3 Reasons to Study English at UCLA Extension
Image courtesy of UCLA Extension

“I believe that UCLA Extension has very strong principles and truly cares about helping their students learn.” — Irina Velitskaya, Russia

Ranked fourteenth in the world in the prestigious Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2017, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is known to be among the globe’s elite academic institutions. For almost a century, UCLA has pioneered cutting-edge higher education, inspiring 13 Nobel Laureates, 12 Macarthur fellows, 113 NCAA title holders, and 261 Olympic champions to turn the seemingly impossible into the achievable. A respected division of this impressive institution, UCLA Extension encompasses the largest, single-campus continuing education program in the world, embodying the excellence that comes with a UCLA-approved curriculum.

The American Language Center (ALC), a department within UCLA Extension, offers Intensive English Language Programs for non-native students looking to brush up their skills. With leading instructors who use innovative teaching methods and boast a wealth of relevant experience, UCLA Extension creates a relaxed learning atmosphere where students gain the skills to communicate effectively in English and also gain invaluable insights into American life and culture.

Image courtesy of UCLA Extension

If you’re considering expanding your English expertise at a world-class institution overseas, here are three reasons to choose an Intensive English Program at UCLA Extension:

1. The UCLA name is one that embodies quality…

Whether it’s the Academic Intensive English Program (AIEP) or the Intensive English Communication Program (IECP) that best suits your needs, one thing that’s guaranteed is the high-quality instruction you’ll receive at ALC. From reading, writing, and grammar, to general comprehension and TOEFL preparation, the ALC’s methods and results consistently fall in-line with the academic rigor of the UCLA brand. By providing students with the most advanced learning facilities and current teaching methods, UCLA Extension students are given the tools they need to thrive at the school and throughout their careers.

“Our students go on to pursue and find success in so many different areas, both inside and outside universities,” says Shelley Reece, an ALC instructor with an MA in Intercultural Communication.

“Former ALC students are now pursuing graduate degrees at many universities, including UCLA and many other UC schools, USC, Pepperdine, CalArts, Indiana University, NYU, and University of Delaware, among others,” she adds. “They are studying engineering, nursing, law, acting, computer science, applied finance, advertising, and TESL, just to name a few.

“Some students have stayed in L.A. and achieved success outside of academics,” Reece explains. “One Italian student has started his own yoga business here, and a French student started his own accounting practice here in L.A. after he finished UCLA Extension’s Certificate Program.

“…All of these success stories are possible because we prepare our students so thoroughly, not just with English language skills, but also with the whole university or Certificate Program application process.”

2. ALC boasts expert instructors…

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Students of ALC receive the best possible instruction from experienced language experts who have a passion for their field. Most hold advanced English qualifications, such as a Master’s-level degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). The majority have also experienced living and working in a foreign country and, therefore, understand issues that can arise as you try to adjust to a new country and culture.

“From my experience, ALC teachers are some of the smartest, most passionate, and diverse people I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with,” Reece explains. “They bring their expertise and passion for…other fields into the classroom and use it to make their English language lessons as authentic as possible and also to establish real connections with students.

“We know that English is a means to an end for our students, [who] are an extremely diverse group of people with varied professional and life goals,” says Reece. “Having a teaching faculty that mirrors that is really motivating and inspirational for our students.”

  1. 3. UCLA Extension is set in an unforgettable location…

At first, the thought of jumping ship to build a life in an unknown country and culture can seem nothing short of crazy…but applicants to the ALC at UCLA Extension rest easy in the knowledge they’ll receive the best support right from the very first day.

Image courtesy of UCLA Extension

“Students receive help with housing needs, they can receive both personal and college counselling on-site, they are connected with a social coordinator through an outside tour company that organizes great local activities and weekend trips, and they have…a language partner to help them make friends and improve their English outside of class,” notes Reece.

UCLA extension is located in Westwood Village, one of the safest and most sought-after neighbourhoods in the entire Los Angeles region. The village sits a short bus ride from the sun of Santa Monica Beach and the glitz of Beverly Hills, giving UCLA Extension students a real taste of life in the glamourous entertainment capital of the world. There’s plenty to do to keep students occupied through the year!

“I think the idea of living and studying in Los Angeles is very inspiring for many students because they feel like they know the city already,” Reece explains. “Because of the entertainment industry and worldwide fascination with celebrities, many people have already been introduced to the scenery and culture of L.A., and no doubt it’s exciting to live so close to the action….[it’s] a friendly, welcoming city that is very open to diverse points of view,” she adds, “and students of all regions and nationalities tend to feel safe, validated, and happy studying here.”

And for students thinking of submitting an application to the ALC at UCLA Extension, Reece has a few keen words of advice: “Just do it,” she exclaims, eager to learn from and inspire the next generation of English language learners.

She adds, however, that applicants must come ready not just to work hard, but more importantly, “to work together. Our program is…tough, but the results are worth it; the English skills and experience that you gain with us can be life-changing.”

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