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American University

Program Overview 

Location: Washington D.C.
Culture: Experimental, globally engaged
Neighborhood: Historic urban
Housing: on-campus dormitory
English level: Intermediate to Advanced

With a central commitment to independent thinking and experiential learning. American University (AU) has developed into a student-centered institution that values service, leadership, and global engagement. 

SAF Scholars can study English language (followed by an academic semester) while simultaneously experiencing U.S. culture in the political heart of the country. Course will include guest lectures, workshops as well as site visits in and around Washington, D.C.

Located in a residential neighborhood of Washington D.C., the large campus contains both state-of-the-art facilities and historic buildings. Often considered one of the most beautiful urban college campuses, AU has the advantage of being a close community as well as having easy access to the larger city surrounding it. The 13,000 student population takes advantage of the public transportation that connects them to the rest of the city.

As the country's capitol, Washington D.C., is the center of politics and global engagement in the United States. The city is brimming with energy through the countless politicians, activists, global leaders, and other dignitaries that live and work there. This also permeates the social life of D.C., with concerts, lectures, sporting events, and more that take place throughout the year.

Student Profile

International relations and politics are never far from an SAF Scholar who partakes in a program at AU. The urban campus sets a perfect venue to students who want to experience the U.S. capitol firsthand. 

Other Programs at University

Academic Only Program
Progression Program:
Language + Academic Semesters
Internship Only: Washington Semester Program
Academic Program + Internship

Other Comparable Programs

University of Westminister (EFL + Academic program)

Program Details

Program Dates by Term Availability

Fall Semester (August – December) – Progression only
  • SAF Scholars take the English courses in the Fall semester followed by a semester of Academic study

Program Strengths

The English language program at AU allows students to be active members of the campus and local community. As SAF Scholars will progress to another AU program in the Spring Semester, this language program helps students prepare for the academic rigors of their future academic pursuits.

Number of Classroom Hours Per Week

18 hours per week
  • Academic Discussion
  • Reading and Vocabulary
  • Writing and Grammar
  • Level-based elective

Number of Levels

There are three levels and students will be placed in the appropriate course level from intermediate to advanced with a placement test taken during orientation. Each level is one semester. Students are expected to be able to speak, read, write and understand simple sentences.

Elective Courses Offered

Depending on the placement level, students will be enrolled in a course related to US or Washington, D.C., culture:
  • Level 4: Life and Culture in Washington D.C.
  • Level 5: American TV and Culture Studies
  • Level 6: American Film and Culture Studies

Progression or Concurrent Notes

Progression: The Language program at AU is a progression-only program. Students must receive a C in Language classes to progress to Academic.

There are no concurrent options at AU.


Housing Type

University Residence Halls


100 Block Meal Plan (7 meals per week + $150 spending money)

Type of Room

Triple occupancy 

Student Life

Co-/Extra-Curricular Opportunities or Programs

SAF Scholars have numerous opportunities to get involved in activities and events that occur on campus through the year. With 145 organizations, from the Ballroom Club to the Student Zero Waste Club, students will find something to interest them. AU has a commitment to engagement and social responsibility, which is also demonstrated through their Center for Community Engagement & Service, which allows all students the opportunity to help serve the local and global community through volunteering and other outreach opportunities. 

Life on Campus

AU is an energetic and passionate community that reflects the vibrant capitol around it. The faculty and staff are dedicated to the idea of experiential learning and assisting students in their educational endeavors.

In addition, life on campus is greatly enhanced by the numerous public transportation options. By supplying students with a Metro Pass, AU opens the door for students to quickly and easily access all facets of the United States capital and become an active member of the larger community. 

Last Updated: 1/9/19