Study ESL Abroad

A Guide To

Studying English as a Second Language Abroad


194 English as a Second Language Study Abroad Programs


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Study in an idyllic, affordable Australian city! On Semester in Newcastle, you'll get to study at an excellent university, live in a coastal city, and experience the true Aussie lifestyle. The University of Newcastle is recognized internationally for both its academic excellence and its stunning, ecologically sustainable campus. Semester in Newcastle is the most affordable study abroad program ...


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Recently named as the most entrepreneurial city in South Africa, Cape Town is the perfect place for a summer internship! With IES Internships, you are guaranteed an unpaid internship placement working up to 40 hours per week in a business or organization that suits your career goals. Build a global network of professional contacts and gain real-world experience all while exploring everything th...


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Study BA Applied English at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. The programme is ideal for students interested in studying the English subject in-depth, as opposed to just learning it as a set of language skills. It features excellent modules that provide a comprehensive coverage of the modern field of English studies, from linguistics and literature to interpreting and translation and discour...


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Athena's London program takes place at the University of Roehampton, where students can live, learn and socialize together on a beautiful and historic campus in southwest London. The school offers a range of excellent facilities as well as easy access to the world-class museums, libraries and galleries of one of the most exciting and successful cities in the world. Students are taught direct...


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Study at the University of South Wales (USW) in Pontypridd. Join a low-cost program offered by CSA, and earn credits. The programme is open to all students and adults worldwide. A transcript will be issued by USW. Students can take Liberal Arts & Science courses taught in English. Cultural activities and excursions are included. Low-cost housing options are available. Semester, Year, Quarter, S...


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The University of Granada was chartered and given official Papal ratification by Clemente VII in 1531. Through its almost 500 years of existence, it has become one of the major intellectual centers in southern Spain. The University's Modern Language Center, the Centro de Lenguas Modernas, is housed in what was once an orphanage built in the 1700s. It was completely restored in 1992 and is locat...


Program Overview Join 60,000 students in one of France’s most beautiful cities, just two hours west of Paris by train, where you’ll learn the distinct Celtic traditions particular to this beautiful, unspoiled region from the inside, and further your academic requirements. Intensive courses, a homestay, and explorations of the city – from the ancient settlement of Condate to the architecturally...


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Studying abroad is an incredible opportunity to build your resume while you experience the world, learn a new language, and make international friends. As an American university in the historic center of Rome, Italy, John Cabot University allows you to become a part of our international campus community representing 70 countries while you experience the incredible city of Rome. We accept st...


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Get involved, make an impact, and learn to serve! University credit is available for our local service learning programs in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. Service Learning Project Areas: - Working with Kids - Teaching English - Conservation - Construction - Animal Care - Eco-Agriculture - Indigenous Immersion - Medical & Healthcare University credit is awarded ...


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With 40 years of academic excellence in Spanish studies, Spanish Studies Abroad specially designed the Spanish Studies Program for Spanish language students entering the advanced-level with a wide range of academic interests. The program integrates thoughtful synthesis of homestays/life in the residencias, study visits, language exchanges, volunteer, and other cultural opportunities into the cu...


Ready to live and study alongside locals in the cultural capital of the Middle East, Sharjah? With our flexible course enrollment program at one of the United Arab Emirates' most prestigious universities, American University of Sharjah, you will be able to choose classes from the institution's full-course curriculum. Choose from hundreds of high-quality courses to meet your academic requirement...


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Study abroad in the United Arab Emirates with American University of Sharjah (AUS). Participants of this international learning opportunity have the chance to take courses from any of the four colleges/schools in the University, namely, College of Engineering (CEN), College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD), School of Business Administration (SBA), and College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). ...


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Discover the traditional spices of Bangkok, Thailand as you float through the market and visit the golden temples. Then experience the energetic dominance of the modern city when you see the maze of skyscrapers pushing into the sky. Semester and Year Concentration - Business, Law & Diplomacy - Computer Science & Information Systems - Environment & Ecology - Media & Film - Pre-Medicine, Health...


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The University of Roehampton offers students the opportunity to live and learn on a close-knit collegiate campus just a stone's throw away from the sights and sounds of the capital city. Students can really experience the 'best of both worlds' at London’s only parkland campus. You will study for one semester or a full year alongside Roehampton students from over 130 countries worldwide. Guar...


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Sage Corps’ semester study abroad program is your chance to not only learn in a foreign classroom setting but also gain incredible professional experience building a company. While abroad, you'll also establish a global professional network. Your semester study abroad will be an amazing cultural experience and may be the ticket to your dream job. For most students, semester study abroad is thei...

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Studying English as a Second Language Abroad

You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes, now all you need is to sharpen up your English skills. The global lingua franca, English is your passport to anywhere, a crucial skill for traveling, studying, and working almost anywhere in the world. To steer yourself in the direction you choose, English is key. Studying English as a second language abroad is the best way to fast track your language learning and develop cultural awareness and understanding, all while having a study abroad experience you won’t be able to stop raving about for, well, ever.

