where academic investigation +
christian faith +
service to others unite

The American Culture Intensive ESL Program offers customized programs of study that include class room and off-campus experiences.  The ESL Intensive programs are designed for those who wish to enhance their English language verbal communication skills and desire to be exposed to American culture. The programs focus on increasing proficiency in English language conversation, listening, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

Learning takes place in the classroom and through exposure to American cultural experiences during a number of learning activities and local excursions.  Classes are not transferable towards regular ESL Program of study.  Customized programs allow students, pastors and administrators to study in small groups or one-on-one with a tutor.

Classes and activities are scheduled in various formats in 2-8 week durations.   Most Programs take place during the summer quarter of July and August.   It is the Program’s hope that this exchange will enhance the students’ vision of the world and contribute to their general knowledge of people and cultures outside their country of origin.


Please fill out the application form and email it back to esl@lasierra.edu.


Sample Courses

  • American Slang and Idioms
  • Conversation Skills and Proficiency
  • Improving Vocabulary and Pronunciation
  • Learning English though Media
  • Speaking In Front of Others
  • The Importance of Improv
  • The Importance of Sports in America

Sample Excursions

  • Disneyland
  • Downtown Riverside Mission Inn
  • Hollywood Universal Studios
  • Hollywood Blvd Avenue of the Stars
  • Huntington Beach BBQ and Vespers
  • Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament
  • San Diego Sea World
  • Shopping: Cabazon Premium Outlets, Ontario Mills, Walmart
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain

 …and many more!

Important Note: Students on a Visitor Visa may participate in this Program. There is limited time in the classroom as regulated by the U.S. Federal Government.

Things to Do in Southern California

  • Theme parks: Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags, San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Legoland, and Raging Waters.
  • Beaches: Laguna, Newport, Huntington, Corona Del Mar, and many more!
  • Shopping malls and outlets
  • Dodgers and Angels major league baseball
  • Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers professional basketball
  • Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • Hollywood
  • Palm Springs
  • Bowling
  • Skating
  • Skiing/Snowboarding (only 1 hour away!)
  • Museums of culture, art, and heritage
  • Weekend trips to Yosemite National Park, Lake Havasu, or Pine Springs Ranch - just to mention a few!

And that’s just the beginning...


La Sierra is a place full of dedicated professors and amazing students from all over the world. It’s an adventure that you have to experience yourself!

Iveth P., Honduras; Major: Management

First Steps In Coming To America

To come study at La sierra University, you will need:

  • a valid passport and U.S. visa
  • a valid I-20 form
  • a completed International Students Financial Guarantee Form (FGF) and La sierra application

International Student Services

The International student services office is an important place for all incoming international students. The friendly staff will help you become familiar with the new campus environment as well as coach you on maintaining proper visa status. social programs coordinated by the office of International student services will help you to learn about other cultures and make new friends.

It’s not easy learning a new language, but the ESL program helped me a lot. The teachers were really friendly. They did everything they could to help me out. In school they found me a program that fit what I needed, and out of school they comforted me when I was homesick!

Lorraine, Sophomore, Brazil
Lorraine Castro

Tips for Traveling Abroad

  • Sign passport and fill in the emergency information: Make sure you have a signed, valid passport and a visa, if required. Complete the emergency information page of your passport.
  • Leave copies of itinerary and passport data page: Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page, and visas with family or friends so you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
  • Check your overseas medical insurance coverage: Ask your medical insurance company if your policy applies overseas and if it covers emergency expenses such as medical evacuation. If it does not, consider supplemental insurance.
  • Familiarize yourself with local conditions and laws: While in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws.
  • Take precautions to avoid being a target of crime: To avoid being a target of crime, do not wear conspicuous clothing or jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money. Also, do not leave unattended luggage in public areas and do not accept packages from strangers.

See more information »