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Achieve your academic and professional goals through personalized English language instruction, cultural activities, and support offered at six convenient start dates each year.

Intensive English Program courses are carefully developed to meet the needs of each student’s unique skillset and goals across all levels of language proficiency, from beginner to advanced.

Class sizes are kept small and instruction is interactive, giving you the opportunity to receive individualized attention, collaborate with one another, and optimize your learning. Students attend class for 20 hours each week, and can supplement their in-class studies with available conversation groups and language labs. University admission workshops are also included and available as additional support.

Courses focus on reading, writing, listening, speaking, and pronunciation all taught by USC teachers. You have your choice of focus classes to complement your academic program and can participate in conversation groups with American USC students each week.

Undergraduate level students who reach Level 5 (equivalent to min. TOEFL 80+/IELTS 6.0/PTE 53+/Cambridge 169+) can choose to enroll in our SAT Preparation course, specifically designed to meet the needs of international students, at an additional cost. Students looking to transition into a US College or University are uniquely supported with expert admissions advising, test preparation and Intensive English courses.

  • High-quality English instruction in small, interactive classes held on USC’s campus
  • Focus classes and language labs geared to your interests
  • College admission assistance through group application workshops
  • Meetings with USC International Academy Partner Schools (some accept completion of USC International Academy Proficiency level in lieu of a TOEFL/IELTS score admissions requirement)
  • Support from a dedicated team of academic, immigration, and student advisers
  • Full access to campus facilities: libraries and computer labs, medical center, gym, swimming pool, restaurants and cafes
  • Cultural programming in Los Angeles and campus immersion activities
  • Optional SAT Test Preparation taught by experts (Level 5+ students only)


At USC International Academy, language learning extends beyond the classroom to the bustling center of the University of Southern California campus and historic and cultural landmarks of Los Angeles. Weekly conversation groups, educational seminars, and social outings are just some of the ways Academy students practice their English, meet new friends, and explore life in our exciting city.
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USC International Academy’s teaching methods put you, the student, in the center of the learning process. Through a contextualized curriculum and collaborative approach, you will develop comprehensive English language skills to prepare you for success in the university classroom and global marketplace.

Unlike other leading ESL programs, USC International Academy’s skill-based courses focus on the learning environment as much as actual instruction. Infusing technology and innovative practices into all lessons and activities, the Academy’s expert teachers create a unique learning environment that promotes academic excellence, peer collaboration, and personal growth.

Levels of Instruction:
Beginning, High Beginning, Intermediate, High Intermediate, Advanced, High Advanced

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Beginning Levels
Students are introduced to reading and writing in English using an integrated skills approach. Starting with writing on the sentence level and then writing paragraphs, beginning level students learn how to use supporting details to develop main ideas and the grammar necessary for accurate language production. Level-appropriate texts selected from high interest topics expand students’ vocabulary and teach strategies for comprehensible reading.

Intermediate Levels
Students in intermediate levels build proficiency in writing three to five paragraph essays, beginning with personal response-type writing and moving toward formal writing styles. Grammatical structures are taught in the context of reading and incorporated directly into writing assignments. Fluency is increased by extensive reading and written analysis of authentic texts taken from the news and published articles. By the end of the high intermediate level, students are proficient in the five-paragraph essay paradigm and writing compare-contrast, cause-effect and persuasive essays.

Advanced Levels
Advanced level students develop the sophisticated language needed to read freely and use the critical thinking skills necessary for success in an academic setting. Familiar with the standards and norms of the university classroom environment, advanced level students practice timed and process writing in the following modes: exemplification for persuasive purposes, comparison/contrast of concepts based on academic readings, summary of articles and argumentation. Research skills are introduced and advanced grammar is taught extensively for writing clear and grammatically correct multi-page essays.


Beginning Levels
Beginning level Listening and Speaking classes provide a supportive and motivating environment for students to function independently in English. Speaking practices develop students’ confidence in everyday interactions through role-play, group work, and short, informal presentations. Communicative abilities are increased by listening to and telling stories, explaining the steps in a process, giving and receiving directions, and other language functions.

Intermediate Levels
Students in intermediate levels develop their speaking and listening skills for academic and professional environments. They learn how to determine main ideas, distinguish important details, and infer meaning in academic lectures and presentations. Speaking skills increase by interviewing native speakers and delivering oral presentations with attention to content, organization, speaking voice, body language, and grammar. Grammatical structures needed for these interactions are taught and incorporated into students’ spoken English.

Advanced Levels
Advanced level Listening and Speaking students demonstrate interpersonal communication skills and strategies appropriate for a university classroom in the United States by being able to state clearly, speak with “authority,” give appropriate feedback, and by facility in analyzing and alleviating communication problems and resolving conflicts effectively. Students research, plan, create, and deliver informative and debate-style speeches and presentations using learned platform skills and guidelines for integrating multiple sources of information.


Focus classes focus on a specific area of interest. Students choose one focus class each term. Focus class offerings may include:

  • TOEFL iBT Preparation
  • IELTS Preparation
  • Business Communication
  • Pronunciation
  • Current Events
  • Life in Los Angeles
  • Great Debates
  • Food and Culture
  • Idioms and Slang
  • Conversation Fluency

Learn more about your focus class options >>


Our SAT test preparation courses are taught by experts and are designed to meet the needs of USC International Academy students.  Courses include in-depth instruction, test-taking strategies and practice tests to help you achieve your best possible results. (Level 5 students and higher)