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Sonoma State University

American Language Institute [Rohnert Park, California]


  • Sonoma State American Language Institute (SSALI) - for over 35 years helping international students improve their English on the California State University, Sonoma campus.
  • SSALI University Pathways (Conditional Admission, TOEFL Waiver and Concurrent Enrollment)- providing opportunities for international students to advance their academic goals!
  • Sonoma State University- Just north of San Francisco only 45 minutes away, the campus is located in the city of Rohnert Park, at the heart of the world-famous Wine Country in Northern California!

Choose Your Course Below

  • Information
    • About the ESL Program
    • The Sonoma State American Language Institute (SSALI) was established in 1979 to provide intensive instruction to students, professionals, and others who need to learn English quickly to meet academic, job-related and social demands. The SSALI's professionally designed curriculum is enriched with out-of-the-classroom assignments, field trips, and rigorous instruction in grammar, composition, oral communication, reading and vocabulary, and study skills. SSALI students receive a student identification card and gain full access to the University's library, computer laboratories with Internet access, and athletic facilities complete with a fully equipped recreation center, swimming pool, and tennis courts. SSALI students enjoy social and cultural activities organized through the Center for International Education, including weekly international student club events, campus events, local sightseeing, and trips to nearby San Francisco, the Pacific Ocean, the redwood forests, and the Sonoma and Napa Valleys. SSALI is a proud member of EnglishUSA (The American Association of Intensive English Programs) which promotes professional standards and quality instruction in intensive English programs.
    • DATA
    • Type : Public University
      Establishment : 1979
      Membership/Accreditation : EnglishUSA
      Enrollment : 50
      Average Class Size : 13
      Student Adviser : Yes
      Airport Pickup : Student Arranged
      Internet Access : Yes
      Tuition : Low
      Activities : Frequent
      Location : Suburban
      Transportation : Bus
    • A Message from School
    • As Director of International Education, I am looking forward to welcoming you to the Sonoma State American Language Institute (SSALI). From our school profile on ApplyESL.com, I hope that you will find interest in our beautiful location on the Sonoma State University campus, our strong academic program, our safe community, and the strong support you will receive as a student here. Our program boasts small class sizes and a diverse student population, with many opportunities to build friendships with students from both the U.S. and around the world. Our students have the opportunity to improve their English skills quickly, both in and out of the classroom. Whether you are interested in studying English for academic, business, or social purposes, we can help you achieve your dreams. See you in Sonoma!
      Berta Hodges
      Director, Sonoma State American Language Institute
    • American Language Institute
      Sonoma State University

      1801 East Cotati Avenue
      Rohnert Park, California  94928-3609  U.S.A.
      TEL: +1 707-664-2742
      FAX: +1 707-664-2749
      E-mail: SSALI@sonoma.edu
      Website: http://www.sonoma.edu/exed/ssali/
  • More Details
    • Student Countries of Origin
    • The American Language Institute hosts more than 50 students from 15 to 18 different countries each year. Recently, students have come to the SSALI from Asia (65%), Europe (15%), Latin America (15%), and Africa and the Middle East (5%).
    • Faculty Qualifications
    • American Language Institute instructors are dedicated, experienced professionals. Each instructor holds a professional degree in TESOL or in a related field. SSALI instructors routinely attend conferences for professional development, and have extensive training and experience teaching English to students from around the world. The personal and academic qualities of all SSALI instructors make each uniquely qualified to offer meaningful language-learning opportunities and to be sympathetic to the issues important to international students.
    • Housing
    • SSALI students can choose to live on-campus dormitories or enjoy a homestay experience. Their beautiful dormitories fill up very fast, so students must apply early. Homestays are an ideal living option for those students who want to experience the local culture as a member of a family and practice their conversational English.

      ※Housing reservations must be made directly with the providers. Please take a look at the website (http://www.sonoma.edu/exed/ssali/health-housing-transportation ) for more information or information is available on the SSALI website.

