Academic and Career Prep - A Pre University course for teens thinking about their future.

The Academic and Career Prep, an enhancement of the University Prep programme, is designed to help international high school students prepare for the coming challenges of post-secondary studies and professional life in a supportive and academically stimulating environment. Combining critical exercises in self-reflection with an exploration of the study and career options available to them, students will come away from the programme with a better understanding of their own identities and life goals, and how to strategize for their futures. They will also learn how engaging deeply and creatively with the English language – beyond the basics of “ESL” – can help them realize their dreams. 

The Ideal Candidate

  • Students aged 16 to 18 years with high-intermediate to advanced level of English (equivalent to IELTS 5.0+), prepared to participate in advanced academic discussions
  • Passionate and ambitious individuals who are starting to consider their futures
  • Students who could benefit from critical self-reflection and goal-setting exercises

Modules and Themes


In this section, students are pushed to critically examine their own identities, values and belief systems to gain a deeper understanding of who they are, what they want to do in the future, and how they will get there. Classes also help students improve their ability to express themselves, whether on a college/university form or an employment cover letter.

University and College Preparation

Students are asked to think about the coming challenges of post-secondary life with a focus on successful university/college applications, study strategies for the language proficiency tests commonly required for higher education admission (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS etc), and skills for success once they are admitted, including cross-cultural communication and identifying campus resources.

Academic English Skills

In the written communication section of this class, students will learn how to critically engage with readings, and review the forms and standards suitable for writing essays in college/university, including the genre differences between major disciplines (e.g. humanities versus sciences). In the oral communication section, students master key competencies for academic success including group discussion, presentations, and active listening.

University and College Campus Tours

Campus tours are designed to feature the wide range of post-secondary disciplines that are available including:

  • Undergraduate programmes (e.g. arts, sciences, business) – York University

  • Professional programmes (e.g. law,medicine, architecture) – University of Toronto

  • Alternative programmes (e.g. art, design, film/tv/radio) – OCAD & Ryerson University • Applied programmes (e.g. trade,technologies, community services) - George Brown College

Career Exploration

Students are introduced to major career areas and discuss their current ambitions, which are then compared against the results of career aptitude testing. Drawing on the resulting interests of the students, guest speakers from related industries are brought in to give the class an overview of the typical career path,and what constitutes success in the field.

Future Proofing

The nature of work has changed dramatically in the modern, technology-driven world, and continues to evolve. Students today increasingly need “soft skills” that are transferable to various types of employment, and are adaptable to future changes we still don’t know about. This class builds on three skills identified by today’s employers as being the most important for success: empathy, innovation, and collaboration. 

Academic & Career Prep Programme Instructor

Kartik Viswanath

Hello! My name is Kartik Viswanath, an almost-30-year-old looking to explore and understand all that our world has to offer. I recently completed an Masters in Education program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, specializing in language education and literacy. My focus was on critical studies of race, ethnicity and language policy, drawing on my work as an ESL/EFL teacher in India. Using various qualitative approaches, I studied the consequences of language education policy for complex and diverse societies, not unlike in Toronto. 

I began my academic career in sociology at the University of Delhi in India, and soon moved onto journalism, which in many ways allowed me to explore my learnings from the social sciences. After about a year working at a national newspaper, I felt myself drawn to a remote indigenous community in the forests of East India where I first lived and worked with children, as a teacher, caretaker, playmate and elder brother. My desire to learn more about how we live, work and learn as children and as human beings motivated me to continue teaching in different parts of India for about five years, after which I came to the University of Toronto as a graduate student. 

As Academic and Career Prep Instructor this summer, I hope to reflect on my own learnings so I may facilitate relationships with our students that support their academic and professional careers. I look forward forward to us co-creating a collective, where we learn and inspire each other to find purpose and meaning in our academic pursuits, and perhaps learn how to enjoy whatever we may end up doing in our lives!

LocationCISS at Trinity - Toronto, ON
Ages16-18 years - boys and girls
Academic and Career Prep30/06 to 20/07 or 21/07 to 10/08
Session Length3 week sessions
AccommodationSingle or Double Residence Rooms
Weekly Hours25

Dates and Fees 2019

All fees are in Canadian Dollars $CAD

July 20
August 10
June 30
3 Weeks
July 21
- 3 Weeks

Extra Fees

Extra Night Fee - $ 200

Extra Transfer Fee - $ 80

Extra night and extra transfer fees apply to all students who arrive or depart on non-scheduled dates.

Early Morning Departure Fee - $ 50

Early morning departure fee applies to all students with flights scheduled to depart before 08:00.

Unaccompanied Minor (UM) Fee - $ 75

UM fee applies to all students flying as UM with airline

Custodianship Fee - $ 100

*Canadian and US citizens currently residing in Canada or the United States are asked to contact CISS for domestic rates. Taxes are included. Information updated: February 05, 2019

Activities & Excursions

Students in the Academic and Career Prep programme follow the activities organized for the students at CISS at Trinity. The activities have been designed to showcase the best that Toronto has to offer.  Each week, students attend 1 full day excursion and 3 half day excursions as part of the programme.  Transportation, meals, and admission costs are included.

Full Day (one per week)       Half Day (three per week)
  • Niagara Falls with Hornblower Tour 
  • Canada's Wonderland (Amusement Park) 
  • Wasaga Beach + Blue Mountain Village
  • Blue Jays Baseball Game
  • Centre Island
  • CN Tower
  • Disco (either Boat Cruise or Club exclusive to CISS students)
  • High Park
  • Fort York
  • Toronto Harbourfront
  • Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
  • Casa Loma
  • St Lawrence Market + Distillery District
  • Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
  • Woodbine Beach


Welcome to one of the most beautiful campuses in Toronto, the Trinity College! Our downtown location puts the city right at your doorstep. Just south of the famous neighbourhood of Yorkville, you are a short walk to Yonge Street, coffee shops, stores and so much more.  On campus you will find a comfortable, clean, and safe residence, a beautiful garden courtyard, air conditioned student lounges, and dining facilities that are modern…with a historic charm.  Finally, WiFi is available throughout the campus.

You’ll live in a single or double room in a university residence with other students attending this programme.  Students are separated by gender within the residence.  Each room has a bed, desk, chair, dresser and/or wardrobe.  All bed linens are provided, along with a bath towel.  Students must bring their own toiletries. There are card-operated laundry machines in the residence – we provide laundry detergent.  Shared washroom and shower facilities are located on every floor. Safety is our priority so our staff live in the same residence, providing full supervision.

We provide you with three meals daily, Monday - Saturday.  Brunch and dinner are served on Sundays to allow time for you to sleep in. All meals are provided in a modern cafeteria which features various stations offering a wide choice of main courses.  Lunch and dinner are complimented by a full salad bar, dessert offerings and unlimited drinks. All students eat together in the university dining hall that is decorated in the history of the school. Our meals are cooked on-site by professional staff and meet rigid nutritious standards. 


  • Large classrooms
  • Dining hall and modern cafeteria
  • Beautiful garden (“The Quad”)
  • Air-conditioned student lounges
  • Full WiFi access
  • Athletic centre (within walking distance)
  • Coffee houses, shops, boutiques and shopping centres surround the campus
  • Medical centre/hospitals within 1 km

Learn more about CISS at Trinity.


Programme Ages Daily Schedule English Proficiency
 Academic and Career Prep  16-18  25 hours per week  Intermediate to Advanced (IELTS 5.0+)

For Parents


Academic and Career Prep programme takes place in the campus of Trinity College, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.