Saint Mary’s College’s English Language School

st_marys_blogSaint Mary’s College’s English Language School is proof that good things come in small packages. Though the school’s program is a relatively recent addition to the industry, it is backed by a tradition of educational excellence that dates back more than 150 years. Founded in 1844 as a Catholic women’s liberal arts college, the school’s carefully cultivated close-knit, student-centered, approach remains well regarded: U.S. News and World Reports ranked Saint Mary’s College among the top 100 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” in its Best Colleges 2013 guidebook.

Thus potential students can rest easy knowing that Saint Mary’s English Language School is solidly based on more than a century’s worth of educational excellence. With college preparation in mind, the English Language School offers students of all proficiency levels classes in reading, writing, listening, and speaking as well as specialized preparation modules for English proficiency exams like the TOEFL and IELTS. Regardless of their skill level, beginner and advanced students alike will benefit from small classes designed to enable students of all backgrounds the opportunity to work closely with faculty and staff in order to achieve success.

The educational experience extends well beyond Saint Mary’s classrooms, however. On-campus accommodations and native conversation partner programs provide a truly immersive collegiate experience. Moreover, regularly scheduled outings and activities ensure that students can explore the wider world at their own pace. Best of all, because Saint Mary’s College’s English Language School offers its courses year round, interested students can start classes at their convenience. Check their profile for more information and you will discover that English immersion education is easier than you think!


Kingsmore Medical English Course

Although a mastery of the English language is important for people from all walks of life, when you take into consideration its role as common, global language the value of a medical English course becomes even more apparent. After all, while English proficiency might simply “enhance” your job performance in another field, in medicine it can be a matter of life and death.

Given the seriousness of the matter, then if you want to learn medical English, it is important to find a English language program that meets the unique needs of English as a second language medical professionals. Fortunately, the Kingsmore Medical English Course provides a prime example of what to look for in a well-developed course of study.

First of all, the course, which offers flexible start dates and provides and emphasis on small class sizes, is target as both intermediate and advanced speakers of English. By concentrating their efforts on students who already have a working knowledge of the language, the course can focus not on the English language in general but on the use of English in a wide variety of medical contexts. With course objectives tailored to real world situations like taking patient histories, communicating with the loved ones of patients, and working with other medical professionals, the Kingsmore Medical English Course allows students to develop the kinds of skills they will be into action in their practice.

The course is more than about just theory, however. Because it provides language students the opportunity to spend time with a doctor at a working clinic, students are able to put what they learn in the classroom into in a real medical environment. Thus the Kingsmore Medical English Course and other courses like it can help equip doctors, nurses and other medical professionals with the tools they need to make a real difference to patients around the world.


What to Look for in a Good Medical English Course

Though there are many medical English courses on the market, not all programs are created equal. While any and all courses should prove students who want to learn medical English with a comprehensive overview of commonly used English language medical vocabulary, grammatical structures, and idioms, the best programs will help students to apply these skills in real world situations.

There is, after all, more to a medical professionals than simply speaking with their patients, their loved ones, and other medical professionals. Thus a good course will focus not just on the spoken word but also on the written page. Comprehensive programs will enable students to write the kind of accurate patient histories, strong reports, and research papers that they will need to compose on a daily basis. At the same time, because so many of the latest medical studies are written in English, top tier programs will also reinforce English-language reading skills.

Likewise, a good English language course will provide students with a working knowledge of the medical industry in which they plan to work. Because no two systems are identical – and the students of such programs are almost assuredly not natives – a strong understanding of their target country’s medical system is vital. Students in the United Kingdom, for example, should be exposed to the how and why of that country’s National Health Service. In like manner, students who want to learn medical English for use in the United States should be introduced to the intricacies of the American health system. Thanks to this exposure students will have a better understanding of how to apply their new skills in their chosen framework.

Finally, the best courses will equip students with the tools they need to secure employment in the English-language medical community by providing interview tips, career counseling, and even resume writing workshops. In so doing they will enable their students to become contributing members of the ever-growing English-language medical community.


St. Mary’s College’s English Language School

Thanks to its reputation for academic excellence and, likewise, its athletic prowess, Notre Dame, Indiana is famous in the hearts and minds of many thanks to its namesake university. Not far from that storied campus, however, another school, St. Mary’s College, is quietly building a reputation for greatness in an entirely different discipline: English Immersion Education. Indeed, St. Mary’s College’s English Language School is directly across the street from Notre Dame but in many ways outshines its more famous neighbor. Founded in 1844 as an all-girls Catholic school, St. Mary’s has built its reputation on education with a personal touch and, as a result, non-native English speakers from all walks of life and all proficiency levels will benefit from the program’s intensive English language instruction.

Educational opportunities at St. Mary’s College’s English Language School are equal parts intimate and international. Due to a carefully cultivated combination of small classes and expert faculty, its classes are squarely focused on a personalized approach to student development that encourage students to improve their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. At the same time, though, its state-of-the-art language laboratories and a steady stream of cultural immersion activities ensure that students have the opportunity to polish their skills in a variety of settings. Between their 15-week Fall and Spring semesters and 4-week Summer sessions program lengths, too, can be selected to suit a student’s unique needs.