      Private off-campus apartments are also available; however students must make their own arrangements. Students are encouraged to make their housing arrangements before they arrive and as early as possible due to the limited amount of space available. For more information, use the Contact Address to ask the school directly.
    • Surrounding Area
    • The Sonoma State University campus is beautifully located in Rohnert Park, a comfortable and safe community of 40,000 residents situated near the world-famous California Wine Country of the Sonoma Valley. Celebrated for its beauty and mild Mediterranean climate, Sonoma is only minutes from the spectacular Pacific Coast, Lake Sonoma, numerous year-round golf courses, the Russian River, and the magical Redwood Forests. Best known for its award-winning wines and wineries, Sonoma is also home to several small farms, excellent Wine Country restaurants, unique boutiques and shops, world-class spas, stunning scenery, and a tranquil, relaxed atmosphere. The sophisticated city of San Francisco is only an hour's drive south of Sonoma County where visitors can enjoy exploring the city's hilly streets providing gorgeous views of the San Francisco Bay and its famous bridges, including the world-renowned Golden Gate Bridge.
    • About the College/University
    • Founded in 1960, Sonoma State University is a premier public institution located in the heart of Northern California's world-famous Wine Country and is one of the 23 schools within the California State University System. Dedicated to the liberal arts and sciences, the University is comprised of 6 colleges and offers its students bachelor's degrees in 46 areas of specialization and master's degrees in 15 fields. Sonoma State's scenic, 220-acre campus rests at the foot of the Sonoma hills and is home to 10,000 students representing all 50 American states and 30 countries around the world, and over 500 faculty members. Students are actively involved in more than 110 student clubs and organizations, including recreational sports teams, the student newspaper and radio station, volunteering in the community, student government, the International Students' Association, and Outdoor Pursuits, a camping and hiking group.
    • Conditional Admission / Credit Courses
    • Conditional Admission to the university is available for qualified students who complete the ESL program. Qualified SSALI students in the advanced level are able to register for university credit courses. The university TOEFL requirement for undergraduates will be waived for students who successfully complete the advanced level of SSALI.
  • Courses
    • Intensive English Program

    • About This Course
    • The Intensive English Program offers:
      • two 15-week semesters for fall and spring
      • two 7-week sessions beginning mid-semester for fall and spring
      • one 8-week session for summer
      • one 4-week session beginning mid-session for summer

      Students enrolled in the Program receive 20-24 hours per week of in-class instruction in order to meet their individual academic, professional or personal needs.

      The Program offers 3 - 5 levels of English classes, from high-beginning to advanced. Upon students' arrival at the SSALI, they are required to take English placement tests to help determine the level best-suited to their ability. At the end of each session, students who regularly attended classes and successfully completed their course requirements are awarded attendance and graduation certificates. Students in all levels receive fundamental instruction in the areas of grammar, composition, oral communication, and reading and vocabulary, as well as develop their study skills through focused exercises and assignments. Students can select from a variety of elective courses to study areas such as TOEFL Preparation, American Culture & Conversation, English for Business, Idioms & Slang, Pronunciation, Listening, English through Music, and Computer/Internet. The computer-based TOEFL is available locally throughout the academic year.

      Outside of the classroom, students are encouraged to experience American culture firsthand by joining university groups and participating in campus activities. SSALI students have the opportunity to meet with American college students or members of the community through the Conversation Partner Program to practice their English conversational skills and learn more about American culture. The SSALI office is located in the Center for International Education, which is a dynamic hub for international and domestic students.

      Small, interactive classes ensure full student participation. Class sizes range from 12 to 15 students with an average of 13 students per class. Every effort is made to keep classes at an ideal size for effective English language instruction.
    • Course Data
    • CLASS SIZE: 12 -15 students
      CLASS LEVELS: 3 - 5 levels
      COURSE LENGTH: 7, 8 & 15 Weeks
      MINIMUM AGE: 18 years old
      REQUIREMENT: High school diploma
      VISA INFORMATION: I-20 issued upon request
      HOUSING: Housing reservations must be made directly with the providers.
    • Dates
    • 2018
      7 WEEKS:
      10/24 - 12/14
      Apply by 9/6

      15 WEEKS:
      8/29 - 12/14
      Apply by 7/13

      8 WEEKS:
      3/21 - 5/10
      Apply by 12/1
      6/12 - 8/9
      Apply by 5/1
      10/23 - 12/13
      Apply by 7/17

      15 WEEKS:
      1/16 - 5/10
      Apply by 12/1
      8/28 - 12/13
      Apply by 7/17

    • Fees
      TUITION FEE (2018-2019)
      7 WEEKS US$ 2,00
      8 WEEKS US$ 2,400
      15 WEEKS US$ 4,290
      US$ 325 (Homestay)
      4 WEEKS Contact provider directly Contact school directly Contact school directly
      7 WEEKS ? ? ?
      8 WEEKS ? ? ?
      15 WEEKS ? ? ?
      Airport Pickup Service
      Health Insurance
      About US$180/month
      Book & Supplies
      US$ 250/semester
      Health Center Fee
      US$ 175
    • Remarks / Other Information
    • Dates and fees are approximate and may change without prior notice.
      Application fee is non-refundable.
      *Housing reservations must be made directly with the providers. Information is available on the SSALI website.
  • Location
    • United States Rohnert Park, California
    • Location
      American Language Institute
      Sonoma State University

