California State University, San Marcos English Language Pathway Program

Language Pathway
Globally Recognized
Delivery Method:
In-Person
Duration:
Multi Term

About the Program

On a 304-acre campus in the foothills of northern San Diego County, California State University, San Marcos is a forward-looking institute dedicated to creating future leaders. It’s one of 34 public universities in the US recognized by the Carnegie Foundation in the Community Engagement Classification for both Curricular Engagement and Outreach & Partnerships. It’s also close to some of Southern California’s best beaches, with the US–Mexico border just an hour away.

Join a friendly, welcoming American family for your immersive homestay

Connect with other students in the CSUSM clubs and organizations

Adventure to Discovery Lake, Elfin Forest Reserve, and Daley Ranch

Green champion San Marcos has a “strong record for best practices”

Program Advisor

Saffy Winter
SAFFY
Your Student Counselor is your study abroad ambassador and supporter. They join your application journey when you’ve confirmed you’re interested in studying abroad. At this point, they guide you through each stage of the application, notify you of the documents you need, let you know when your admission results are in, and walk you through the next steps, including class enrollment and organizing pre-arrival tests.
Schedule a Consultation

At a Glance

Language of Instruction:
English
Language Prerequisite Level:
Intermediate
GPA Requirements:
2.00
Academic Level:
Undergraduate
Academic Strengths:
Sociology, Biological & Physical Sciences, Computer Science, Law, Music, Film & Performing Arts
Housing:
Homestay
Visa Required:
Maybe

Stay Healthy & Safe While You Study Abroad

WHAT STUDENTS SAY

Moon Kyu

California State University San Marcos was truly the best university in all respects. Everyone was friendly and the weather was so nice.

California State University, San Marcos SAF Alumni

Moon_Kyu_student_48

About the University

California State University, San Marcos

Founded in 1989, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) opened its doors to students in fall of 1990 and became the 20th campus in California State University’s 23-campus family. Today, more than 14,000 students attend the 304-acre campus in the foothills of northern San Diego County. From here, it is a short distance from some of Southern California’s best beaches and an hour from the US–Mexico border. 

CSUSM is one of 34 public universities in the US recognized by the Carnegie Foundation in the Community Engagement Classification for both Curricular Engagement and Outreach & Partnerships.

Learn more at California State University San Marcos' official website.

 

Academics

California State University, San Marco's Academic Approach

In the Intensive English Pathway (IEP) program, you can take university classes for credit during your time in ALCI, while continuing to develop your English skills. 

The English language program arranges group beach picnics, cultural celebrations and other trips so you can make the most of the social side of San Marcos life, too. 

Participation in this language program is a great way for you to have access to leadership and service-learning activities as well.

Courses

You have two options for progression from the IEP (Intensive English Pathway) program to the academic program, Study @ The Beach.

Option 1:  Submit the following test scores during your first semester to increase your chance at progression to Study @ The Beach after completion of the IEP Program, assuming you maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher during your time in the IEP Program. CSUSM always has the final say on progression.

  • IELTS: Overall score of 5.5 with a 5.5 in writing, and no section below a 5.0
  • iBT: Overall score of 61, with 19 in writing, and no section below a 14
  • iBT MyBestScores are also accepted

Option 2:  Successfully complete the IEP Program without an iBT or IELTS score by Earning the ALCI Recommendation.

Earning the ALCI Recommendation is done by performing well in IEP classes, maintaining a 2.0 GPA, and making great progress between the initial placement test and the post-test carried out at the end of the semester.

*Recommendations may vary. Depending on performance, you may be recommended to stay in IEP, take 1-2 university courses, or be fully promoted to Study @ The Beach.

If you feel unsure about your ability to progress based on class performance alone, you are encouraged to take IELTS or iBT tests offered by the school towards the end of your first semester. Achieving the scores listed in Option 1 will increase your chances of progression. However, CSUSM always has the final say.

Many scholars with conditional admission have completed the Intensive English Pathway program and continued their studies in the credit-bearing academic program.

Classroom Hours Per Week

In each of the six proficiency levels, there are 24 hours of language instruction per week. 

*SAF program fee tuition rate is based upon enrollment in 24 hours of language instruction per week. 

Elective Courses

Academic courses in reading, vocabulary, academic writing, grammar, public speaking, study skills, test preparation and enrichment classes.

 

Get To Know Our Application Process

From academics to visa requirements, our structured process helps you choose the right program and university for your goals. Complete a strong application, and prepare for success abroad.

Personalize Your Study Abroad Plan With Your SAF Counselor

Each student has unique academic goals for a study abroad experience. As you think about studying abroad, your SAF Counselor will help you plan for success and support you every step of the way.

Application Requirements

When applying to study abroad, you must meet the entry requirements set by the host university—and SAF is here to set you up for success.

