College of the Desert


Study English in a California Desert Oasis

Southern California’s Palm Springs has it all – hot springs, golf, shopping, restaurants, and endless opportunities for outdoors enthusiasts. What’s more, the Palm Springs/Palm Desert area is a magically secluded oasis located only two hours by car from Los Angeles, San Diego, beaches, and mountains. Students at the College of the Desert find the area an ideal learning environment, where they enjoy small classes, limitless outdoor space, and a thriving international community.

Individualised Learning at the Intensive English Academy

The College of the Desert’s ESL program is kept small for a reason: students benefit from personal attention, a full support system, and a community environment that helps them succeed in transitioning to American universities. The Intensive English Academy (IEA) offers 8- and 16-week full-time programs at three levels, all of which incorporate the use of technology through Language Labs.

The department organizes field trips to locations depending on the current cohort’s interests. And while students may choose to live in apartments, the program encourages homestays to maximize opportunities for practicing English.

Brazilian students have thrived in the program and those passing the advanced level may be admitted to the college without taking the TOEFL. Successful students often go on to study STEM fields as well as business and hospitality.

Director of the International Education Program, Cody McCabe, described the transition experience: “IEA students tend to do well when they transfer in; we make it very seamless for them to do so.”

A Lifestyle of Sports, Shopping, and Weekend Getaways

Students from over 40 countries come for the ESL programs and stay for the gorgeous weather, convenient location (LAX and Las Vegas is only a few hours away), and endless opportunities to be involved with sports and other activities.

Mr. McCabe commented, “Because of the lifestyle out here, students get involved and it seems like it really resonates with Brazilians. Everybody is outdoors all of the time. It’s really focused on that sort of living.”

Many Brazilians join the soccer and tennis teams and continue after becoming full-time college students. Whether it is joining a sports team, the International Club, or spending weekends camping in the nearby mountains, the College of the Desert offers a unique opportunity to experience student life in California.


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