Author Archives: Kim Andersen

spring tulips

Spring is here

Spring Activities in the Region

The snow is melting and the temperatures are creeping up. It’s time to see all the region has to offer this spring.


70th Annual Tulip Festival: Saturday, May 12 – Sunday, May 13



Miniature Golf


Patio Dining


Stay tuned for information on our May monthly event (most likely taking place in Saratoga on Friday, May 18th – save the date!).

For more spring ideas, including rainy day activities, visit


Uncle Sam

Things to Know about Troy

Troy is situated on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, across from Albany. It has a long history that starts with the Native Americans of the area through the Dutch and English settlers. The city was an important trading post and early industrial center involving steelmaking and textile manufacturing. Today, Troy is home to several colleges and universities and a vibrant downtown community.

In 1813, the United States government got the nickname “Uncle Sam.” The name comes from a meat packer from Troy who supplied barrels of beef to the US Army during the War of 1812. Samuel Wilson (1766-1854) stamped the barrels “U.S.” for United States but soldiers began referring to the food as coming from Uncle Sam.

HVCC and ESE sign agmt

ESE signs agreement with HVCC

Articulation Agreement for International Students

On March 1st, Empire State English (ESE) and Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) signed an articulation agreement that will allow each school to transfer international students to the other. Students in the US on the F-1 visa, who would like to attend HVCC but don’t have strong enough English skills, can start at ESE to improve their English in our Intensive English Language Program, and then be transferred to HVCC to begin or continue their undergraduate studies.

March Potluck flyer

March Monthly Event

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring International Potluck

All CRLC and ESE staff and students, please join us for the March monthly event!
Saturday, March 10th,  6-9 pm
Bring your favorite dish from your country to share and discover other international foods.

• You’ll be immersed in a multinational event and meet other students and teachers.
• We’ll “travel” around the world in only one evening.
• There is no cost to participate. Just bring a dish to share.
• This event is recommended for adults (students & parents of child students) and kids ages 8 and up.

Edited to add photos:

Albany at Christmas

Holiday Events

Christmas is almost here! There's a chill in the air and the smell of peppermint and holly. Whether you've lived your entire life in Upstate New York or you're new to the area, there are lots of things to do.

Local Events

Saratoga Springs Victorian Streetwalk 2017
When: Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 - 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Where: Various Locations in Saratoga Springs

Italian Christmas Market
When: Friday, Dec 1, 2017 until Sunday, Dec 3, 2017 - 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Where: American Italian Heritage Museum, 1227 Central Avenue Albany, NY 12205

Breakfast with Santa at St. Mary's School
When: Saturday, Dec 2, 2017 - 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Where: St. Mary's School, 40 Thompson Street Ballston Spa, NY 12020
Cost: $5 per person

Empire State Plaza Holiday Tree Lighting and Fireworks Festival
Music, ice skating, and more!
When: Sunday, Dec 3, 2017 - 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Where: Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York
Visit the website for the time of each activity:

Troy's Victorian Stroll
When: Sunday, Dec 3, 2017 - 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Where: Troy
Meet CRLC and ESE students and staff at 1:00 PM at Monument Square!

For many more events, from candy houses to craft fairs, visit:!

And don't forget the great outdoors! The Adirondacks, Berkshires, and Catskills are only a short drive away for winter hiking, skiing, and snowboarding. Or try ice skating or snowmobiling.

If you'd like to explore more of the state, check out this list of the 10 Most Charming Small Towns in Upstate New York!


The Troy Victorian Stroll

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 in Troy, NY, 11 AM – 5 PM.

Meet CRLC and ESE students and staff at 1:00 PM in front of the statue at Monument Square  (Broadway & 2nd Street).

Families and friends are welcome!

Please RSVP to or call us at 518-729-5407 so that we know to expect you on December 3rd.

Partnership between SCCC and ESE!

Dr. Steady Moono, President of SUNY SCCC, and Kim Andersen, Founder and Director of Empire State English, signed an agreement establishing a new partnership that will allow international students interested in attending SUNY SCCC to improve their English in preparation for their academic studies. The College Connections pathway program at Empire State English allows students to obtain conditional admission to SUNY SCCC and attend intensive English classes prior to beginning their academic program. SUNY SCCC can also refer prospective international students to Empire State English based on initial testing and results on the TOEFL or the IELTS English proficiency exams.

“Sometimes in order to be successful, a student simply needs extra help and guidance to start them on their way,” said Dr. Steady Moono, President of SUNY SCCC. “Through our partnership with Empire State English, we will be able to provide international students with that extra support, helping them to be successful.”

“We look forward to working with SUNY SCCC to provide F-1 visa students with a pathway from Empire State English’s intensive English language program to an undergraduate academic degree,” said Kim Andersen, Founder and Director of Empire State English. “Academic success depends on international students having a firm grasp on English. Through this partnership, we hope to foster global connections and establish a collaborative approach to supporting international students. This will strengthen cultural diversity and international understanding in New York’s Capital Region and at our respective institutions.”