Summer English Language Program
at The Athenian School

A Boarding ESL Program

For the past 42 years, The Athenian School has served international students from 43 different countries. We are committed to meeting the academic and social needs of each student through rigorous English classes, fun field trips, and enriching arts, sports and drama activities. The school is located on 75 acres in the scenic foothills of Mount Diablo, a half-hour drive from the cultural and recreational opportunities of the San Francisco Bay Area.

SELP 2019 dates: July 7-August 2, 2019

Now accepting applications for 2019!

The School Summer English Language Program (SELP) at The Athenian School offers students the opportunity to improve their English skills by attending intensive English Language classes and to experience living in a residential community.  Because class sizes are small, students experience the benefits of individual attention and focused English practice. Students quickly form close relationships with teachers, counselors, and each other. SELP can give students a great advantage when preparing for the TOEFL exam and continuing their education in American schools. Students will have a final evaluation using The Athenian School TOEFL readiness assessment. We have designed our program to accommodate students with beginning, intermediate, and advanced level English skills. Students are tested and grouped according to their English language proficiency levels. Students will also have the opportunity to learn American customs and to travel to cultural and entertainment attractions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. SELP is a wonderful introduction for students to become accustomed to a boarding school environment.

Who Should Attend this Program?

This program is open to all students’ ages 13 to 16 years old who want to learn and improve their English skills. Students should have basic to intermediate skills and be able to follow basic instructions from teachers and staff. TOEFL test scores are not required. Students who have participated in our program in the past have come from Germany, Italy, Korea, China, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Russia, Mali, and the Congo.
This program is suitable for most students. Your student should be ready to work hard and be ready to grow academically and emotionally. As they experience American culture, they learn English and how to become responsible global citizens. The Athenian School does not tolerate students who lack cultural sensitivity or are unwilling to work in a team environment. 

Program Information

List of 6 items.

  • Activities & Field Trips

    Many learning experiences exist outside the classroom. Balancing classroom study with field trips is an important aspect of our summer program. Our students love discovering beautiful Northern California through activities around the San Francisco area and beyond. Some of the activities students may participate in include:
    • San Francisco Bay Tour
    • Fisherman’s Wharf
    • Exploratorium Interactive Museum
    • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
    • Tech Museum of Innovation
    • Sacramento State Fair
    • California Academy of Science
    • Golden Skate Roller Skating
    • Winchester Mystery House
    • Optional Disneyland Resort Trip
  • Academic Classes

    This program offers three hours of comprehensive English studies per day, designed to develop the following skills:
    • English Conversation
    • Pronunciation
    • Reading and Vocabulary
    • Writing and Grammar
  • The Daily Schedule

    9:00-12:00English Language Learning
    12:45-3:45Summer Camp Sessions
    4:00-6:00Swimming & Activities
    6:00-7:00 Dinner
    7:00-10:00Residential Activities
    10:00Lights Out
  • Housing / Residential Life

    Students will be housed in a single-sex dormitory. With the guidance of trained dorm supervisors who share the dorms, students learn to make adjustments necessary for communal living. Living closely with other young people from widely differing backgrounds is one of the most rewarding experiences of SELP. For students who will soon be faced with the responsibility and independence of a boarding school or college life, a summer of living in the dorm provides ample opportunity for developing self-discipline, time management skills, and respect for others.
    Students are expected to attend all scheduled events, classes and field trips. Students must conduct themselves in a mature and responsible manner. Students are required to treat other members of the community with respect and to take responsibility for their own actions.
  • Campus Meals

    Our dining services use fresh ingredients and provide students with healthy meals.  Our cooks create a well-balanced menu, and cuisines range from Asian, Italian, Mexican, and American dishes. In addition to buying food from local California farmers, we use vegetables from our organic garden.  Meals are served cafeteria-style in the dining hall and include unlimited helpings of wholesome food for breakfast: fruit, yogurt, cereal, pancakes, eggs, waffles, bacon, sausage, juices, and milk. 
    Our food services operations work to preserve and protect the environment by offering whole, clean foods produced in a way that does not harm the environment or animal welfare, supports the community and promote the highest level of nutritional health and wellness. Highlights include: organic produce; antibiotic-free meats and poultry; rBST (hormone free) milk; cage-free eggs; reduced food waste through composting; and reduced sugar, salt and fat choices.  Students will also eat at local restaurants while on field trips.
  • Campus Features

    • Clean, Secure Dormitories
    • Air-conditioned Classrooms
    • An Exceptional Library
    • Wi-Fi internet access
    • A 25-meter Swimming Pool
    • All-Weather Sports Field
    • A Gymnasium and Health & Fitness Center
    • Center for Performing Arts
    • Volleyball, Badminton & Basketball Courts

ESL Summer Program Guidelines

List of 7 items.

