of term with synchronous and asynchronous components. Synchronous classes are usually held from 8:00-10:00am Atlantic Standard Time (Nova Scotian time zone). However, the schedule can be flexible, based on students' needs and to accommodate various time zones.
  • In-person classes are located on StFX campus in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Online classes are delivered using various Microsoft Office Suite Apps and Moodle. These platforms are available to all StFX students at no additional cost.
  • Tuition Fee (textbook included, tax exempt): $4500 CAD *plus optional course tuition & fees (see detailed fee table below)

EAP Program Dates:

  • January 3 - April 7, 2023
  • June 5 - August 25, 2023
  • September 5 - December 8, 2023
  • January 8 - April 6, 2024

International students posing in front of Schwartz School | McKenna Centre entrance, accompanied by their teacher

Level 005

For students accepted with IELTS scores of 5.0 or 5.5 overall (no band below 4.5), this is the intermediate level of EAP @ STFX. In this level, students critically evaluate readings and write academic essays. They develop skills in listening and speaking through lectures, presentations, debates, and discussions.

Level 006*

For students accepted with IELTS scores of 6.0 overall (no band below 5.0), this is advanced level of EAP @ STFX. In this level, students further develop critical reading and writing, listen to and take notes on lectures, give presentations, lead class discussions, and carry out an academic research project. 

* With the permission of the coordinator, students may take one additional academic course during their EAP course.

Register Online

Two students reading a book in front of a tree
Students doing their assignments in the library (reading, working in groups, etc)
4 students working with an electric tool in a lab

EAP @ X: Program details


Whether you begin in level 5 or 6, the program’s goals are to:

  • Prepare students for academic study in a StFX classroom environment
  • Increase students’ English proficiency to meet the university’s admissions standards (IELTS 6.5)


The EAP program’s coursework is designed to improve students’ reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills and overall academic competency in a StFX classroom setting. Specifically, the program seeks to:

  • increase fluency and accuracy in oral and written English
  • foster independent learning and enhance collaborative skills
  • improve competency in academic researching and referencing
  • establish ability to meet academic standards in summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting
  • develop a clear understanding of academic integrity rules and penalties
  • develop critical reading and writing skills at a university level
  • increase comfort with giving presentations and participating in discussions
  • provide strategies for problem solving and handling stress in a university setting
  • encourage cultural awareness and contribution
  • build communication skills
  • improve time management skills
  • improve note-taking and study skills
  • increase understanding of syllabi and assignment instructions


  • Complete daily individual and collaborative activities in class and at home
  • Complete a variety of individual and group academic assignments
  • Develop a study and time management plan
  • Take a final exam assessing reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills required for academic study in English

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is this program for me?

If you have an overall IELTS score of 5.0 or higher and are looking to improve your English language skills while preparing for academic study in a Canadian context, this program is for you!

This is more than an ESL course. EAP @ X will help you improve your English abilities across all competencies (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), but also recognizes that post-secondary education in Canada may differ significantly from the academic culture in your home country. EAP @ X will help you bridge the gap before diving into your full-time academic studies at X. You will gain insight into the teaching and learning style of the Canadian classroom in the small, tight-knit, friendly environment of the StFX campus and Town of AntigonishClick here to learn more about studying at StFX, or take a virtual campus tour.

How will this program help prepare me for my academic studies?

EAP @ X has been designed to prepare students for studies at StFX by ensuring course materials practice the core academic skills needed in any academic discipline, while introducing students to important academic culture, such as the importance of understanding what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it.

An overarching theme is assigned each semester and course content is pulled from a range of disciplines. This allows students to develop familiarity with a theme, while exposing them to interdisciplinary content. However, students are not assessed on their retention of the content, but on their ability to apply the academic skills practiced throughout the program. For example, in the climate change semester, course content (videos, lectures, readings, projects, discussions, debates, and writing assignments) is drawn from the natural/physical sciences, business and economics, politics and public administration, geography, history, and engineering. Students engage in projects related to climate change in Nova Scotia, developing research skills by collecting primary data from community members and businesses.

How is the program structured?

The program is heavily coursework based, rather than dependent solely on a final exam. This model prepares students for other courses at StFX, as most require completion of assignments throughout the semester. While the structure outlined in the graphic below is the same for both intermediate and advanced levels, the expectations and level of difficulty of assignments and content are different.

Graphic of Course Structure
How is my level determined?

Placement in EAP levels is determined by your IELTS score. 


5.0-5.5 (no band lower than 4.5)


6.0 (no band lower than 5.0)

How much does it cost?
EAP fees

*All fees in CAD. Click here to download detailed fee breakdown.

Semesters are divided as follows:

  • Summer: June - August
  • Fall: September - December
  • Winter: January - April
How do I apply?

To apply to StFX, click this link and follow the steps: APPLY. If you do not meet the language requirements for direct entry to a StFX program, you will be sent an acceptance letter for the appropriate EAP program level.

I've been accepted! Now what?

Register Online

Once you have received your acceptance letter, follow the steps outlined below (also detailed in your letter):

Student checklist
Where should I live?

In Residence 

If you are interested in living on campus, check out StFX's University Housing site.

Off Campus

There are many rental units (apartments and houses) in Antigonish, within walking distance to campus. Contact the Office of Internationalization if you are interested in living off campus and require assistance.

What are the program's policies?

