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University at Buffalo, SUNY

Program Overview 

Location: Buffalo, New York
Culture: International, supportive
Neighborhood: Urban meets rural, neighborly
Housing: On-campus dormitory
English level: Beginner - advanced 

Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is truly a global campus. It has been ranked among 25 US institutions to enroll the largest number of international students. University at Buffalo is the biggest public university in New York and the fourth largest public university in the Northeastern United States. The language program at University at Buffalo opened in 1971, and has welcomed more than 30,000 students since its opening.

SAF Scholars will choose to study English language at University at Buffalo if they are seeking small class sizes and many opportunities to interact with faculty and classmates inside and outside of the classroom. Scholars will study in the largest and most comprehensive English language institute in the State University of New York (SUNY) system.

Located in the second-largest metropolitan area in the state of New York, the city of Buffalo is an urban city bordering Canada. It is located ;on the eastern shore of Lake Erie and 16 miles south of Niagara Falls. Since Buffalo is bound by two of the great lakes, many students at the university enjoy outdoor recreational activities on the lakes such as kayaking and sailing as well as skiing and snowboarding. In fact, the university has over 3,000 students and members that take part in the ski club on campus!

Buffalo is often known for its neighborly and international residents. One of Buffalo’s nicknames is the “The City of Good Neighbors". The city of Buffalo is large enough to have professional sports team, but small enough to maintain the charm and convenience of small town living.

Student Profile

The language program at SUNY Buffalo is a great fit for SAF Scholars seeking to get a head start in improving their English language skills for university study in the United States.

Other Programs at University

University at Buffalo Academic or Concurrent

Other Comparable Programs

San Jose State University Language

Program Details

Program Dates by Term Availability

Fall (Late August – Mid December)
Spring (Late January – Mid May)
Fall + Spring (August – May)

Program Strengths

The language program at Buffalo is an accredited English program that provides small class sizes and a supportive learning environment for its students. Additionally, the language program at Buffalo is located on-campus, so SAF Scholars continue to be part of the larger campus community.

Number of Classroom Hours Per Week

25 hours per week
Beginning to High Intermediate:
  • Reading (5 hours per week)
  • Grammar and Writing (10 hours per week)
  • Speaking and Listening (10 hours per week)
  • Speaking and Listening (5 hours per week)
  • Grammar and Writing (10 hours per week)
  • Reading and Discussion (10 hours per week)

Number of Levels

Instruction is divided into four major levels: High Beginning, Intermediate, High Intermediate and Advanced. At the start of your program, SAF scholars will be given two nationally recognized proficiency tests to determine which level is appropriate. Scholars will also be interviewed by faculty to assess their speaking and listening skills.

High Beginning, Intermediate and High Intermediate students take three courses:

  • Grammar and Writing
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Reading
Advanced students take three courses:
  • Grammar and Writing
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Reading and Discussion

Elective Courses Offered


Progression or Concurrent Notes

Progression: SAF Scholars will need a 61-69 iBT at time of application to be considered to progress from language to full academic. Must complete one full term of language program. Based upon results after 1 term, SAF Scholars may be eligible for concurrent or full admission.

Concurrent: SAF Scholars with a iBT 70-78 or IELTS of 6.0 (no band under 5.5) must complete two ESL courses designated by the university during their first semester along with two undergraduate courses.


Housing Type

On-campus dormitory 


Meal plan required

Type of Room

Student Life

Co-/Extra-Curricular Opportunities or Programs

The language program at University at Buffalo organizes visits for its SAF Scholars to local areas such as Niagara Falls, festivals, theaters and shopping centers. 

SAF Scholars have access to many opportunities to enhance their English skills outside of the classroom. SAF Scholars can join the“Chat Room Program” which assigns SAF Scholars with a native  speaker to practice conversational English. Furthermore, the language program offers Listening Laboratories where students can practice their listening and speaking skills in the afternoon after their classes.

Life on Campus

University at Buffalo is a welcoming and supportive campus withn students from various backgrounds. It has as an active student body, where students volunteer or are involved in student organizations. When not on-campus, many students take public transportation to explore downtown to see a sports game, go shopping or eat at a local restaurant.
Last Updated: 1/9/19