No matter when they come, though, students preparing for English language higher education will benefit the English Language School’s close relationship with the larger liberal arts college. In this way, too, St. Mary’s College’s ESL Program offers the best of both worlds by providing this unique language immersion experience while still allowing students to enjoy the school’s close proximity to Chicago. Because it is at once at the heart of Notre Dame and on the doorstep of opportunity, success begins at St. Mary’s College’s English Language School.

Learn more about St. Mary’s English Language Program here.


ELS Language Centers Testing Services

ELS Educational Services, Inc – also known simply as ELS – offers international English immersion students a number of unique benefits. Far and away one of the most impressive of these is the wide recognition and acceptance of their English for Academic Purposes – otherwise known as EAP – certification. Part of the on-campus Intensive English Program curriculum at many of its ELS Language Centers around the world, an advanced EAP level is recognized by over 600 colleges and universities as direct proof of English proficiency for admission. That means that students who study English at ELS Language Centers and complete ELS level 109 or 112 can use it as direct fulfillment of its English proficiency requirement for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Better yet, many ELS partner universities offer ELS Language Center students that achieve these levels of proficiency a conditional letter of admission to many of their higher education programs. This means that students can transition from their English immersion program directly to a degree-seeking program at the same institution as seamlessly as possible, a unique advantage of ELS Language Centers.

In the event that your chosen university does not yet accept the ELS certification itself, all ELS Language Centers offer preparation courses. These distinct courses are comprised of a comprehensive, 12-week curriculum that allows any student – including those already affiliated with an ELS immersion program or those who are new to the ELS system – to practice the speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills necessary for TOEFL success. As an added bonus, thanks to a cooperative agreement with Educational Testing Services (the developers of the TOEFL exam), ELS also offers testing services for the TOEFL. This means that students can move directly from their preparatory work to the actual test at any ELS Language Center in the United States.

Of course, before signing up for any program you should carefully consider what your chosen institution requires. Given the sheer number of possibilities covered by ELS, however, you can rest assured that ELS can help you no matter what the future holds.


Why Study in South Africa

South Africa is a country on the move. The developing nation, whose geography is the same as its name, has taken on an increasingly important role on the continent itself and is rising power on the world stage at large. A mining giant that is well known for its natural beauty, the country is also quickly emerging as Africa’s international education powerhouse. South Africa’s popularity has risen quickly: while it was US students 18th most popular destination in 2006, it rose fully five place – to 13th – in as many years. It’s little wonder why: South Africa’s attractions are as varied as its people and has much to offer would-be internationals students:

The Landscape – South Africa is a land of geographic extremes. A famously remote land that offers diverse riches, its territory encompasses a variety of compelling landscapes that includes scenic river valleys, lofty mountain tops, beautiful beaches, and even the stunning Karoo Desert.

The Cities – Urban life in South Africa has a lot to offer as well. On a continent renowned for conflict, its infrastructure well-developed, its citizens well-educated, and – if you get lost along the way – ordinary people in the street speak English.

The People – Indeed, it is those very people that are the stars of South Africa. It population is chiefly comprised of a diverse array of native peoples as well as European, Indian, and Asian immigrants and, in this post-apartheid era, the county’s constitution simultaneously recognizes 11 official languages and the value of multiculturalism. Don’t worry, though – South Africa may be a nation of about 50 million people (whose cultures are almost as varied as they are) but their friendliness is world famous.

The Schools – The country’s academic reputation is also world famous. Several of its 23 major universities rank among the world’s top 500 universities and applying for a student visa in South Africa is now easier than ever. Better yet, South Africa student visas are available for both study abroad and degree-seeking students.

In the end, then, South Africa’s reputation as a world class study abroad destination is well-deserved. But don’t take my word for it – now is the perfect time find out for yourself if learning English in South Africa is the place for you!


Types of Private Intensive English Programs

Both of the two types of ESL schools in the US – University IEPs and Private IEPs – offer distinct immersion programs that are designed to meet the needs of international students. Although Private IEPs, oriented toward the needs of their clients, sometimes offer programs that are distinct from the more academic (and partner institution-focused) University IEPs, you may find all of the following types of courses at both types of ESL schools in the US:

General English Immersion Programs, as the name suggests, focus on all aspects of English language education and include components on reading, writing, listening, and speaking. These programs are designed for students who are interested in learning everyday English.

(Pre)Academic English Programs, by contrast, are designed to help students meet the English language requirements needed to study at a university in an English speaking country. Accordingly, these programs teach the basic components of language as well as general academic and cultural skills.

Exam Preparation Programs are similar to Academic English Programs in that they focus the program on a specific outcome, but are geared toward language test preparation rather than general language proficiency. Thus these programs are test-centric and typically based the curriculum around a target exam (such as the TOEFL of IELTS) and concentrate on the skills and strategies students need to succeed on them.

Specific Purpose Programs likewise often feature highly focused curricula that are designed to help students develop their English skills (which are often already high) in a specific industry. Unlike general and academic programs which offer students a more broad-based approach to English and are designed for student at the beginning of their academic career, Specific Purpose Programs are meant to for post-graduate students or working professionals who need to learn English for a specific discipline (such as Business or Chemistry).

