Making Study in University-Based English Programs A Reality
Studying English at an American University Campus
English as a Second Language (ESL) Schools Divided Into Two Main Types
01 The first type of ESL school is known as university-based ESL, which are schools managed by universities. University-based ESL programs were originally created as Intensive English Programs with the purpose of preparing students intending to enter degree programs at the university. Students enrolling in these programs can improve their overall English skills considerably and prepare for university education at the same time. Most of those university-based ESL programs started on large campuses where students could study as well as interact with other students on campus.
02 The second type of ESL school is the private English school managed by an independent company. Private English schools offer a large variety of language courses aimed at improving overall English language skills. In addition to these two major types of English language schools, there are also private English schools located on university campuses. These schools allow students the opportunity on occasion to use university facilities, but like most private English schools, they also give students the flexibility to choose the start date and length of their courses.
  Before selecting a school, it is important to understand the different characteristics of these schools and how they may fit your overall purpose for studying abroad.
Understanding the Differences
The Features of University-Based English and Private English Programs

The Case for University-Based ESL Programs

  • Located on the university campus. Access to university facilities such as gymnasiums and libraries.
  • Shared campus life with other students, dormitory living options and opportunities to interact with native English speakers at school.
  • Possibility to attend university lectures. Conditional acceptance to degree programs for qualified students.
  • Fixed curriculums focused on academic English skills (grammar, reading, speaking, and writing).
  • Courses tied to university semester system. Longer-term courses emphasized.
University-based ESL programs are recommended for students who want to improve their language skills and are considering possible study in degree programs and graduate school.


The Case for Private English Schools

  • Many schools located in city centers with good access to public transportation.
  • Course options may include Conversational English, Business English and English Plus courses with other enjoyable activities.
  • Courses offered to prepare students for standardized tests such as TOEIC, TOEFL and Cambridge Certificate also offered.
  • Great flexibility for students choosing their start date and duration of course. Courses can be as short as 2weeks or longer-term.
  • Greater range of price options depending on the course.
Private English schools are recommended for students who want to improve their English and enjoy having more time to do things on their own.

Experience University Campus Life While Overseas
If you want to feel what it’s like to be a university student, university-based ESL programs might be the best option.
Even those students who would admit, “I have zero ability in English”, are able to study at famous schools such as Columbia University, Boston University, Georgetown University, UCLA and others. Students who study at these schools are able to both enjoy university campus life and considerably improve their English skills. At these schools, the curriculum has been designed with the goal of learning English to study at university. Many of the instructors at university-based ESL programs possess advanced degrees in their respective fields providing a high quality of education. Even for those students not planning to become regular students at the university, the experience learning at these schools is excellent.


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