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FAQ

Students and Learning

Health and Safety

Enrollment and Costs

 

Instructors

Evaluations

Life at Penn State

 


 

Students and Learning

Who can apply to the IECP English language school?

You can apply to the IECP if you:

  1. are an adult language learner, with at least a basic level of English proficiency.
  2. want to improve your English language skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening for academic purposes.
  3. have a strong academic background.

How many courses will I take?

If you have an F-1 visa, you must study full-time and you will take five or six courses each semester: Academic Interactions, Grammar for Interactions, Academic Literacies, Grammar for Literacies ane either Test Prep OR Applied English. 

If you have a different visa or resident status, you may enroll part time. You will take one to four courses.

What kinds of courses will I take?

The IECP provides coursework across the following skills:

  • Academic Interactions: A course in academic oral communication in a variety of contexts.  Feedback on content, pronunciation and pragmatics is a fundamental component of the course, and opportunity is given for speaking practice in a variety of genres. 
  • Grammar for Interactions: A course on the linguistic patterns and vocabulary necessary for successful academic oral communication. 
  • Academic Literacies: A course in academic reading and writing. Feedback on content, organization, and cohesion is a fundamental component of the course, and opportunity is given for reading, writing, and incorporating sources in a variety of genres. 
  • Grammar for Literacies: A course on the linguistic patterns and vocabulary necessary for success in academic reading and writing. 
  • Applied English:Content courses  in which students practice their academic communication skills and learn basic concepts humanities and sciences.
  • Test Prep: Practice and strategies courses in TOEFL or IELTS.

How will I know which courses to take?

The IECP has four levels. At the beginning of each term, new students complete a writing sample and an oral interview. Based on the results of these tests, each student is placed in the appropriate level and takes the courses offered in that level.

  • Level 110 is for high-beginner students.
  • Level 120 is for intermediate students.
  • Level 130 is for high-intermediate students.
  • Level 140 is for advanced students.

Will I use computers as a part of my study?

Yes. IECP instructors often use computer-based activities to help students improve their English. IECP students may also use all other student computer labs on campus.

What will be expected of me if I become an IECP student?

To be successful, IECP students must:

  • read the IECP Handbook carefull. Ask faculty or staff if you have questions.
  • read and understand the syllabus for each IECP course.
  • check their PSU email account every day.
  • arrive for class on time and return from breaks on time.
  • attend class regularly.
  • study outside of class.
  • do all homework and assignments and turn them in on time.
  • be prepared for quizzes, tests, presentations, etc.
  • contribute positively to the work of the class.
  • assume responsibility for any missed coursework and assignments.
  • assume responsibility for your own learning – for example, ask instructors for help when you need it and learn from what other successful students do.
  • always treat other students and faculty with respect.
  • carefully read the IECP Handbook, and ask faculty or staff if they have questions about it.
  • follow all of the IECP and Penn State rules and policies.

Can I take IECP courses part-time?

Yes, under certain conditions. See the information on enrolling as a part-time-student.

F1 visa holders or students must study full time.

Health and Safety

Do I need to have health insurance?

Yes. ALL international students are required to have health insurance for themselves,their spouses, and their children. You can buy it from the Student Insurance Office when you arrive or you may bring your own insurance if it is pre-approved by Penn State.

What if I get sick?

IECP students can use the University Health Services clinic.

Is Penn State a safe place?

Yes. State College is a very safe town. According to Sperling's Best Places survey, State College has the least amount of crime compared to all other cities of its size in the United States.

Enrollment and Costs

When can I begin the IECP program, and how long can I study?

The IECP has programs that run for three semesters:

  • the fall semester, usually from mid-August to mid-December
  • the spring semester, usually from early January to late April
  • the summer semester, usually from late May to late July

The fall and spring semesters correspond with the University Calendar. Students can start their courses at the beginning of any semester. While some students plan to study for only one or two terms, those who start with Level 1 normally choose to stay for the four semesters it takes them to complete the highest level.

When is the application deadline?

The IECP accepts applications at any time; however, applicants who need astudent visa must apply at least six weeks before they want to begin studying at the IECP.

What does the IECP tuition include?

