This innovative program is designed to ensure international students ages 10 to 16 improve their English by providing an all-day and night English immersion environment while they learn about American society and culture. International students live and interact with American kids and teens their own age doing fun recreational and social activities at camp all day. They can either choose to live at camp with their American campmates or with local American host families.
Camps are located in the New York area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania). All of our Camps are set in beautiful natural locations, all with lakes supporting a large range of aquatic activities, as well as hiking trails, soccer/softball fields and other teamwork-building sports. Additionally, they are American Camp Association certified and have medical staff on site at all times.
A 1:6 staff to camper ratio is maintained. Counselors are typically college students and/or recent college grads who have studied and worked in education, recreation and/or a related field.
Activities may include Pool or Lake Swimming, Climbing Tower, Dance, Mountain Biking, Arts & Crafts, Canoeing, Slingshot Paintball, High and Low Ropes, Archery, Digital Photography, Drama, Dance, Wilderness Survival, Fishing, Nature, Rocketry, Volleyball, Baseball, Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee and much more!
International campers are assigned to a specific camp according to their age, sex and nationality to ensure English language immersion and interaction with American campers. In the case of the home-stay program, host family location also plays a role in the camp placement.
Overnight Camp Accommodation
International students sleep with American campers. Camp sleeping facilities vary from spacious log cabins that accommodate up to 14 campers to smaller, rustic cabins for 6 to 8 campers. All cabins include at least one resident counselor. Shower facilities maybe located in the cabin or in adjacent bath-houses.
Options for international students living in camp:
- Specialty Sports – international students living in camp may choose to take specialty sports such as sailing or horse-back riding. There is no minimum group size requirement for specialty sports.
- English Communication Classes – International groups may choose to take English communication classes consisting of English comprehension and oral exercises to improve communication skills. Minimum of 10 students is required.
- Weekend excursions – International students living in camp may choose to take weekend excursions to Manhattan or nearby attractions and shopping malls.
Overnight Home-stay Accommodation
Living with American host families, students attend camp from 9am to 4pm each day Monday to Friday. The evenings and weekends are spent with the host family. In most instances host family siblings will attend day camp, too.
Host families are carefully screened, interviewed and background-checked by our staff. All host family homes are visited by our staff and personal references are carefully checked. Our families are volunteers and they are truly interested in sharing their homes and culture and learning about others. Students are made to feel like members of the family. For this reason, students have the responsibility to reciprocate by sharing their own culture, participating in family activities and being open to new ideas. Students should be mature, open-minded, adventurous, respectful and have at least an intermediate level of spoken English.
Host families may request to keep the international student at home in Total Immersion during a week to get to know him/her better or travel locally and out-of-state. USAI encourages a week of Total Immersion whenever possible so the international student gets a well-rounded cultural experience.