Empire State English language school certified by federal government to issue I-20 form to non-immigrant international students for intensive English program
School expects strong interest from international students seeking to improve English before attending regional colleges
(September 27, 2016; Albany, NY) — Empire State English, a locally-owned language school in Albany and Saratoga Springs, has recently been authorized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to enroll non-immigrant students in intensive English study programs under the F-1 student visa program. Students in the program at Empire State English are required to attend 20 hours/week of English instruction for a minimum of four weeks and up to 18 months. Admission is ongoing and students are placed in classes according to a placement test; they can begin classes at any point in the year.
“We have been approved as an academic and language program as part of the Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) administered by the federal government,” explains Kim Andersen, president of Empire State English. The school is a sister organization to the Capital Region Language Center, which offers language instruction to corporations, schools, and private citizens.
Empire State English has been certified to issue the I-20 form, which is required for any individual seeking an F-1 visa after an interview at the U.S. embassy in their home country.
“Becoming certified to issue the I-20 was a multi-year process for us, as we went through appropriate certifications and training. We’re honored to take on this new role as we welcome international students to learn English with us,” comments Andersen.
“Our school has very good relationships with area colleges already and this allows significant expansion of our support for their education programs. They can broaden their pool of students who are academically prepared for their programs but whose English needs strengthening. We will offer English as a Second Language (ESL) training so that they really flourish when they begin their studies, with a solid command of English,” states Andersen.
Beyond the college market, other types of students Empire State English thinks the new intensive program will attract include international businesspeople who need to improve their English for professional reasons, as well as relatives of those already living in the region who want to come for an extended visit to study English.
In addition to providing full-time instruction, Empire State English will be coordinating lodging for its students. The school is actively seeking area residents and families interested in hosting students in-home, as well as those who may own lodging or residential properties available for short-term rentals. The school will hold information nights for those interested in applying to be homestay hosts on Monday, October 17 at 7 p.m. in Colonie, and Tuesday, October 18 at 7 p.m. in Saratoga Springs.
“We are directing a community effort in terms of welcoming these international students and housing them. For anyone hosting a student in their home, we offer a stipend to offset living expenses,” states Andersen. For additional information about the homestay program, call Empire State English at 518-729-5407.