Studying in the Heart of California’s Central Valley
“The nice thing about Fresno State is that we are very close to things that are very Californian,” stated Program Director at the American English Institute at California State University, Fresno (Fresno State), Cheryl Chan.
Located in the Central Valley – a short hour from the famous Sierra Nevada mountain range – Fresno State students have the luxury of spending weekends skiing, hiking, or visiting nearby San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the Pacific coast beaches. A major public, comprehensive university with over 100 years of history, Fresno State is home to more than 23,000 undergraduate, graduate, and visiting international students.
The university’s American English Institute (AEI) gives international students the opportunity to strengthen their English skills in areas including writing, speaking, as well as TOEFL and GRE preparation. Students enroll by the semester, studying English for a minimum of 20 hours per week, from the low intermediate to the advanced levels. “We are placed so that students can come here and get to see the university, and then they can be admitted from here too. They have that option,” noted Ms. Chan.
AEI students receive student ID cards and are encouraged to fully participate in on-campus activities such as student athletics, clubs, and musical concerts. Ms. Chan explained, “Since the AEI is university-based, international students can take advantage of the many benefits the university has. In addition to the academics we offer, students have free access to all of the sporting events [with the exception of football games].”
Fresno State students are known for thriving both academically and outside of the classroom. Ms. Chan elaborated, “There are performances — and all those are discounted prices. There are many kinds of activities that we get to do with our students. We also have a good recreational center, so they can form an intramural sports team and play if they like that too.” The AEI staff organizes field trips and social activities for students, and strive to create an experience that combines a rigorous English curriculum with a truly California college experience.
Saleh Algethami, Saudi Arabia:
“AEI had prepared me for the academic life in the university, and I had learned a lot while I was at AEI.”
Ngan “Cindy” Tran, Vietnam:
“Not only that I had fun studying English but I also got the chance to know more about different people and different countries.”