Tuition includes:

  • 20 hours of instruction per week.
  • one-on-one tutoring and workshops at the ITC
  • new-student orientation.
  • some social/cultural activities.
  • information about how to apply to universities or colleges.
  • access to most University facilities.
  • visa advising by Penn State's Directorate of International Student and Scholar Services.
  • Penn State access account.

What does the IECP tuition NOT include?

Tuition does NOT include:

How can I pay?

The IECP accepts tuition payments by:

  • checks drawn from a U.S. bank made payable to Penn State University.
  • credit cards (MasterCard or VISA only).

Note: The Student Insurance Office accepts payment by credit card for student health insurance; however, Penn State does not accept credit cards as payment for dormitory rooms and/or food.

When is my tuition payment due?

All tuition is due during Orientation Week, at registration.

Instructors

Who will my instructors be?

Most IECP instructors:

  • have several years of teaching experience.
  • have graduate degrees in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages or a related field.
  • have lived in other countries and learned other languages themselves.
  • are highly experienced in cross-cultural learning.
  • understand the cultural adjustments the students have to make.
  • are active in professional development.
  • attend professional conferences to learn about what is new in the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Evaluations

How will I be evaluated?

Instructors evaluate students in a variety of ways during the semester or summer session, including exams, essays, various assignments, and presentations. At the end of the term, each student receives a grade for each course, as well as written comments from each instructor.

How will the IECP courses help prepare me for the TOEFL/IELTS test?

Many IECP classes focus on language skills and test-taking techniques that help students succeed on the TOEFL. The IECP also offers courses in TOEFL prep and IELTS prep. 

At the end of each term, the IECP offers an institutional paper-based TOEFL at no charge. In addition, IECP students can take up to two additional institutional paper-based TOEFL tests during each semester for a fee. All of the institutional TOEFL tests scores are accepted by Penn State.

Life at Penn State

Where will I live as an IECP student?

Students can choose to live in Penn State dormitories or in apartments off campus. The IECP does not arrange housing for students, but works closely with UOGP to provide information to assist you in making your own arrangements.

If students choose a dormitory, it is on a space available basis. Their space will not be reserved until the University receives the contract and the required deposit. If you choose to live off campus, UOGP can give guidance on how to find an apartment.

Do IECP students have the opportunity to meet and get to know Americans?

Yes. The program works with various groups and programs to help IECP students meet and interact with Americans. Global Connections is a community non-profit organization, affiliated with Penn State and the Centre County United Way with a long-standing tradition of promoting international cultural exchange in Centre County.

Will I be able to use Penn State services and facilities?

Yes. IECP students may use University facilities such as libraries, computer labs, the health care center, and, for a fee, recreation and sports facilities.

Can I take other courses at Penn State?

Only students who have competed Level 4 and for various reasons choose to remain in the IECP may, with the permission of the director, repeat two Level 4 courses and take two Penn State nondegree courses. No IECP student may take nondegree courses without the director's permission.

Where is Penn State?

Click here to find us.

How can I find more information about daycare and enrolling my child in school?

You can find out more information about child care and enrolling your child in school by visiting the following websites:

How to find child care

State College Area Child Care Facilities Guide provides updated information about child care facilities for younger children thoughout State College and the surrounding communities.

Child Development and Family Council of Centre County, Inc.
2565 Park Center Boulevard
State College PA 16801
Phone: 814-238-5480
www.cdfc.org

How to Enroll Your Child in School

State College Area School District enrollment information
131 West Nittany Avenue
State College PA 17801
Phone: 814-231-1011
Web site: www.scasd.org/schighschool/site/default.asp

Bellefonte Area School District enrollment information
318 North Allegheny Street
Bellefonte PA 16823
Phone: 814-355-4814
Web site: www.basd.net/Page/133

How can I find religious organizations, student groups, and other groups?

C-NET is Centre County's Government and Education Access Television Network.

C-NET administers two channels — CGTV (channel 7) and CETV (channel 98) — and also manages CentreConnect.org, a comprehensive, countywide website database of nonprofit, government, and education organizations.

Phone: 814-238-5031
Fax: 814-238-5368
E-mail: cnet@centreconnect.org
Website: centreconnect.org/clubs_organizations/church/religiou.htm