Why study English in the USA?
Maybe you have studied English in your country, in your high school or a private language school. These are very good ways to begin. The next step will be to improve your English by traveling to an English-speaking country to improve your English. This is the fastest way to learn! You will be in an English-speaking environment where you will be hearing and reading English every day, and you will need to speak English in your daily life.
The education system in the USA is generally regarded as the “gold standard” around the world. For this reason, many students want to study their university or post-graduate programs in the USA. If you want to continue your education in the USA, then it makes sense to study English there too.
Besides improving your English, you will also be learning about American life and culture. At first, it might not seem strange or different. After all, you’ve seen what America looks like in movies and on TV. But don’t be fooled by what you think you know! Living in another country can be very challenging. It will help to start learning about it while you continue to practice your English.
The USA is a large country, and there are hundreds of English programs to choose from. Later, we’ll explain how EnglishUSA can help you choose a program. But first, here are some things to think about when you’re trying to choose.
What kind of course do you want? There are many different kinds of courses, so you will want to choose one that meets your needs. There are courses that teach general English, or American culture and conversational English. Others focus on English for academic purposes – that is, studying at a university. There are also pre-university and “pathway” programs that can help you get started in your university studies.
If you want to study at an American university, you will need a good score on the TOEFL or IELTS test. Any English course you take – especially academically focused English courses – will help you improve your test scores. That’s because they will help you improve your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills – and these are exactly the skills that you will need to score well on the tests. In addition, there are courses that will teach you test-taking skills that can also help you get a good score.
Besides academic English, there are also courses that are designed for business and other professional purposes, such as English for law and English for medicine. Recently programs in the USA have been developing English for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) courses.
Where do you want to be? Take a look at a map of the USA and think about it. There are big differences between the East Coast, West Coast, and Central US. There are also differences between the north part of the country and the south. Use the internet to investigate some of the places in each part of the country that you might like.
Then you will want to decide about the size of the location you want to study in. Do you like big cities, with all their hustle and bustle, traffic and skyscrapers? Or would you prefer a smaller town, where it may be quieter but also easier to get around? When you think about this, you should also consider the cultural and recreational opportunities in each place. There are usually more museums in cities, but a small town might be near ski areas! Think about the kind of lifestyle you like and what is important to you.
Think about your housing choices. Where will you live during your studies? Be sure to look at the types of accommodations that English programs offer. There are many different kinds. If the program is on a university-campus, they may have dormitories or residence halls available. Homestays (host families) are also popular. They provide opportunities to practice your English in an American home and can help you learn about family life in the USA. Other students prefer single or shared apartments, which can often be economical choices, especially on a long-term basis.
What are other considerations? There are hundreds of English programs in the USA, and they vary greatly in cost. Cost is important of course, but it should not be the main factor in choosing where you study. Do you know the saying, “you get what you pay for”? That can also be true of English programs. Be sure to think about all the other features of a program when you are making your choice.
Another consideration might be your future study. If your plans include undergraduate or graduate study in the US, then you may want to study in one of the many programs located on a university campus – maybe even at the university you hope to attend. As mentioned earlier, many English programs offer a “bridge” or “pathway” to university study. On the other hand, if you want to improve your English for professional or personal reasons, you can choose a program for almost anything that you like about it!
How EnglishUSA can help
There are close to 400 EnglishUSA member programs. All of them are accredited, which means that they meet high standards for quality. And that means you can depend on them to give you good value for your money. You will get a high-quality English course that will meet your needs and help you reach your goals!
EnglishUSA member programs provide general as well as specialized English programs for academic and professional studies, university and test preparation, culture and conversation, and other specific purposes. They are located on university and college campuses as well as off-campus sites across the USA, from exciting big-city centers to cozy, small-town locations. You will find housing options that include on-campus residences, off-campus student apartments, and host family accommodations. They offer wide range of student services including cultural and recreational opportunities, visa counseling and academic advising
You can search for programs on the EnglishUSA website, www.englishusa.org. Click Study English at the top of the page and then use the interactive map and other questions to help you find a program that matches you!
We wish you good luck in your search and hope to see you soon at an EnglishUSA intensive English program.
EnglishUSA – the American Association of Intensive English Programs