Studying English as a second language in the United States is an activity undertaken by millions of foreigners every year. This is a great experience that allows you to learn about a new country, exchange with different cultures and to do the most important thing: practice and improve your English language skills.
Where to study English in the United States?
There are thousands of language schools spread across the country. These are dedicated exclusively to the teaching of languages, focusing on English for native speakers of other languages. The most important thing is to check out whether these schools are authorized by the government to issue form I-20, since it is a requirement for obtaining the Student Visa.
There are other choices such as studying at colleges or universities, or even hiring a private tutor, among others. This last option is only valid for people who have a type of Visa that will allow them to live in the U.S. temporarily or permanently.
What do schools offer?
There is a wide choice of study plans. However, there is a standard: 20 hours per week of general English. Those lessons usually include some time dedicated to grammar, vocabulary, and conversation and writing skills. Specialized lessons are also common, such as conversation lessons, accent reduction lessons or training for specialized language tests such as TOEFL, which are a requirement to get into American universities.
It is essential to have an F-1 Visa in order to study in the United States. In order to get it, the academic institution where you desire to study must issue a form which must be authorized by American authorities.
Filing for this type of Visa can take a while. Sometimes it can even be denied by the Consular office. Thus, it is advisable to have the Visa before paying for such things as plane tickets.
It is important to remember that you cannot study English for 20 hours per week while on a Tourist Visa. This would represent an immigration violation.