How to Choose an ESL Summer Camp
Want to attend an ESL summer camp in the U.S. but you are overwhelmed with choices?Here are some tips on how to narrow down your choices.
Some English immersion programs offer options for multiple age groups while others focus only on teenage or adult language learning. When choosing a program, take note of which age group the program is geared towards. Programs for older students often do not offer as many afternoon activities or structured programming. Curfews and residence supervision also depend on the age of students.
There are many English immersion programs located throughout the English speaking world for students to choose from. If you are considering studying longer term in the US for your future studies, either for high school or university, it may be a good idea to look for an English camp on a school campus. This will allow you to get a taste of student life in that country. Programs for older English learners often are held on university campuses in an urban location. Teen programs often are located in smaller communities outside of the main city center and offer the same amenities but in a more secure location.
Oftentimes English institutes are highly rigorous and geared towards classroom learning. Summer English camps however, often build in off-campus activities to allow for real world language practice. Choose a program that allows you to speak with as many native speakers as possible. After all, this is the reason you are choosing to study in an English speaking country! Camps typically offer activities such as: university visits, big city tours, karaoke, ice cream socials, game nights, visits to shopping malls, a trip to an amusement park, and tours of nearby popular destinations.
There is nothing worse than feeling like you are the odd person out in a class. Look for English immersion programs that offer classes for different levels of English so that you don’t feel like you are way behind or way ahead of your peers. Certain programs offer classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students, and your level is determined on the first day of class.
Where are your teachers from and how long have they even been teaching for? These are important questions to ask when picking an ESL summer camp. Make sure that your teacher is a native English speaker and has ample teaching experience. If these teachers are multilingual that is a great bonus because they understand how it feels to learn a new language! Often times it also means these teachers have experiences living abroad; they are able to help students adjust to a new culture because they once had to do the same. With this understanding their lesson plans are often more interactive and engaging.
Hidden costs are sometimes hard to find, so it is best when there are none! Make sure that the ESL summer camp you choose details what is included in the program cost. Consider the cost of airport transfers, bedding, excursions, insurance, and meals. Make sure to check the fine print of websites and ask for clarification on costs if you are not sure.
Who do you speak with when organizing your ESL summer camp program? Oftentimes the person on the phone or behind the email will never meet you in person, but certain companies do offer you the opportunity to speak directly with a program manager. Parents and students are able to ask any and all questions directly to the person overseeing the program. For parents it may be scary to send a child abroad without knowing anyone in the United States. Speaking to the person who will greet your student upon arrival provides a level of comfort and ease for parents sending students abroad for the first time.
Learn more about attending our ESL summer camp.