It is important to remember, however, that the landscape for English education in the US is vast and the options nearly limitless. Whatever your needs, you are sure to find the perfect program for you!


Which English Immersion Program is Right for Me?

Although there are countless types of ESL schools around the world, when it comes to Immersion English Programs (IEP) there are two main types of ESL schools in the US: University IEPs and Private IEPs. Each has their benefits and drawbacks and therefore warrant a closer examination:

University IEPs, as the name suggests, are taught at (or at least with the support of) a large college or university and are designed to help students prepare develop the English language skills they will need to accomplish their future academic goals (namely English-language courses and degree programs) and may even allow student to enroll in elective, non-ESL courses. At the same time, given their focus, University IEPs often use a rigorous application process (which may include formal proficiency assessments like the TOEFL) and feature semester-length programs. Although summer programs may be shorter, classes often start and stop according to the college’s general academic semester and are not as receptive to student needs. At the same time, University IEPs do allow students the opportunity to actually immerse themselves in an English-language campus and may be the perfect place to build the foundation for future academic success.

Private IEPs, likewise, use proficiency exams to divide their students by ability but typically accept a larger variety of exam types that are better-suited for beginning- and intermediate-level students. Private IEPs, being private businesses aimed more specifically aimed at satisfying customer needs, are also more included to offer a variety of semester lengths, starts dates and courses. Thus Private IEPs are a good choice for students who are interested in short courses with specific goals. Their setting is also a unique attribute: as stand-alone institutions students can select a school with the environment of their choosing (urban or rural) and thus tailor their immersion experience to their comfort level.

For example, in a city location, although you will not have access to the same facilities that are offered on the campus of a university, you will have ample opportunity to make use of the convenient public transportation and explore the surrounding area. Private IEPs each have their own distinct characteristics allowing students the freedom to select the school that best meets their needs and preferences.

Given the scope of possibilities, however, it is important to consider each of these factors (and how important they are to you) before making a decision. After all, an IEP may be your first step in the path to success!


Why Study in New Zealand

With its world-famous natural beauty routinely on display in movie theaters around the world, New Zealand is, quite literally, the stuff of legends. More to the point, its renown for being for amazing is every bit as justified as its reputation for remoteness.

Recent changes to its immigration policy, however, mean that New Zealand is more accessible than ever. Indeed, a series of flexible visa arrangements mean that, in New Zealand, you have the best of both worlds. Citizens from many countries – namely Canada, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and the United Kingdom – are eligible for New Zealand’s Working Holiday program and entitled to study without a formal student visa for up to six months out of twelve. Similarly, students from most other countries are free to enroll in short-term English language program (three months in length or less) on a visitor visa. Student who are seeking a degree (or have otherwise longer term plans) can take advantage of the New Zealand student visa and even work part-time during the academic year.

Between work and school, however, be sure to leave plenty of time to enjoy the best of what New Zealand has to offer. It truly is one of the greatest travel destinations in the world. From the North Island’s volcanoes to the South Island’s fjords – and with world-class cities and beaches in between – it has something to offer visitors of all stripes.

This varied landscape, along with its four distinct seasons, means that there are incredible sports and adventure activities to engage in no matter the season. The country is overflowing with recreation activities that range from the sedate (like gold and horseback riding) to the extreme (like rock climbing and hang gliding).

Finally, its people are world-renowned in their own right for their warm spirits and friendly dispositions. They, truly, are the stars of the show and will doubtless make your visit a memorable one!

If you are looking to study English in New Zealand, check out the ESL Directory to find the program that’s right for you.


Reasons to Study in Canada

Among those in the know, it’s no surprise that more and more international student are opting to study in Canada. Indeed, the reasons to study abroad in Canada are as diverse as its people and as great as its landscape. Here, however, is our short list of the top three reasons to study in Canada:

Academics: From primary school to college and beyond, Canada’s education system ranks among the finest in the world. More to the point, its finely calibrated accreditation organizations (such as the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada) ensure that a Canadian degree really is as valuable as the equivalent certification in the US or UK. Also, because Canada is a uniquely bilingual nation – its national languages are both English and French – it provides an unique language immersion experience. Nowhere else in the English-speaking world do the two languages cohabitate to freely, and because of this many of its colleges and universities offer English as a Second Language or French as a Second language programs.

Cost: Excellence does not mean excess, however. School fees – and the cost of living in general – in Canada are among the lowest in the English-speaking world. The average cost of a tuition in Canada is fully a third lower than it is in the United States. Meanwhile, the overall cost of living in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, is 30% lower than London’s cost of living. Those kind of savings add up!

Work: Canada Student Visa holders are allowed to work on campus during their studies and many provinces encourage off-campus work as well. The Canadian office of Citizenship and Immigration also generously allows international students who have graduated from a college or university in Canada to work in Canada for up to one year after they receive their degree. That means your studies may well be the first step in the path to success in Canada!

If you are looking to study English in Canada, check out the ESL Directory to find the program that’s right for you.