      1801 East Cotati Avenue Rohnert Park, California  94928-3609  U.S.A.
    • Getting To Your School
    • From San Francisco International Airport:
      Bus service is available from the airport to Rohnert Park. Airport Express costs $34 (One Way). Students can also arrange their own taxi service to the school.
  • Student Reviews
    • Academic Quality: 4.8
      School Environment: 4.8
      Helpfulness of Staff: 4.8
      Activities and Social Life: 4.6
      Accommodation: 4.6


    • There are 17 reviews for this school

    • Ana Maria
      [ Colombia, Bogota, Age 20, Female ]  2018/3/26
      1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
      Great School
      I recommend SSALI because is a place where you can learn English and practice every day with teachers and classmates having a good environment... I learned a lot there, not just English, I learned about other cultures, customs and countries... SSALI gives you an awesome experience with the best teachers, they are always prepared for everything and they have the patient to explain and many activities to do in each single class. I feel so lucky to have been there! I miss CA, SSALI, teachers and classmates.
      Was this review helpful to you? Yes  No 

      [ Russia, Samara ]  2018/3/26
      1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
      I recommend SSALI program for all who wants improve English for different reasons either academic purposes or just for increasing language skills. It's a great school with an attentive staff in there. There are professional and friendly teachers there. The environment is very comfortable which makes process of study and diving in English more efficient. I love this school and its people who work for it.
      Was this review helpful to you? Yes  No 

      [ Italy, Bari ]  2018/3/26
      1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
      Sonoma State University and SSALI is a very good education system I tried in the past and as Teacher from Italy, I think to have been enriched with that wonderful experience I did. Very professional, friendly and taking care of students. Very important was the cooperative learning steps, and all the affectionate atmosphere I found. I hope to come back again and, surely, I can recommend to all students and people who want to have an important progress approaching into English study. I miss CA, San Francisco and SSALI, in particular way.
      Was this review helpful to you? Yes  No 

      A Former Student
      [ Japan, Kanagawa, Age 23, Female ]  2018/3/26
      Studying at Sonoma State American Language Institute gave me confidence and the opportunity to know how fun studying English can be. SSALI has a really good environment, great teachers, great facilities, and interesting students from all over the world.
      Was this review helpful to you? Yes  No 

      de Jager Gregoire
      [ Seine at Marne, France, Age 19, Male ]  2015/11/16
      2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
      I had a amazing experience going to Sonoma State University. Thanks to this experience, I can now travel all around the world because I became fluent in English. It helped me to improve my skills. The campus is ideal for any international student. It has many different activities, you can go to the gym or play pool, there is a climbing wall etc... I made a lot of friends from different cultures which is really pleasent. I keep in touch with them.

      As a good exemple, to show how friendships can last; my roommate who was Korean, came in France during the summer vacation to visit Paris. So my familiy hosted him and we had a lot of fun, probably next time I'll have the chance to go to Korea. Therefore, Sonoma State University really helped me in building contacts for the future.
      Was this review helpful to you? Yes  No 

      Charles de Jager
      [ Paris, France, Age 22, Male ]  2015/11/2
      2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
      SSALI saved my life
      My English was so poor when I finished High School that I couldn't even talk in English with anyone, I was lost and I had no idea about wanted to do after High School; that is why I went to Sonoma State University in the SSALI program.

      When I met my host family, who by the way is the most incredible one ever, I was stressed because of my level but the adoption and involvement that they gave to my comfort and my stay was incredible and I thank them for that.

      I was shocked when I discovered the amazing campus that has Sonoma State University, this kind of campus were only in the movies for me. After a week I met all my teachers, I was so happy and knew that I will find incredible teachers. I started in one of the lowest level to finish my year in the highest one after working hard and learning a new culture. I spent one year in Sonoma State University, I have met such great friends around the world that I am still in contact with.

