English Language Institute’s Summer Programs

As part of its ongoing mission to meet the ever-changing needs of non-native English speakers, in addition to its comprehensive catalog of English proficiency exams such as the Michigan English Test (or MET exam), the University of Michigan’s English Language Institute also offers a range of summer programs. Although the ELI has offered ESL summer programs since 1941, they have undergone many changes in the seven decades since its inception. Then, at the ELI’s first language program, the character and demographics of the program were completely different. All 13 of the ELI Summer Program’s original students were Latin American professionals from a diverse array of fields who wished who wished to do advanced study in their fields.

Although the ELI still actively works to serve the non-native, academic English market, today the Michigan-based campus offers three specialized English programs to meet the specific needs of international students.

With its seven-week English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Program, for example, the ELI is actively working to serve the needs of international students who are proficient in English but who want to further their English studies in anticipation of courses at English language universities in the coming fall semester. As a result, the core focus of the EAP program is to help establish the academic language skills required to effectively participate in an English-only academic setting.

Similarly, its seven-week English for Business Studies Program emphasizes the development of those skills international students need in a rigorous, English-only MBA program. As a result, the program requires students to work on assignments and projects that are deliberately structured to mimic current MBA program practices.

Finally, its seven-week English for Legal Studies Program offers non-native English speakers the opportunity to concentrate their efforts on the language skills necessary to succeed in a rigorous English-only legal program. Accordingly, it is ideal for students who have been admitted to an LLM program in United States.

Thus, as you can see, regardless of your needs the ELI has a program for you!

Applying for School in the US

The United States has the largest and most versatile system for higher education. Any student interested in applying for school in the US for higher studies will find a suitable place at one of more than 3000 American colleges and universities.

With so many options, how do you choose your school?

1. General Research

The internet is the best source of information since most institutions have websites with detailed information including admission, programs, scholarships, credential evaluator services, etc. Many of these institutions also give you direct contact by phone or mail to answer any questions you may not have found online.

Before deciding on your school, you will want to consider geographical locations, costs,  and, of course, programs offered in the subject of interest.

2. University/College Research

The next step is to research potential universities and obtain information from the school directly. Most universities have an online application process or detail the steps involved in the application procedures on their website. These universities will also require your educational qualifications, credential evaluation reports, test results and letters of recommendation. Many of the universities and colleges may have a center on campus that administer ESL classes. One great way to find out if this college/university is a good fit for you is by spending a few months learning English and being immersed in the environment. Some even say this could give you an additional advantage on admissions!

3. Exam Preparation

Nearly all universities in the United States require applicants to take what are known as ‘standardized tests’ designed to measure students’ aptitude for further study. Students whose native language is not English might have to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), which are administered in most countries. In these cases, many students take general English or test preparation classes at an ESL school.

Undergraduate programs usually require the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) or the ACT (American College Testing) in order to gain admissions. Business graduate schools and MBA programs usually require students to do well on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) while other post-graduate programs in other disciplines generally require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Other specialized tests are offered for professional programs such as Law, Medicine, Dentistry, etc. To determine what exams are specific to your situation, contact your program to see what their minimum requirements are.

How are foreign qualifications reviewed?

Some universities employ specialists in foreign educational credential evaluation systems to review documents submitted by international students. Others will instruct applicants to have their credentials evaluated by an independent foreign credential evaluation agency, and will provide them with a list of organizations whose evaluations they accept. The right evaluation services can be found by asking the university for further instructions since each school is unique.

What else can a educational credential evaluation report do for you?

If you obtain an independent credential evaluation report it will give you some idea of what your educational background is worth in the US. Additionally, this will help determine what programs you are qualified for. That information can be very helpful when you make preparations for study in the United States, especially in finding the college or university that is just right for you.

If you are interested in studying English in the US, check our ESL Directory featuring programs and schools throughout the country.

Summer English Course

Learning a foreign language can be done either from home or abroad however most experts recommend that the best way to learn a language is through immersion. This is good news for many students as summer approaches!

You may be asking yourself, take a summer English course? Yes! There is no better way to spend your summer than traveling the world, exploring new places, and all the while learning a new language and culture.

In fact, many students will travel overseas for a few months during their summer break to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. The best way to learn English is to study at a program which offer a variety of summer English courses. Most students who are looking for an intense program will study at an English language institute during the day and live with a host family or on-campus at night. Many students find this to be the best way: learn the structure, grammar, and vocabulary formally at school and then apply your newly acquired language with your new friends and host family.

As you begin to look at the different programs, you’ll see that there are a variety of English language programs. One popular institute, Sacred Heart University, offers three types of language programs including intensive English, semi-intensive English, and a part time program. With these different options, students are able to determine how many hours they want to spend in the classroom – be it 23 hours or only 2 hours – so that they can learn at their own pace.