Why Study ESL Abroad

Studying ESL abroad might be the scariest thing you ever do. Leaping headfirst into a foreign country, trying to wrap your tongue around an unfamiliar language and your head around an unfamiliar culture, can be trying to say the least. The good news, though, is that choosing to study ESL abroad might also be the best thing you ever do. 

When studying ESL abroad, you get to learn the culture that goes along with the language, putting everything into a global context. Studying textbook photos of English people sipping their tea and catching big red buses is all very well, but actually experiencing these things is invaluable. Learning a language is about so much more than just being able to order a meal. It is about being able to communicate with locals, putting yourself in the shoes of others, and experiencing a totally different perspective on life. It is about breaking down barriers of communication and culture and really connecting with others. It is about embracing cultural differences and celebrating diversity; all of these things are best explored when ESL learners and English speakers are properly introduced.


When it comes to picking a location to study ESL abroad, you have your pick of English speaking crops; the location options for ESL study abroad programs are practically endless. Northern or Southern hemisphere? Hot or cold climate? City or small town? To narrow it down, start by checking out some of the most popular spots for studying English abroad outlined below:

England. If you want your English vocabulary to include things like cream tea, bangers, mash, and black pudding, then England might be the right spot for your ESL studies abroad. With a history and culture older than the stones of Stonehenge, and better cuisine than the French ever give them credit for, the original English speakers will make sure you have a rollicking good time during your ESL study abroad program.

New Zealand. If you want a few helpings of adventure with your ESL classes, head down under. New Zealand’s natural beauty is legendary and the friendly vibe infectious. You will have plenty of opportunities to practice your newfound English (and rugby) skills with curious Kiwis, although you might have a little trouble deciphering the accent at times. Note: Be sure to clarify the difference between “eating Kiwis” and “eating kiwifruit” in your ESL classes.

Ireland. If your preferred way to practice English is by singing along to your favorite tunes, you will be right at home on the Emerald Isle. With every pub (and these are many pubs) alive with the sound of music, you will perfect your pronunciation in no time by joining in with the locals and lending your vocals to live Irish bands. Just make sure to pack an umbrella, some sturdy rain boots, and a love for potatoes if you choose an ESL program in Ireland.

United States. From the east coast to the west, the United States is bursting with opportunities to study ESL. Now is your chance to live in one of the cities you have seen on screen (hello, Hollywood!), or get off the map and discover a completely different side to this diverse country. If deciding where to study ESL in the U.S. is too tough, just remember; whichever state you choose, all of the others are just an epic road trip away.

ESL Study Abroad Programs

English as a second language is one of the most versatile study abroad options you can possibly choose. You can study ESL abroad in almost any setting you desire, with any course structure you prefer, in whatever living arrangement suits you best.

Depending on your priorities, you can find ESL courses offered by universities, specified language schools, or private tutors. If gaining proficiency in English as quickly and efficiently as possible is your main focus, individual tuition is the most intensive way of going about it. If you prefer to take a more collaborative approach to language learning, small groups are great for sharing and discussing ideas. Larger classes are a surefire way to develop your social network and find peers in a similar learning journey. If you want to reap the benefits of more than one of these program types, just hunt around. Some ESL courses abroad combine group classes with one-on-one tuition, so that you can get sufficient individual feedback while still learning in a group environment. It’s just a matter of finding the right fit for you!

In terms of accommodation, homestays are a great way to jump right into the culture of the country where you have chosen to study ESL abroad. Living with a local family means you will have more concentrated English exposure and learning opportunities, but if you want your course to include extra-curricular activities, such as exploring the local nightlife, you may want to be in a more social setting. Student housing will definitely facilitate your social life and help you get acquainted with other students from around the globe. If sleep is important to you, however, you may want to consider an independent apartment.

Benefits & Challenges

Aside from the obvious benefit of shaping up your English language skills, meeting a bunch of like-minded individuals and shortening your bucket list, you stand to gain a bucket load of benefits from studying ESL abroad.

If you are in a country that speaks English, you will have the benefit of being completely immersed in the language. If may not feel like a benefit at first, but being up to your ears in English will put you on the fast track and accelerate your speaking, listening, and comprehension skills. Studying English in a classroom is necessary, but putting it to use is the best way to improve and build your confidence. Going to a supermarket, catching a bus, asking for directions, even the tiniest of interactions in your day to day life will boost your ESL skills and help you get the most out of your ESL courses abroad.

On the flip side of language immersion, it will be sink or swim in terms of language practice. A lot of English speaking countries won’t speak any language BUT English, so you will be lost for words if you can’t find any English ones. You will perfect your “deer-in-headlights stare” when you don’t understand the words being spoken to you, and there will almost certainly be moments when you feel as if you aren’t making any progress at all. The first few days can be mentally exhausting, but with a little perseverance, frantic hand gestures, and deep breathing, you will be speaking English in no time.

With all of the exciting possibilities out there for studying ESL abroad, the hardest part will be picking your program. Once you have struggled through that difficult, decision-making time, you will already be well on your way to international, English-based adventures. Oh, the places you’ll go!

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