The requirements outlined in this section include the language proficiency scores you may need to demonstrate your language skills, a guide to the GPA range and other academic prerequisites required by your host university, and a list of documentation and other application materials you will need to finalize your application. You may need to supply additional information throughout the process, and you will be alerted through your emails and SAF Student Portal if this is the case for you.
  • Language Proficiency
  • Academics & GPA
  • Application Documents & Materials

Language Test Score Requirements

To prove your language proficiency, you can use any of the following:

  • IELTS: 5.0
  • TOEFL iBT: 51
  • *TOEFL IBT Take Home Edition and IELTS Indicator are both accepted
  • *TOEFL ITP Digital Testing accepted but needs to be supplemented with a writing sample and a speaking test via Zoom. Minimum score: undergraduate 500, graduate 550

Learn More About Language Requirements

Program Dates

When studying abroad, you will want to consider the time of year and how long you are away. Most programs follow the host university's academic calendar.

The dates shown below are general estimates, and as you get closer to the start of the term, you will get more detailed information from SAF. If you have any questions, your Student Counsellor and Program Specialist are always here to support you and point you to the correct information.

Fall 2022 + Spring 2023 Academic

Program dates:
Mid August - Late May
Application Deadline:
Fees Starting From:
$
33,630

Spring 2023 + Summer 2023 + Fall Academic 2023

Program dates:
Early March - Mid December
Application Deadline:
Fees Starting From:
$
37,870

Housing Information

On-campus-dormitory_Homestay_04

Homestay

The SAF program fee covers a comfortable single room in a friendly homestay with an English-speaking American family. You get breakfast and dinner included during the week, with a snack lunch on the weekends.

The SAF program fee does not include early arrival housing. If you’re staying for a full academic year, on-campus apartments are available at a different rate.

About San Marcos

California State University San Marcos Content 13

Why San Marcos

In the San Diego County foothills, San Marcos is a dynamic city a short hop from some of Southern California’s best beaches. Like many of Califronia's cities, San Marcos a social, culturally rich town alive with the great outdoors—beaches, mountains, and deserts—where adventures hover around every corner, and the food is fantastic.

Learn more about San Marcos 

The Student Experience

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Student Health & Safety

We champion health, safety, and security. As part of IES Abroad, the largest study abroad organization in the United States, we have set the standard for health and safety in study abroad for decades. We plan for the ‘what if’, so you can get on with the experience of a lifetime.
International Health Insurance

International health insurance included in the cost of your program

24/7 Emergency Phone Support

Total coverage to support you while traveling and in your new city

Location-Specific Information

Health and safety information prepared based on your destination

Health In Your Language

Highly trained multilingual staff to connect you to healthcare providers

Secure Housing

Quality, safe, secure housing within close proximity to your classes

Dedicated Expertise

Protection by a Dean of Students Office advocating for your interests

Orientation

On Arrival

Your SAF pre-departure process will arm you with all the information you need for a smooth arrival to your new campus, city, and country.

To Housing

Your SAF program will include a safe transfer from your arrival airport to your new study abroad housing. We'll even provide you with top tips to make the most of your new city!

Home Sweet Home

Your SAF Program Specialist will coordinate with you to ensure you have arrived safely and settled into your new secure housing.

Keeping You Safe

As you settle in, you will learn about the SAF emergency alert system, our 24/7 phone support, and any safety concerns relevant to you.

Get Social

Your new university and SAF will arrange social and cultural events so that you can meet other study abroad and local students. Make the most of your adventure!

Advising and Support

The process of studying abroad could quickly feel overwhelming, but we have been doing this for decades and do everything we can to support you through it. 

Many SAF staff are alumni and have walked this path. They have real-life experience to draw on as they advise and support you through every step of our comprehensive services. They’re in your corner, taking care of all the details and explaining what you need to do next.

Take the first step in your study abroad journey by scheduling a consultation with your closest Student Counselor. You can discuss your for-credit academic courses and language programs and explore internships, research programs, and study tours. When you know what you want to do, we guide you through the pre-program steps, help you arrange your visa and transport, and finalize your accommodation or digital experience.

Get To Know Our Application Process

From academics to visa requirements, our structured process helps you choose the right program and university for your goals. Complete a strong application, and prepare for success abroad.

Personalize Your Study Abroad Plan With Your SAF Counselor

Each student has unique academic goals for a study abroad experience. As you think about studying abroad, your SAF Counselor will help you plan for success and support you every step of the way.

Commonly Asked Questions About Studying Abroad

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Why Travel With SAF?

Studying abroad is an unforgettable experience, one that stays with you in your career, your contacts, your future. It can define you. At any of our prestigious university partners, you can build personalized for-credit programs that can last up to a whole year.

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