      Sonoma State University gave me the envy and the possilbility to pursue my life as I wanted to and to become the most motivated guy on earth.
      Was this review helpful to you? Yes  No 

      Axel H. Koenig
      [ Wertheim / Main, Germany, Male ]  2015/10/6
      2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
      The Students and Community are very inviting
      I believe the best thing about the SSALI program at Sonoma State
      University is the atmosphere; the students and community are very
      inviting (the amount of people). It is easy to find new friends or study
      groups here, as there are people from all over the world. It's easy to
      find a few people with similar interests as you and to find tutors. The
      academics here are better than anything I have ever experienced.
      There are lots of options for additional lessons (classes that you
      design for your own independent study) as well as really nice level
      500 courses that go deeper into an array of subjects.
      During the summer semester, they have the best field trips ever (nearly once per week).
      Was this review helpful to you? Yes  No 

      Sira Kim
      [ Mokpo City, South Korea, Age 24, Female ]  2015/10/6
      2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
      SSALI was an unbelievable experience.
      SSALI (Sonoma State American Language Institute) was really good program to acclimate myself to a new environment. It my first time to come to the US for learning English. I did not know anything about the US. So I felt anxiety before I started this program. SSALI is a "Family". We always did everything together. I never felt lonely during took this program. I made a lot of friends who is from diversity countries. Also they made me to had a lot experience ; field trip, conversation partner, etc. This program director and all staff are really kind and helpful. They always pay attention to all students. I really appreciate to give an opportunity to study at SSU.
      Was this review helpful to you? Yes  No 

      [ Shenyang, China, Age 22, Male ]  2009/5/19
      3 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
      Not As Good As I Would Have Liked
      I felt as if I could have studied at a harder level in my class. The teacher gave out a lot of homework and I had to study hard to complete it. I wish I had more time to enjoy extracurricular activities.
      Was this review helpful to you? Yes  No 

      [ Taipei, Taiwan, Age 35, Female ]  2009/3/6
      2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
      I Had Wonderful Life at SSU
      I came back to Taiwan almost one year ago but I am still missing my life at SSU. SSU may be a bit small, but it is beautiful and colorful, and people who live there are very friendly. I made some friends there and still keep in touch. But the most important thing is the quality of teachers there for us, right? Be honest, not all, but I met some teachers there who are really patient with students and always make class interesting for us. I would have liked to stay longer if I could. So, you are lucky to see this message and decided to go. Only one thing before you go is open your mind and get ready to enjoy your life there.
      Was this review helpful to you? Yes  No 

    • Below you will find additional reviews in other languages.
    • ApplyESL claims no responsibility for errors in, or the quality of, machine translations provided by Google Translate.

      [ Mokpo, Korea, Age 20, Male ]  2016/12/15
      1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
      About the SSALI
      다른 곳에서도 학교를 다녔었지만 이 곳은 전에 다니던 학교와는 달리 영어를 빨리 늘 수 있었다. 그이유는 항상 같은 클래스 친구들과 똑같은 수업을 들으며 항상 같이 어울리고 이야기하고 수업외에도 미국인들과 함께 할 수 있는 프로그램들도 많으며 항상 오피스에 있는 선생님들이 어떻하면 더 나은 프로그램을 학생들에게 제공 할 수 있는지에 대해 물어보고 같이 어울리고 정말 좋은 기억을 남기게 해준 학교였습니다.

      [ 서울, 한국, Age 24, Female ]  2009/3/6
      7 of 7 people found the following review helpful.
      전반적으로 괜찮은 경험이었습니다. 학교주변도 시골인데 굉장히 깨끗하고 조용하고.. 영어 배우기엔 최적인 것 같아요. 지내는 동안은 그 커뮤니티의 일원으로 지낼 수 있다고 할까.. 도시 분위기를 좋아하면 좀 불편할 수도 있겠지만. 교통은 솔직히 불편함. 선생님들도 참 잘가르치고 자상하심. 상위반 끝내면 TESOL, 학교수업같은 거 들을 수 있고. 봉사활동 elective도 있고.. 한국에 관심있는 native도 대화 파트너로 만날 수 있고 홈스테이 아주머니들도 좋으시고.. 향수병 걸리면 좀 힘들지만 그래도 거기 있는 분들이 잘보듬어 주셔서 좋았음.

      [ Miyagi, Japan, Age 22, Female ]  2018/3/26
      SSALI broadened my point of view and opened a whole new world to me.

      [ 東京, 日本, Female ]  2009/3/5
      6 of 7 people found the following review helpful.

      Rodrigo Gomez
      [ Santiago, Chile, Age 32, Male ]  2009/3/6
      1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
      SSALI: Una Sorprendente Experiencia
      Mi experiencia en SSALI fue buena. Es una escuela cuyos teachers son cercanos a sus alumnos y se establecen relaciones de amistad muy valiosas, gracias a que los cursos son pequeños. Los profesores tienen mucha empatia y hacen bien su trabajo. Hay mucha vida social tambien.

      Carlos Moreno
      [ Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Age 27, Male ]  2009/3/6
      Una de Mis Mejores Experiencias!!
      Fue una de mis mejores deciciones!!!

      [ Bogotá, Colombia ]  2012/12/17
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