EAP PROGRAM POLICIES (Additional class policies are provided in the course syllabus)

Health Insurance

Students are required by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to carry valid health insurance at all times. EAP students will be automatically enrolled in a health insurance plan. You will make the payment for this and receive your insurance card during the first week of classes. The annual cost to you for insurance is currently around $1,200.

If your health insurance is being sponsored by a government or scholarship provider, or if you have coverage under the Nova Scotia provincial health plan (MSI), a copy of the policy or MSI card along with the opt-out form, must be provided to the Coordinator during the first week of classes to opt out of the health insurance provided by StFX.

English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Grades

Students in EAP5 are assessed a grade based on course work and exams. The grade issued to the student will be a pass (“P”) or fail (“F”) reflecting proficiency sufficient to advance to the next level (EAP6).

Students in EAP6 are also assessed a pass or fail grade. A grade of “P” is considered equivalent of IELTS 6.5 overall with no band below 6.0, for the purposes of admission to StFX.

Program Rules

Students registering in EAP5 or EAP6 will have to agree to the following program rules:

  • I understand that the tuition fees and miscellaneous student fees (unless included in a scholarship) must be paid before the beginning of the course. Non-payment of these fees may result in my enrolment being cancelled.
  • If I arrive more than one week after my course begins, I understand that I may not be permitted to enrol in the course.
  • I agree to behave in a mature and respectful manner to university employees, instructors and fellow classmates at all times. I understand that bad behaviour can be grounds for dismissal, and that my parents may be notified of problems that are caused by my behaviour, if I am under 19 years old.
  • I understand all EAP programs have a Classroom Language Policy which details appropriate and acceptable use of English and other languages in the classroom. I understand there may be academic consequences including penalties if I do not abide by this policy. The Classroom Language Policy is described in the EAP course outlines.
  • I understand that if I do not make satisfactory academic progress, I may not be allowed to re-enrol in the next course.
  • I understand that I must attend a minimum of 90% of all my classes, lectures and tutorials. If I do not maintain satisfactory attendance, I may not be allowed to re-enrol and my visa status would be jeopardised. I understand that being absent from class without proper cause and continual late arrival to class can be grounds for suspension or dismissal.

Program Completion Letter

A letter detailing achievement will be issued by the StFX Registrar’s Office no later than 30 days after the successful completion of the program.


The estimated cost of the EAP Program is approximately $12,750.00 from EAP5 through EAP6 (assuming successful completion of each level and no extra credited courses). Each course tuition is $4,500 (12-week courses) and ancillary fees (see detailed fee table), payable before the 1st day of class. Students will not be admitted to class until tuition is paid in fullGLOBALPAYSTFXLINK

NOTE: Students may be admitted to class on the first day if special arrangements for payment have been made with the Coordinator before the term starts. 

Attendance Policy

Students must attend 90% of the total number of classes in the course in which they are currently enrolled to pass the course. In other words, students who have been absent more than 10% of the time, regardless of the circumstances, will receive a failure. There are no excused absences.

  • Absent from 8:30 to 12:30 – ½ day absent
  • Absent for 1:30 to 3:30 – ½ day absent
  • Late arrival (up to an hour) in the morning, after a break, or after the lunch hour – ¼ day absent
  • Early departure (up to an hour) – ¼ day absent
  • Late arrivals or early departures of more than an hour -- ½ day absent

If a student’s attendance drops to 92%, they will be required to meet with the Head Teacher. If a student’s attendance then drops to 90%, they will be asked to leave the course. If there are extenuating circumstances related to the absences, students may appeal to the Coordinator. The Coordinator’s decision is final.

EAP Course Cancellation & Refund Policy

1) Refused Entrance to Canada:

If a student is refused entry to Canada by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the student will receive a full refund of any tuition fees that have been paid.  There will be no refund of the StFX application fee. To obtain a refund of any tuition fees under these circumstances, the student must write to the Learning Skills Coordinator, StFX University (@email).  The request must include a copy of the letter of refusal from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

2) Student Cancellation / Dismissal

Any correspondence concerning attendance and/or cancellation in EAP courses at StFX must be in writing to the Learning Skills Coordinator, StFX University (@email).

  • If a student has received permission to enter Canada to study and cancels in writing before the first day of the course designated in his/her acceptance letter, StFX University will refund the tuition fee minus a $400 processing charge.  There will be no refund of the StFX application charge.
  • If a student cancels in writing under any of the following circumstances:
    • after arriving in Canada with a valid study permit or temporary visitors’ visa; and/or
    • is asked to leave after the first course (and any subsequent course) begins;

StFX University will issue a refund (or not) as follows:

Less than 10% of course completed

Total fees paid minus 50%

10-30% of course completed

Total fees paid minus 70%

More than 30% of course completed

No refund

There will be no refund of the application charge.

  • If a new student or a returning student fails to cancel in writing and he / she has a valid study permit or temporary visitors’ visa, StFX will move to collect any tuition fees that are due according to the schedule outlined above.

Any Refunds Due:

Students will receive any refund due to them within 30 days of StFX University receiving written notice of cancellation from them or a notice of dismissal.

Payment through an Agent:

Students who enroll or pay through an agent and a granted a refund will receive that refund through their agent.

Language School Act

StFX EAP Program Agreements shall be interpreted by the laws of the Province of Nova Scotia and the parties hereby accept the jurisdiction of the courts of that Province in resolving any disputes I understand that I am expected to adhere to all the terms stated above. I also understand that if I do not, I may be sent back to my home country immediately at my own expense.