CBO - Fall 2019

EducationUSA Academy

EducationUSA is funded by the U.S. Department of State to provide accurate, timely, unbiased advice about studying in the United States. Several years ago, EducationUSA began running the EducationUSA Academy, collaborating with up to 15 university and college campuses across the United States. The EducationUSA Academy is a pre-college academic enrichment program for international high school students offering specialized college preparatory content, college-level writing workshops, campus visits and cultural activities. Students gain an insider’s perspective on higher education in the United States while getting the chance to experience and enjoy campus life.

Originally, all of the EducationUSA Academy sites focused on intensive English language learning, in order to help students prepare for the TOEFL English language exam. Now, there is a rich diversity of foci among the institutions (See Table 1). While many still have a strong language learning component, several of the institutions choose to focus more on preparing a student for advanced academic writing at the university level and university application preparation. For example, Johns Hopkins University has two options: College Prep and College Writing or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). During the two-week STEM course, students will get to choose to study university-level topics like “Ethics in Public Health” or “Techniques in Microbiology.”

A typical day at the EducationUSA Academy consists of coursework from approximately 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Usually the coursework is broken out so that students have 2-3 hour sessions on English language training, U.S. application work, and other topical seminars. In the evenings, students have activities like movie night or ice cream socials. On the weekends, the students get to visit local cultural sites like museums or parks. Over the four weeks, some programs actually build in coursework for university credit, and the student gets to pick which course they would like to take. Additionally, there are multiple campus visits of other nearby colleges and universities, to allow students to really determine what kind of school could be a best fit for them.

Canadians in the EducationUSA Academy

Four Canadians have attended the EducationUSA Academy: Antoine at University of Colorado Boulder, Clarence-Olivier at Temple University, Daphnée at Montana State University, and Sara at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Their experiences were overwhelmingly positive. The most exciting part was meeting students from all over the world. Sara recalls that outside of their English language courses, “it was like, you teach me Spanish and I’ll teach you French.” The students truly collaborate and enjoy sharing their language and culture with each other. Making new, diverse friends was also Antoine’s favorite part of the trip!

The students also get to engage in many cultural experiences at the EducationUSA Academy. These options usually help students pick which campus might be the best fit. Daphnée chose Montana State University because of the opportunity to visit Yellowstone National Park and experience the geysers and diverse fauna. Knowing that she wanted to eventually major in Biology, Montana was a great choice for spending the majority of time outdoors in nature. Conversely, Clarence-Olivier chose to go to a big city where he attended his first major league baseball game while at Temple University in Philadelphia.

The academic programming is also a large draw for students. At the time that Sara applied, she knew that she was interested in studying Health Sciences in university. She selected University of Massachusetts Amherst because they are well-known for their Health Science programs and there was an opportunity to take a credited STEM course while on campus. Sara says her time at the EducationUSA Academy solidified her interest in studying in the United States, and it’s true! In Fall 2019, Sara will begin her studies at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Eligibility Requirements

EducationUSA Academy tuition ranges from $4,000-$6,000 USD, depending on the location and duration of the academy. This covers the full cost of the courses, housing, food, and the cultural outings. There are no scholarships available from the institution for this program. Because this is a self-paid program, it is widely accessible to any student who would like to join. The only parameters are:

  • High school students, age 15-17 years old
  • Non-U.S. citizenship
  • Intermediate to advanced English level

Students need to complete an application directly to the university where they would like to attend the academy. The application will include an essay on why you would like to attend the EducationUSA Academy. It will also require you to submit proof of your level of English. This can be done with a letter from the student’s English teacher.

Have more questions?

Contact ottawa@educationusa.org with any questions you have about the EducationUSA Academy or about applying for full-time study at U.S. universities and colleges. For information about the EducationUSA Academy, visit edusaacademy.org.