About Renison College at the University of Waterloo

Renison University College is affiliated with Waterloo University. It was founded in January of 1959 and named after Reverend Robert John Renison who died in 1957.

He was the Archbishop of Moosonee, and the reason the university has adopted the “Reni Moose” as their mascot. The university is located on the border of Waterloo’s main campus.

Renison University entered into an affiliation agreement with Waterloo University to offer Arts and Social Sciences for credits that students could use to graduate from Waterloo.

Students leave Renison with a Bachelor of Arts degree. The university started out with 2 residence wings for 80 students.

They’ve since expanded to include more classrooms, offices for the faculty, and more residence wings. There was an expanded library and a large cafeteria added around 1992.

Renison College Today

Currently, Renison focuses on Languages and Cultures, community engagement, and Social Engagement and Innovation.

Students are able to take Liberal Arts courses, Social Development Studies, Culture and Language Studies, and Studies in Islam. They have a School of Social Work, too.

The university offers plenty of language classes. Students can learn languages like Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Korean. The school admits over 1000 students per year from other countries. 

Renison English Language Institute

Renison ELI was a founding member of Canada’s premier language accreditation body known as Languages Canada. It’s the official training provider of English for students at the University of Waterloo.

Applied Language Studies

Students interested in learning more than one language can earn a minor in APPLS, which is the Applied Language Studies. It covers the language itself, but also the culture and identities surrounding the language. It’s perfect for those who want to learn another language as well as teach that language to others.

Imagine you want to be an English teacher in China. You’ll need to know how to speak Chinese in order to teach students to speak English. Both languages are required. If you wanted to teach English-speaking students to speak Japanese, you’ll need to know English fluently. 

When students are taking a Chinese class or Arabic, they’re learning the history of the region, the political history, and comparisons between the cultures and those of the Western world.

English as a Second Language

For those students who are entering from another country, the language barrier can be a strong hurdle to overcome. Instead of being offered as an ESL course, the course name has been changed to English for Multilingual Speakers, or EMLS.

Each class will have less than 25 students. The oral classes have 20 students in total. It’s meant to give detailed, individualized feedback to students. There are undergraduate as well as graduate courses for credit.

Undergraduate Courses

In preparation for attending university, many students will enroll in one of the undergraduate courses like Oral Communication for Academic Purposes or Phonetics for Effective English Pronunciation. These are the oral courses that help students with presentations and pronunciation.

Other courses include Reading and Listening for Academic Purposes. Error Correction in Academic Writing is a course that students will find amazingly helpful on their journey through university. Written Academic English is another course that will help a student to learn grammar and writing for essays. A vital skill for any and every student attending college or university.

Graduate Courses

These courses are meant for a more advanced student who has the basics of English down. There are three courses for graduate students. There’s Speaking English for Professional Purposes, which will teach students how to present their papers and defend a thesis.

Scholarly Writing in English and Thesis Writing in English are both classes that will provide students with skills for their specific research areas. It’ll help them with their specific major and area of study to ensure they’re learning skills that can be applied directly to their studies.


Students must be registered in an undergraduate or graduate program to attend an EMLS credit course through Waterloo or Renison. Graduate students can take undergraduate courses if they feel they need a refresher course. They must have a drop/add form approved to take the classes.

Students who wish to take English to further their academics can learn more at the Renison English Language Institute. The courses have been incredibly valuable for 1000 students who attend from 35 countries per year.

Renison ELI Non-Credit Courses

There are more English language courses available throughout the year for working professionals or students from other universities, too. There are 4-week extensive general English courses.

There are IELTS preparation courses, too. Renison University is a testing location for the International English Language Testing System. Certified instructors will be able to work with students to prepare them for the test.

Renison University has been a leader in the field of languages from English to Chinese to Japanese. It brings in students from over 35 countries to teach them English and prepare them for academic life.

Visit: https://uwaterloo.ca/renison/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *