“Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can; there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.” – Sarah Caldwell.

There’s nothing more fun than learning something new. With the New Year around the corner, it’s time to dust off that notebook and start listing achievable New Year resolutions. Although it sounds kind of cliché, setting long-term goals can help you shape your future. Here’s a thought: why not set some time aside to improve on your second language?

Every year, people all over the world commit themselves to learning and improving their grasp of a new language, with English being the most popular one of all. With over 700 million people speaking English as a Foreign Language, it represents the world’s most widespread language in terms of both speaking and writing.

And with English as the official language spoken by the European Union, the United Nations, and many Commonwealth countries, it’s time to start dusting off your underused vocabulary. There are plenty of schools that offer courses and online programs to help study English, but it’s important to research just how effective these classes are, and how their location can also help your goal.

One school in Seattle ticks all the boxes to get the most out of your money, time and effort…

Why study at the Washington Academy of Languages (WAL)?

At the Washington Academy of Languages, students do more than learn and improve on a foreign language. The WAL believes in promoting cross-cultural understanding through language instruction and teacher training. Your course mates come from all over the world, giving you an opportunity to meet new people and learn new cultures while you’re learning English. The school provides English and world language training to students interested in learning a new language for business, travel or university credit.


The academic institution offers a full- and part-time Intensive English Program specifically-designed for those interested in improving their English, as well as for those wanting to further their studies in the U.S. The length of the academic program varies depending on your entry placement, future plans, and the duration of your stay in the country. But generally, students are required to attend the entire five-week session, with each level requiring two sessions (10-weeks to complete).

The academic program offers nine levels of English courses which are Novice, Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, High Intermediate, College Preparation I, College Preparation II, Advanced I and Advanced II. Students are assigned a specific level after taking a test to determine their English language level.

Besides that, the school also offers student support for anyone who might be struggling with academic, personal or immigration issues. For academic and personal counselling, students will be provided with an advisor who they can speak to about their challenges and successes or simply to offer advice.

The WAL, which is part of City University of Seattle, offers a conversation partner program that pairs English students together with an American student for a weekly conversation session. You can meet each week and spend half of the time speaking English, while the rest of the time can be used speaking in your native language. If you’re looking for more ways to improve your English outside of the classroom environment, WAL urges students to join a volunteer placement or participate in university activities, that way you get to do something new while you master the language. It’s a win-win situation!

Study in the world-class city of Seattle

Seattle has plenty of charm and culture of its own to compete with bigger cities in the States. It’s ranked one of the top places to stay in the U.S. due to its amazing beauty, nightlife and great career opportunities. With a population of 3.6 million, Seattle is the largest city in Washington State with a booming economy and a diverse population. Despite being a growing metropolis, it is also located between Puget Sound in the Pacific Ocean and Lake Washington, providing easy access to rivers, lakes and forests for city folk looking for a weekend escape. For outdoor lovers, the city is also within driving distance to Cascade Range and Olympic mountains and is a haven for hikers, skiers and mountain bikers.

Brimming with activities

Aside from the outdoors experiences, there are plenty of city activities that can keep one busy throughout the weekend. As one of the main cities on the West Coast, Seattle is a cultural hub for performers, musicians and artists, making it one of the must-visit locations in the U.S. If you’re looking for a little escapism after a long day in class, you can head to the Seattle Grand Wheel (the largest Ferris wheel in the U.S.) or head to the iconic Space Needle, the 605-foot-tall observation tower where you’ll get to see the entire breath-taking Seattle skyline. Prepare to be amazed!

Home of tech giants

Seattle isn’t just famous for its rain (although it really isn’t that rainy); the lovely city is also known for being a creative and innovative hub. Home to Fortune 500 companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks, this city continues to be a leader in industries such as technology, design, start-ups and green building.  

Studying a new language while you’re living in one of the most amazing cities in the U.S – it’s what most students dream of doing. So what are you waiting for? Click here to sign up!

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All images courtesy of Washington Academy of Languages

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