Mastering the English language can open the door to many opportunities, be it from a personal or professional standpoint. Current estimates suggest the language is spoken by some 1.5 billion of the world’s 7.5 million population. Apart from being the medium of instruction at many of the world’s top universities, English has also been described as the global language of business, further cementing the importance of knowing how to communicate in the language for future career success.
However, if the language isn’t your strong point and you’re looking to study abroad in a primarily English-speaking environment, one of the best ways to prepare yourself for the experience is to immerse yourself in an ecosystem that nurtures your skills in the language.
In the US, California State University Northridge (CSUN) offers international students such a platform through two unique English programs: the Student Success Pathway program and the Intensive English Program (IEP). Becoming a student at CSUN means calling Los Angeles – also known by its moniker the “City of Angels” and home to the famous neighbourhood, Hollywood – your home for the duration of the program. This makes it an exciting place for students to hone their English skills.
CSUN boasts of excellent student support services, and is home to numerous campus facilities such as the Student Recreation Center and the Student Health Center, which you will have access to. This is in addition to student clubs, events, the Oviatt Library, swimming pools, and many other university facilities to further enrich your learning experience.
Regardless of which program you choose, students can choose to live in dorms on campus, or choose from the numerous apartments located in proximity to the university.
Student Success Pathway
Pre-bachelor international students looking to develop strong academic and English-language skills to succeed at CSUN, or any other university, will find the Pathway program ideal. This engaging, one-year program gives students 15 units of transferable academic credit and starts their education at CSUN, another university, or if they’re seeking a gap year before starting their tertiary education experience, the programme equips you with the skills that are essential to university learning.
The Pathway’s multidisciplinary curriculum credit courses include Approaches to University Writing A and B; Language Matters; and Survey of the History of Latin America and Mathematics (based on students’ placement test score). Non-credit courses include English for Math; Succeeding in the US Higher Education System; and Discourse and Communication.
There are numerous benefits to becoming a pathway student, including the integrated classes with CSUN students that provide a real taste of the CSUN university classroom, the ability to enrol in CSUN summer classes and obtain tutoring from highly trained, master’s-level instructors. Students can also receive ongoing advice on student life, academics, immigration, and more.
Students also have the chance to put theory into practice through exciting field trips within the city. For instance, the university gives students a chance to engage in various activities and tours around Los Angeles, including trips to popular locations such as Hollywood. This facilitates students in adjusting to a new culture while having fun in the process.
Participants of the program will also receive a CSUN student identification card, which provides access to campus-wide free Wi-Fi connection, computer labs and printers. To enrol in the program, students can take either the TOEFL exam and receive a score of 50, or the IELTS exam and receive a score of 5.0.
Intensive English Program (IEP)
Another option for international students to get pre-approved for admission into undergraduate or graduate programmes at CSUN, or a partnering college or university, before meeting the English language proficiency requirements for admission to these institutions is the IEP with Conditional Admission.
This program aims to assist non-native English speakers in improving their academic English language skills. Once students have achieved proficiency – or receive a TOEFL Waiver – they can seamlessly enter their desired degree program.
Students are required to attend 20 hours of instruction per week, with classes providing instruction in all language skill areas, including reading, writing, speaking, listening, public speaking and presentation, as well as in areas such as TOEFL and IELTS preparation, grammar, conversation and vocabulary.
It’s worth highlighting that the TOEFL Waiver is available to students who apply for conditional admission to the university and complete the university bridge levels of the program with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students completing University Bridge A in all courses are eligible for an undergraduate TOEFL Waiver, while students completing University Bridge B are eligible for a graduate TOEFL Waiver.
A steppingstone to university success
Whether you’re looking for a pathway into university or you’re looking to improve your academic English-language skills and be pre-approved for admission to CSUN or a different institution, CSUN can be your springboard for academic success with the Pathway or IEP course.
You’ll not only be studying in one of the most exciting destinations in the US, but you’ll also enjoy a welcoming campus community to ease you into your university studies and student life.