Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to some frequently asked questions about Empire State English

Can I get a student VISA to study at Empire State English

If you would like to study in the US full time, Empire State English is approved by the federal government to issue the form I-20 which you will need in order to obtain an F-1 visa (a student visa) from your local American Embassy. Please see our Full-Time ESL page for more info.

If you already have an F-1 visa and would like to transfer from another English program to Empire State English, we can do that, too. Please visit our Full-Time ESL page for more info or contact us directly.

If you are traveling to the US on a tourist visa you can take up to 16 hours of English classes per week without a student visa.

Do you have a set schedule for classes?

Class schedules are based on several different factors; a student’s level is first assessed as well as their needs and goals. Availability of students and instructors is then compared to find the best match and a class can be confirmed once a final payment is made.

How do I know what my language level is?

Students are given a standardized placement test and are orally assessed by one of our ESL professionals.

How does the school place me in the correct English level?

All students, whether part-time or full-time, are required to take our standardized placement test.  The placement test consists of 4 parts;  speaking, writing, grammar and listening comprehension.  We use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) to guide us with your English placement.  Click the following links to learn more about placement into our program (CEFR Numeric and Placement into class tables) and the interpretation of the CEFR scores (Understanding your ESL placement test scores).

How many students are in a group class?

Currently, our class size averages 3 students.

How much do classes cost?

Class prices vary depending on whether or not you take a private or group class, you are a local part-time student or a full-time student from abroad, and your length of study. We prefer to speak with you in person to discuss these different options.

Will I have homework?

Yes. You will be given homework every day and are expected to spend a significant amount of time practicing English outside of the classroom.

Will I have to take exams?

Yes. You will be given a mid-course progress test and an end of course exam. This does not impact your enrollment in the course, it only serves as a tool to determine your progress in the course and to determine if there are any areas of the language in which you need additional support. It also helps to determine your subsequent course of study.

Does your program provide college credits?

No. Our program is a private language institute and our courses do not earn college credits.

How many students do you have?

At any time we are teaching between 10 and 50 students between our on-site classes and our off-site partnerships with local colleges, universities, and corporations.

However, our on-site group classes are very small. Each group class contains between 2 and 6 students, and our average class size is 3 students. So you get lots of individualized attention.

If you’re interested in social opportunities, we have a Social Committee that meets monthly in our Albany school and plans various outings, events, and parties for our students and staff. Such events in the past year include our annual Around the World Thanksgiving Potluck, a hike in the Adirondacks, a 5K race, and a mid-winter cultural celebration.