Arts | Heritage

Calgary Immigrant Educational Society

We've helped newcomers and low-income Canadians find their rightful place in our city for 30 years. With over 180 staff serving students from 75 different nationalities, we provide English language and employment skills instruction for every stage of the settlement process, in-class and online.

Our Story

Why We Exist

“I need to do something to help my fellow immigrants”

So began Mr. Salim M. Sindhu, co-founder of the Calgary Immigrant Educational Society (CIES). As an immigrant himself, Mr. Sindhu sought to create a unique community where newcomers could develop the skills needed to find their rightful place in Canadian society. From its beginnings in Mr. Sindhu’s office in 1988, CIES has expanded into 3 locations housing over 180 dedicated staff and 200 volunteers, providing a “one-stop-shop” for new immigrants and economically challenged individuals. With its mission to provide innovative settlement solutions, language, and employment training, CIES strives to:

  • Empower newcomers and low-income Canadians with independence through language skills and employment
  • Promote a mutual understanding and respect between established and newcomer communities on cultural issues.
  • Deliver settlement programming for the people who need it, not only those who can afford it

Our Impact

What We Do

The Calgary Immigrant Educational Society (CIES) provides various levels of English language education, employment skills training, and referral and settlement guidance to newcomers and low-income Calgarians in an effort to help them find their rightful place in Canadian society.

With 30 years of experience and a blended staff of newcomers and established Canadians, CIES is proud to provide a supportive educational environment that feels like home. We embrace the following values:

Caring | We support others through compassion, understanding, and empathy
Inclusion | We welcome and embrace pluralism
Empowerment | We install confidence and strength in ourselves and others
Service | We serve and build our community

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Open 6 days a week, we serve more than 1,200 adult clients and 130 children a day across three locations – Forest Lawn, Whitehorn, and Westwinds.
  • With 30 different programs/services and 76 different English classes alone, there’s an option for everyone, including in-class, online, or blended options.
  • We’ve expanded our e-learning course options and launched easy-to-navigate online registration. In addition to this, core counselling and settlement support services are offered, with a variety of times for drop-in and appointments.

WE MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THE LANGUAGE

Our variety of robust English education programs help students from over 75 different countries everyday. With this sort of reach, it’s important to us that every student feels heard and welcome. As such, our smaller class sizes allow for more direct one-on-one interaction between teachers and students, and our classes (whether basic, intermediate, or advanced-level) ensure that students are getting the help they need.

LEARNING ENGLISH? BRING YOUR KIDS TO SCHOOL

For students of our LINC English program, CIES provides in-office childminding care. Learning and fun happen every day through a variety of motor activities, arts, and circle time. This freedom for newcomers to practice their English while their kids are learning and playing has been regarded as one of CIES’ essential services since its inception.

BRINGING NEWCOMERS AND EMPLOYERS TOGETHER

Getting a job can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. With programs focused on building hard and soft employability skills, professional business communication, entrepreneurship, and more, CIES readies clients for the Canadian labour market and puts them on the path to sustainable employment. Affordable (and even free!) part-time and full-time classes ensure that those who need help the most, receive it, and in turn get the chance to learn and grow.

CAN’T COME TO SCHOOL? WE HAVE YOU COVERED

For students who are unable to attend regular classes due to illness, disability, conflicting work schedules or maternity leave, we are one of the only providers in Southern Alberta of FREE English online education. LINC Home Study provides quality English education at a distance through weekly Skype and online computer classes, to help prepare newcomers for Canadian society. For those students who can commit to one in-class instruction per week in addition to online learning, we also offer LINC Blended. And it doesn’t stop there: our Workplace Online Retention Class (WORC) and English for Employment: Job Search programs focus on English and employment skills that ready newcomers for the Canadian workplace.

REACH OUT AND BE A PART OF THE COMMUNITY

Through our partnership with numerous agencies CIES is proud to provide weekly presentations for its students from different sectors across the city. Guest speakers from prominent health, finance, law, and business organizations are commonplace at our schools, all part of our pledge to provide a “one-stop-shop” and help new immigrants find their place in our city.

Our Programs

How We Do It

Programs offered by CIES are available at three facilities: Forest Lawn (403-235-3666) in the southeast, Whitehorn (403-291-0002) in the northeast, and Westwinds (587-392-4177) in the northeast.

In-Class English Programs

Online English Programs 

Employment Skills Programs

Settlement Programs

Clients who are interested in joining a program at any of our schools, or who require assistance with navigating our programs, or who want to talk to someone for programming advice, are invited to call the school directly using the location-specific information above. We are also available to chat online at www.immigrant-education.ca.

Our Requests

What You Can Do

As a non-profit, registered charity, the Calgary Immigrant Educational Society is devoted to assisting newcomers and economically challenged Canadians in settling successfully in Calgary. Many of our programs and services are free of charge for our clients, with funding generously raised from the community through corporate sponsorships and individual donations.We are also proud to call on our amazing team of volunteers, who together contributed more than 17,000 volunteer hours last year in teaching and content creation volunteer positions. Please visit our Get Involved page to find out more about how to donate and how to volunteer with CIES.

VOLUNTEERING WITH CIES

I have been a volunteer at CIES for almost five years.  The drop-in students amaze me with how hard they work at their English and at adjusting to life in Canada.  I continue to be surprised and delighted at the enthusiasm they have for learning and their willingness to support and help each other.  In every class, I see stronger students take it upon themselves to help weaker students.  And I’m always happy to watch friendships develop between the students in English.  I appreciate the students’ efforts, and am always made to feel appreciated by them.  I, like the students, am treated with respect and consideration by CIES staff, and feel fortunate to be a part of this excellent program.

– Susan Link (Pre-Basic English Instructor)

Stay Connected

Contact

Colyn deGraaff

Calgary Immigrant Educational Society

403.291.0002

Charitable Number: 130143373RR0001

Visit Our Website