Frequently Asked Questions

Course Information
When are the start dates?

Since American English Language School is on a quarter system, classes are 3 months long. The beginning of each quarter starts on the first Monday of January, April, July, October. Check out our daily and yearly schedule page for more information.

Is there a deadline to apply?

The deadline to apply is about 4 weeks prior to the start of the quarter for which you are applying. Deadlines are set to allow students enough time to complete the visa process and pay for tuition on time. Read more about AELS’s application deadlines.

Is there an attendance policy?

A student must attend 80% of his or her classes every quarter for their I-20 to remain valid with American English Language School.

Is American English Language School accredited?

Yes, American English Language School is accredited by the CEA (Commission on English Language Accreditation). The CEA is one of only two English accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. government.

How do I know what course or level of English I will take?

Once you arrive in the United States, you will come to American English Language School before your start date to take a placement test that will determine what level of English proficiency you are. Based on your results, we will place you in the appropriate class level.

How long can I study at American English Language School?

Our program from start to finish (Basic, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, Level 5) is generally 18 months (6 quarters) long. However, a student’s length of study at AELS is dependent on what level of English they start at. For example, if a student starts off at Level 3, then that student’s time studying at American English Language School will be shorter compared to a student starting out at the Basic Level since the Level 3 student will only have to complete Levels 3 - 5.

What kind of teachers do you have at American English Language School?

All of our teachers are native English speakers who hold at least a bachelor’s degree in an English-related field and are TESOL certified. Along with their passion for teaching English, they use their knowledge as a native speaker to help our students master the language.

What is your Guarantee Program?

Our Guarantee Program is extended to students who commit to 1 year of improving their English at American English Language School. Students who complete our ESL Level 5 class are guaranteed a TOEFL score of 70 or a TOEIC score of 700! If you don’t achieve these scores, you will be allowed to take a free class for 1 quarter! For more information, please visit our Guarantee Program page.

What is Free eLearning and how can I use it?

Our FREE eLearning course is offered to help students prepare to begin studying at AELS. Read more about the benefits of our FREE eLearning program.

Why do you insist on 3-month courses rather than 1-month courses?

It is important to us that students build up their skills through consistent use of the language in a comfortable environment. This requires that students get to know each other well and focus on their language education together, rather than having to constantly change classes. Read more about the reasons behind this policy.

Why do you insist on specific class sizes unlike other language schools where there is no limit on each class?

It is our belief that the most important factor in language learning is the amount of conversation (speaking and listening) practice you get. With our limited class sizes, we are able to ensure maximum speaking and listening practice. Read more about the benefits of our small ratio classes.

Instead of 3 months vacation, can I have one month each at the end of each quarter?

No. Because we do not have rolling enrollment, you will need to follow our quarterly schedule. Our schedule allows for one week of break time between each quarter. We care about the progress our students make and have found that breaks longer than a week can cause learning loss and a decrease in motivation. This is why we only allow for longer breaks after a longer sustained period of learning. Find out more about our vacation policy.

Why do you check your teachers’ background?

We want to make sure that you (or your child) are in a safe environment at all times with us. To be sure of this, we require that all of our teachers be fingerprinted and background checked by the Department of Justice and FBI. Read more about how we administer teacher background checks for our students’ safety.

Are you sure you don’t put more than 8 students in a class?

Yes, we strive to provide our students with an environment that will allow them to cultivate their English learning skills. We sincerely care about the success of our students so with the utmost integrity, so we make it a priority to cap all of our classes at 8 students or less.

Visa Application
I’m worried that I might not get the visa from my Embassy because your school seems to be a lot smaller than Kaplan, EF, or other colleges. Will the size of your school affect my chances of getting an F-1 visa?

We have the same type of accreditation and authorization as schools much larger than us. Embassies are only concerned with the accreditation and authorization a school has, not its size. Many agencies use scare tactics (such as convincing students that the size of a school will affect their chances of getting an F-1 visa) to try to persuade students to apply to larger schools. They do this because they can get a higher rate of commission for each student they send to schools like Kaplan, EF, and ELS. Any government, providing that it is not corrupt, will treat accredited and authorized schools equally, regardless of their size.

Is it possible to study at your school if I don’t have an F-1 Student Visa?

If you are here for travel or business purposes, it is possible to study at American English Language School. However, you would be limited to studying for less than 18 hours per week until the time you are required to go back to your home country.

How do I obtain an I-20 form?

An I-20 form is needed to apply for an F-1 visa. To obtain an I-20 form, you must first fill out an application and pay the processing fees.

How soon can you issue an I-20 form?

We will process your I-20 form right away so that you will receive it at your home within one week from the time you are accepted to AELS.

If I am in the United States on a tourist visa, can I change my status to an F-1 student?

Yes, someone who wants to change their visa status may do so through obtaining an I-20 form from American English Language School. For more information on the “Change of Status” process, please read more about it here.

What do I do if I have children that I want to bring with me to the United States while I study here?

If you are coming from overseas and you have dependents (spouse or children) with you, then they must also obtain an I-20 form from AELS and fill out a DS-160 application as a dependent.

How can I transfer to your school?

To transfer to American English Language School, please visit our transfer student application page for detailed information.

I already have an I-20 Form from my current school. Can I continue to use this I-20, or do I need to get a new one?

No, you will need a new I-20 Form. When we have all the documents needed, we will be able to issue you a new I-20 Form.

What documents do I need to transfer?

We will need an application form, copies of your current passport, F-1 visa, current I-20 Form, certificate of bank balance of you or your sponsor, and proof of your highest level of education completed.

What fees do I need to pay to transfer to AELS?

If you are transferring from your current school to AELS, you will only need to pay the $100 application fee and tuition. Please visit our Tuition and Fees page for more information about tuition.

I just completed my program. Can I transfer to your school to study more?

Yes, if you are within your 60-day grace period. Please visit our transfer student application page and our blog for more detailed information about transferring after completing a program.