Many international students come to the USA to learn English as preparation for enrollment in U.S. colleges and universities or simply to experience American life. Others come to improve their English to qualify for better jobs. Are you interested in finding an English language program in the USA? No matter your reason, we are here to help!
What Are The Different Types of English Language Programs?
U.S. College and University Programs
There are many U.S. colleges and universities that offer full-time intensive English programs. An intensive English program must meet a minimum of 18 hours per week for students to qualify for a student visa. Most intensive programs provide 20-25 hours per week of classroom instruction. International students in these programs benefit from perks like living on campus and full use of the college or university library, the recreation and sports centers, and other facilities.
Proprietary English Language Programs
Some private English language schools can also prepare international students for U.S. colleges or universities. These private schools may be located near a college or university campus, in a downtown office building, or a mall. These programs are more flexible than colleges and universities, and classes may begin every few weeks, which can be an advantage for students interested in a short-term study.
When deciding what English language program might be right for you, keep in mind that intensive English programs are usually not part of the college or university’s academic degree programs, so you may not necessarily be admitted to that college or university. You also may or may not receive academic credit. However, students in advanced levels of an English program may be allowed to take some college or university courses. You may have to arrange your own living arrangements for proprietary English language programs as only some private English schools provide housing or arrange homestays. If you are interested in researching different English language programs, check out StudyUSA.com for resources to help you identify programs that interest you.
What English Language Test Should I Take?
If you are an international student whose native language isn’t English, you will likely need to pass a language test to get admitted to an international university. There are three standard language tests that you can choose from, which include:
International English Language Testing System
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test that evaluates your English language skills across four aspects: reading, listening, writing, and speaking. The exam is conducted in a paper-based or computer-delivered exam. If you are hoping to use general, day-to-day English around the globe, you might benefit most from the IELTS exam, though you can take the IELTS for admission to schools as well.
Test of English as a Foreign Language
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam is a 3-hour test that can be administered in either a paper-based or computer-based format. The TOEFL iBT, administered over the internet, is the most commonly taken and accepted version of the TOEFL. The TOEFL will likely be your best bet if you’re applying to a U.S. graduate school or workplace. Some U.S. graduate schools only accept the TOEFL exam and won’t consider IELTS scores.
Duolingo English Test
The Duolingo English Test is a modern language proficiency tool designed for an accessible, efficient, and secure testing experience for international students and institutions. You can take the test online anywhere, so there is no need to travel to a test center or make an appointment. It features a 45-minute adaptive test that offers an English proficiency score through different questions that evaluate your English skills. The test also features a 10-minute writing and speaking sample section that includes open-ended prompts shared with institutions alongside your English proficiency score.
Which English language test should you take? That answer can depend on a few factors like which test is recognized by the U.S. college or university you want to apply to, what exam centers are available near you, how much you’re willing to pay, etc.
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