Many programs, like Sacred Heart University, also provide tutoring and conversation partners to enhance their learning experiences. Additionally, these programs will also incorporate activities along with the summer English course so that your experience will be both fun and rewarding! Let us know if you had an amazing summer course that you’d recommend!

Living With a Host Family

Living with a host family is a once in a lifetime, inspirational opportunity. I know, because I was lucky enough to spend my summer with a host family that soon became my family! It all started when I decided that I wanted to go abroad and learn a second language. Only having a basic understanding, I knew that I would not only have to learn a new language, but a new culture too.

After arriving, I was greeted by my host family who gave me the grand tour. I would be spending 3 months with my new family and I was excited to be introduced. While my communication was limited, we both welcomed one another into each other’s lives – primarily with hand gestures and slow over-pronounced speech. I was hoping that my language classes during the day would help with the language barrier that was obviously present during any interaction.

As nervous as I was, the family was patient and understanding. Day by day, what I learned in class I was able to apply. We ate breakfast and dinner together and I began to understand more and more of what they said. They were the patient kind; the one that would give me the space to try to put the words together to make a coherent sentence. By my side, I had a list of vocabulary list that grew pages and pages longer, day by day.

Over the course of my time there, as my language skills improved, so did the close ties and bonds that we had formed as a family. Celebrating birthdays, family reunions, holidays, new cars, and much, much more! I heard about their day, shared my day, and soon became well adjusted to our weekly schedule. I met the couple’s parents, nieces, nephews, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers. We all ate dinner together once a week as their house became chaotic with people running around, chatting, and fully accepting me as part of the family.

Now, 4 years later, I am still in contact with my family. We send messages back and forth to share the events that happen in our lives and I am even planning to travel back to visit! Living with a host family was not only an amazing experience, but created a lifetime bond that we’ll never forget.

Did you have an experience where you were living with a host family? What was your experience like?

Study English Abroad

So you’ve decided that you want to study English overseas? If so, then you may find the latest findings by Forbes interesting – they have found the friendliest countries in the world!

Friendliness was determined based on questions asked by HSBC Bank International regarding expatriate experiences living in their host country. Information was collected from expatriates living in different countries around the world which were then compared internationally to determine the “friendliness” of each country.

Here are the top four friendliest nations ranked (where #1 is the friendliest nation):

1. Canada
2. Bermuda
3. South Africa
4. United States

So you may be asking yourself, “why does this matter to me?”

If you are planning to study English abroad, you will notice that these top four nations are all English-speaking and good places to study in if you are trying to decide where to learn English.

If you are planning to study English abroad, then there are many factors that will contribute to a successful experience. Being able integrate with the locals and speak on a daily basis is critical to your ability to learn English. In determining the friendliness of each country, statistics were based on if you can befriend the locals, learn the language, and integrate into the new culture and community. These are all important factors in determining a successful trip to while you learn English is South Africa or learn English in the United States.

Have you studied English abroad, let us know how your experience has been!

How to Choose your ESL School

Are you interested in spending your summer overseas improving your English at an ESL school? When you begin to do your research, you may realize that there are English language schools around the world. Don’t be overwhelmed! Let us help you and give you some tips on how do you choose your ESL school?

  • Talk to people. Do you have a friend or family member that has studied at an ESL school? Ask them about their experience! What did they like about it, what did they dislike about it, what do they think their visit was missing?
  • Look at your budget. How much are you looking to spend? If you are planning to live in a big city, can you afford the cost of participating in the activities? Will you have to use public transportation daily? Remember – living in a large city can usually be more expensive, however, everything may be more accessible and at your fingertips!
  • Surf the Web. That’s right, many schools and programs are right online and take only a few minutes to locate. Compare programs to see what is and is not offered. Then, pull up reviews on that program – perhaps you may even be able to get in contact with an alumni!
  • Ask Questions. Once you have narrowed down your search, now it’s time to get in touch with the school and get a better idea of what to expect. We’ve put together a list of questions to ask your ESL school to make the process easier.

Have you studied abroad at an ESL school? Do you have any advice you’d like to share with our readers? Let us know how your experience was and what you’d recommend to look for!

Top Cities to Study English

With so many English language programs scattered throughout the world, deciding on where you would like to study can be a difficult decision. Depending on what you are looking to gain from your English language program, you may choose to study in a large city, suburban town, Europe, North America, etc. Many students look for a unique opportunity that will allow you to make new friends, learn about a new culture, and travel, all the while learning English. As we continue to develop important information for students studying English, we want to hear what you have to say about it!

Where is the top city to study English?

London, UK? Boston, US? St. Julian, Malta? Sydney, Australia? Where have you traveled? What did you discover? Or, if you have already studied English overseas, where did you go and what was your experience like?

Once we survey the top cities, we will have informative information on the top cities to learn English in. There are many considerations that you will have to think about before studying English overseas, like transportation, climate, terrain, expense, etc. We will explore these important options as we look forward to helping you choose your ESL school!