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Curiosity + Innovation = ILAC Brand

When we started ILAC 26 years ago, I was often asked, “What is ESL?”, “Who are you going to be teaching English to?” and “Why can’t they learn English in their own country?"

Fortunately, I don’t have to answer those questions anymore. Today, when you walk down the streets of Vancouver and Toronto, our impact is apparent in the hundreds of thousands of successful immigrants that started their journey at ILAC.

ILAC has grown a lot over the years. We employ almost 2000 talented, dedicated people and educate 30,000 students a year from around the world. We are widely recognized as the most successful English language school on the planet.

How did that happen? Innovation, curiosity and diversity drive our brand. We’ve done crazy things together and then made them normal. And when you are the first to get it right, people notice and follow.

We pioneered customer service for international students. We built beautiful downtown campuses. We focused on the entire student experience, and are now creating the Dream House brand for student housing. We invented the idea of English pathway partnerships into higher education and are still by far the market leader – this year we will have 100 Canadian university and college partners thanks to our amazing pathway team.

We’ve done other crazy things like creating ILAC KISS in the first 24 hours of COVID and launching diploma programs that offer Canadian work experience. We developed the Canada Partnership Forum (CPF) to build global partnerships for Canada’s higher education sector, and today CPF is recognized in many countries and hosts a unique event in Canada every year. We’ve also proudly partnered with International Insurance to create a unique Concierge Health Care program.

Most recently, we partnered with Georgian College and Fanshawe College to offer post-secondary education in Toronto. This fall, we will have two new iconic campuses in downtown Toronto for our higher education programs that will be second to none in the world.

We consider ourselves to be the leaders in partnerships, because we know that 1 + 1 = 3.

We also know that diversity is key, which is why we are ambassadors for Canadian education in almost 100 countries, with the goal to always make Canada the #1 study destination in the world.

ILAC’s brand is known as the most innovative brand in international education and we believe we are at our most innovate time right now. So let’s keep being innovative and allow curiosity to be our compass in dreaming big!

Jonathan Kolber is the co-founder and Chairman of Canada’s most awarded English language school, the International Language Academy of Canada. Today ILAC has grown into a global education company that is recognized around the world for its language, pathway, college and higher education programs. Jonathan’s motto is “Dream big” and he applies it to everything that he does, including inspiring and supporting his students, staff and partners to do the same.

Jonathan's message was originally published in the CPF Vancouver 2023 program guide.

Join us next year at CPF Toronto 2024 from April 26-28.

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