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Arizona State University

Program Overview 

Location: Tempe, Arizona
Culture: Student-centric, innovation-driven, outdoorsy
Neighborhood: College town, suburban
Housing: off-campus apartment or on-campus dormitory
English level: Beginner - advanced 

Arizona State University (ASU) is the largest university in the United States and is known for excellence. For the third straight year, ASU has been names the most innovative U.S. public university (beating out schools such as MIT and Stanford) for its curriculum, faculty, campus life, technology, facilities and more, according the U.S. News & World Report

ASU is one of only four institutions in the United States that counts elite Rhodes, Marshall and Churchill scholarship winners among its alumni, according to the Frank Office of National Scholarships Advisement, and the Institute of International Educations says ASU is the most chosen public university by international students. 

SAF Scholars can study English language at the largest university in the US with students from around the world. The English Language program at ASU is located in the heart of the campus providing extraordinary opportunities to mix with American students and students from over 160 different countries. The ASU language program is designed for students to explore topics that interest them, gain American insight into subjects they are currently studying, and advance their English language skills in a supportive environment.
When it comes to campus life, college sports drive the culture, and SAF Scholars have the opportunity to attend any game! During downtime, students often travel to downtown Tempe or hike into the mountains. A large nearby public access lake draws students interested in water sports as well.

The city of Tempe, where ASU is located, is home to more than 180,000 people. Tempe is known for its warm temperatures, averaging about 20 degrees Celsius. When it comes to dining and shopping, locals and students alike are known to frequent the city's nearly 200 restaurants and retail shops.

Student Profile

The ideal SAF Scholars for this program would want to build a foundation of English language skills through intensive classes. Right-fit applicants may also be interested in progressing to the Academic program.

With peer support is a large part of student life at ASU, the right-fit SAF Scholars would be eager to engage with peers through student-run clubs and events. 

When it comes to personal characteristics, the ideal SAF Scholars for this program would enjoy exploring the outdoors by skiing, swimming, and playing in or attending outdoor sports. 

Other Programs at University

Language, Concurrent, and Progression are all available at ASU.

Other Comparable Programs

Program Details

Program Dates by Term Availability

Fall (August – December)
Spring (January – May)
Spring Quarter (March – May)
Spring Quarter + Summer + Fall (March – December)

Program Strengths

With ASU having a student to faculty ratio of 23:1, SAF Scholars can expect to receive and benefit from more personalized attention from faculty than is typical at most large universities.

Number of Classroom Hours Per Week

21 hours per week
  • Listening/Speaking (9 hours per week)
  • Reading/Writing (9 hours per week)
  • Specialization/Elective (3 hours per week)

Number of Levels

There are five 8-week sessions offered throughout the year. There are six levels of English offered from basic to college-ready. It takes one full session (8-weeks) to complete a level.

Elective Courses Offered

There are four different specializations that can be taken for three hours per week, with over 25 different elective courses that can be chosen depending on the individual’s proficiency level and interest. Each elective track introduces subjects appropriate for each learning level and students progress at their own pace.
Elective tracks include:
  • Business
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
  • Hospitality
  • General Studies

Progression or Concurrent Notes

Scholars enrollment in language courses is based on a placement test taken after registration.

Students with a iBT TOEFL 57, PBT 490, or IELTS 5.5 are eligible for concurrent enrollment. Students are also eligible if they reach Advanced 1 or 2 level by the second semester of study and the most recent grades are “B” average.

Successfully completing Advanced 2 with final grades above 80% or reaching Academic language proficiency scores allows scholars to move on to ASU if they have been conditionally admitted.


Housing Type

Off-campus apartment

On-campus dormitory


Meal plan not included

Type of Room

Single, Double

Student Life

Co-/Extra-Curricular Opportunities or Programs

Having more than 100 international clubs, focusing on a range of topics from internships to the environment, ASU is in no short supply of opportunities for SAF Scholars to get engaged in the campus community. ASU has a strong focus on sustainability programs as well. With Arizona enjoying warm weather year-round, SAF Scholars may frequently attend outdoor sporting events, from football to track, without braving harsh temperatures.

Life on Campus

ASU is one of the friendliest and welcoming universities to attend. With places like “A” mountain and Papago Park, along with a lake near Tempe, ASU has many places to hang out and explore. Studying on campus provides SAF Scholars with unique opportunities to meet people from all over the world who they may adventure with on and beyond campus.
Last Updated: 1/9/19