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Choosing A Program
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Every year, nearly a million students come to the USA to study and live among native English speakers for personal, academic, or professional reasons. We at EnglishUSA can help you find a language program that is perfect for you.

There are three important things to consider when choosing your program: location, type of program, and housing options. We have compiled the information below to help you make the best choice.

After considering your answers to the questions below, use our interactive map to find an EnglishUSA Member Program to meet you needs!


Where do you want to be? Can you imagine yourself near a beach? By a lake? In a big city with lots of restaurants and shopping? How about skiing or hiking in the mountains? Do you prefer a small private school or a large university campus? Use our interactive map and click on the part of the USA that you would like to explore.


Program Type

There are several different types of ESL programs in the USA, so there is something for everyone. To find your perfect program, ask yourself what type of English you want to study, how long you want to study, and what you want from your English program.



What do you want to study?



  • General, intensive English programs: Improve your English reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and conversation skills.
  • Exam preparation programs: Get ready for college entrance exams (TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS), or earn certificates that will improve your career choices (Cambridge exams).
  • Academic English programs (intensive or pathway): Get ready for university studies by improving your academic English and learning techniques needed in American universities such as note-taking, discussion, academic reading and writing and research.
  • Business English programs: Learn the English you need for a career in business, such as participating in meetings, negotiations, social skills, telephone skills, report writing, and more.
  • Certificate Programs: Learn the English and earn the certificates that you need to succeed in law, marketing, management, finance, or other careers.
  • Teacher Training Programs: Learn or improve the English skills you need to teach English in your home country. Learn advanced English, teaching methods, lesson planning, and more to become the best teacher you can be.


How long do you want to study?



  • Short-term courses are usually offered in 4-week sessions. Some short courses are available at any time of year with scheduled start dates every week or month. Others begin a few times each year.
  • Quarter or Semester courses are 10 to 15 weeks long. These courses are usually offered on college or university campuses. Start dates are scheduled several times a year. 

What are you looking for in an English program?


  • If you study in the USA with an F-1 student visa, you must attend class for a minimum of 18 hours each week. Some courses meet 18 hours each week. Some meet up to 30 hours each week.
  • Class size varies among the programs as well. Some courses may have a only 8 or 12 students in a class. Others may have as many as 16 or 20 students.
  • Your student fees cover different things in different programs. Some programs include tuition, books, materials, medical insurance, student activities fees, and lab fees. Other programs may charge separately for each item.
  • Most EnglishUSA member programs offer a activities, sports, and leisure programs that vary with the region and the time of year. When choosing your program, consider what activities you would like to enjoy after class. Would you like to ski? Swim? Hike? Socialize? Use our interactive map to find the English program that’s right for you.


Housing Options

Where you live while you're studying English in the USA is an important part of your experience. Most EnglishUSA member programs offer housing choices that may include the options below:

  • Home-stays. A home-stay experience will give you the opportunity to live with an American family. Depending on the program, you may have a private bedroom, share with a family member, or share with another student. Meals are included and you can sometimes choose breakfast only, breakfast and dinner (half-board) or breakfast, lunch, and dinner (full-board) at the family’s home.
  • Student residences. Programs on college campuses often offer student residences. Depending on the program, you'll probably share a bedroom with another student and have meals in a dining hall.
  • Hotels or apartments. Some programs provide information about or event assist you in finding local hotels or apartments for students who want to live independently.