How to Choose a U.S. Campus to Study English
So you have decided to come to the U.S.A. to study English abroad. Choosing a university-based intensive English program is great idea because you will get access to all of the university facilities and student life. But there are still many other things to consider when making your decision about where to take English courses.
Three key things to think about are:
#1 Traditional campus vs. city life
There are basically two types of university campuses when you decide to study ESL in New York. There are advantages to both.
A traditional campus offers you a very safe experience. The campus is usually very beautiful. Often the building are old. The campus will not be in the center of the city, so it can often seem very friendly and it is easy to get around. There are a lot of other students studying with you, who have similar interests. There is a often nice sense of community. Pace's Westchester campus for the English Language Institute (ELI) is in White Plains, which is about 40 minutes by train to New York City's Grand Central Terminal so you can still easily and quickly get to the city.
A city campus is usually spread over several or many building around a city. This doesn't give the same sense of community that a traditional campus offers. However, it does mean that you are studying right the heart of a major city. Pace's main NYC campus is downtown, by the Brooklyn Bridge, Chinatown and Wall Street. Some classes are also held in midtown, right on 5th Avenue. You are right in the middle of the action and can take advantage of all that New City has to offer.
#2 Quality and type of the classes
The quality of instruction is important. Having choice is also important.
The ELI at Pace has a variety of different programs for different students. All instructors are required to have a Masters degree - which very few schools require. Our classes have different levels for each skill, so you can be in one level for speaking and a different level for writing. This helps make sure you are in the right level and improving the best you can, which will give you more confidence and help you learn more quickly.
We have lots of elective classes too. This is a fun way to learn something that you are really interested in as well as improving your English skills.
We also have TOEFL waivers for undergraduate and graduate programs into Pace.
#3 Student life
You want serious study but fun student life. You want lots of activities and lots of opportunities to do things other than study English. You want to really enjoy your time studying ESL in NYC or Westchester.
Make sure your English school ofers you lots of choices.
- campus (n): the area and buildings around a university, college, school, etc.
- in the heart of (adv.): in the middle of
- waiver (n.): the act of choosing not to require something that is usually required