Choosing an English Program
Choosing an English Program

English language programs of high quality can be found at a variety of U.S. educational institutions. High-quality programs have a professionally trained faculty, an excellent curriculum, and superior facilities for study. Such facilities may include classrooms, libraries, laboratories, computers, and other equipment. As a prospective student, you should examine the following criteria carefully and use them to help you decide whether a program is appropriate for you.
Program Types

There are three main types of English language programs available in the United States:

Intensive English Programs (IEPs): These programs generally require 20 to 30 hours per week in the classroom. Courses include classroom instruction, small group discussions, language labs, and out-of-class work. Intensive courses may or may not allow students to attend regular academic classes in subjects outside the English-as-a-second-language curriculum. Most programs are developed as pre-academic preparatory courses, designed to prepare students for admission into a U.S. college or university.

Semi-intensive English Programs: Like IEPs, semi-intensive courses include classroom instruction, small group work, language labs, and out-of-class work, but students usually also take academic courses in subjects other than English. A university may require you to take a few semi-intensive English-as-a-second-language (ESL) courses if your Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores were sufficient for admission into a degree program at the university, but further proficiency is desired.

Professional English Programs: Many private English language programs and some university-based ones are tailored to fit the needs of professionals. These may include programs in business English or special certificate programs in fields such as law, engineering, education, medicine, architecture, computer science, aerospace, hospitality management, and travel. Internships with U.S. businesses are available with some programs, both private and university-based.

This section will focus on Intensive English Programs (IEPs) only.