  • Fees

    4 Week Fee: $7,675.00 (Includes meals, field Trips, boarding, educational materials, shuttle to and from airport, and health insurance). Airfare not included. A non-refundable deposit of $400, which will be credited toward the total fee, is due with this application. International students must submit the application fee in United States dollars.

    Final confirmation of attendance is due by June 14, 2018. Total fee is due by June 18, 2017.
  • Visa

    The Athenian School is authorized under Federal Law to enroll nonimmigrant students. The Athenian School can issue the necessary documents to apply for a student F1-Visa. However, a F1 Visa is not required to attend the ESL Program. Students may attend the program using a visitor visa.  

    There will be a $100 admin fee for any I-20 that is issued and cancelled. Please do not request an I-20 unless you are positive you need one to travel. Most students are able to travel on a B1/B2 Visitor visa. A F1 visa is not required to attend our program.

    ** We accept students traveling on a B1/B2 Visitor Visa. Please DO NOT request an I-20 if you will not be applying for an F1 Visa. If you have questions regarding which Visa to use, please contact Summer Programs.
  • The Enrollment Process

    1. The first step is to fill out the application form.
    • You can download an application form on The Athenian School website or contact us to have one emailed to you. Please print your contact information carefully and clearly and send to 
    • Please forward a photograph with the application. A headshot or school ID is preferred. Jpeg format please.
    • Please note that acceptance into the ESL program does not give students priority in the admission process for the academic year.

    2. Once the application form and deposit have been received, you will be sent a registration packet.
    • Be sure to indicate if you will be applying for an F1 Visa. I-20’s will be mailed to families approximately 50 days before the start of the program. If for any reason you will require it sooner, please contact Special Programs.
    • School policy requires a Tuberculosis (TB) Skin Test-PPD be current within two years before arrival. THIS IS REQUIRED FOR ANY INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ATTENDING THE PROGRAM. Please make sure Part B of your health form indicates the date of your child’s test. This form must be signed by a doctor. When students arrive at Athenian, a nurse will be on hand to confirm all medical information is complete. If you did not indicate a negative test result or if the date has expired, your child must have a TB test at The School. If the test result is positive, the student must visit our doctor for a chest x-ray. You will be responsible for the additional costs which can be very expensive. Please take care of this before the student arrives.
    • It is the responsibility of the family to have all the forms completed before the student arrives.
  • Cancellation Policy

    Your application fee is nonrefundable unless The Athenian School is unable to accommodate you in the program. No refunds are given for early withdrawals or student cancellations, regardless of accident, illness, or change of plans. Therefore, plan accordingly. This program’s planning, hiring, and purchasing, as well as the number of enrollments it receives in early spring, directly determine related expenses.

    Our program is not suitable for students with significant behavioral problems. The Athenian School reserves the right to remove any student who consistently disregards staff instructions, interferes in the learning process of others, or who posses an uncooperative attitude that is disrespectful to others.
  • Insurance, Liability Waivers, Medical Disclosures

    A doctor is on call 24 hours a day. The local medical center/hospital is located within 5 miles of our campus.

    The Athenian School requires every student to be covered by comprehensive health insurance. For our international students we have chosen United Healthcare Insurance (UHC). It is a wellness, injury, and sickness health care plan. This policy provides health insurance in the U.S. including international transportation in the case of emergency, serious illness or death. There is no additional fee for insurance coverage. 
  • Health and First Aid

    Our staff is first aid and CPR certified. In addition, we have a registered nurse and a doctor on call 24 hours a day. The local medical center/hospital is located within five miles of our campus.
  • Students Traveling Alone

    Arrivals: For students flying to the United States alone, we offer a shuttle service. Shuttles will be scheduled with an exact pick-up time once we receive all student flight information. We will schedule approximately 3 shuttle times for arrivals. Students that cannot schedule a flight within the parameters of our shuttle schedule, will need to hire a private service or have your travel agent assist you with your arrival to The Athenian School campus.
    Departures: We offer shuttles to the airport at the end of the program. Same as with our arrivals, families that cannot schedule a flight within the time parameters of our shuttles, will need to hire a private service or have your travel agent assist you with your departure.
    Our staff can assist your student with check-in at the airport however, after check-in we cannot stay with your child until the plane departs. It is your responsibility to plan for unaccompanied minor service with your airline. It’s our experience that some airlines will charge families for unaccompanied minor service and still expect an adult to be with the minor until the flight leaves. Due to the many flights and students we are trying to assist with departure, we cannot stay with each student. Therefore, please plan accordingly. We suggest you speak to your travel agent, a family member, or educational consultant.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 12 frequently asked questions.

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