International students hold umbrellas, looking out over Mt. Bonnell in Austin

International Academy Offers Language Learning, Culture, Coursework

  • Dec 6, 2023
  • English Language Center

Owing to the expertise of its instructors and a deep attention to detail, the English Language Center at The University of Texas at Austin produces several customized programs and courses that advance students’ linguistic, cultural and academic knowledge simultaneously.

The International Academy (IA) is one such course: a short-term, customized language learning program offered by the ELC for international undergraduate students with at least intermediate-level English proficiency.

Students in the International Academy gain hands-on, practical knowledge through daily, interactive classes in their selected academic tracks with a curriculum that focuses on problem-solving, application and experiential learning. They also can connect with expert faculty to receive field insights and career guidance.

At the same time, IA participants improve their ability to communicate their subject-area knowledge in English through oral and written communication classes. Additionally, they gain cultural knowledge and academic perspectives on the United States during visits to local educational and cultural sites.

At the end, all participants receive a certificate of completion to denote their amplified knowledge.

International Academy: Student Perspective

International Academy Student Karolina Galachowska throws the Hook 'em sign with a fellow IA student

Karolina Galachowska was a 2023 participant in the International Academy at UT Austin’s English Language Center.

In this brief Q&A, she elaborates on her experiences in combining academic coursework with language learning and cultural excursions during the summer of 2023.



Why did you choose to participate in the International Academy at The University of Texas at Austin?

I chose to participate in the International Academy at UT Austin because it offered several advantages. Firstly, as I am applying for my master’s at The University of Texas next year, and the program gave me a chance to become familiar with the campus and Austin. Secondly, it offered English language courses to improve my communication skills, which were vital for my academic and professional pursuits. Lastly, it allowed me to meet new people and learn about their cultures, broadening my horizons. Overall, it aligned with my goals of preparing for my master's program and enhancing my language skills while exploring Austin.

Did the experience meet your expectations?

Yes, it definitely exceeded my expectations. The program far surpassed what I had initially anticipated. I was pleasantly surprised by the incredibly positive and supportive atmosphere that the program fostered for its students.

Did you learn or gain more than you'd expected from the program?

In terms of learning and personal growth, I gained much more than I had initially expected. Not only did I have the opportunity to enhance my writing and speaking skills, but I also had the chance to immerse myself in American culture, which was an enriching experience.

Moreover, I had the privilege of exploring numerous amazing places and forming lasting friendships with both UT students and fellow participants from the course.

What's your overall opinion of the International Academy experience?

Intl. Academy student Karolina Galachowska signs Hook 'em with two other ELC students

My overall opinion of my IA experience is extremely positive. It stands out as one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. I genuinely fell in love with not only the University but also the vibrant city of Austin.

Beyond the academic aspects, it was the people I had the privilege to meet during my time at IA who made the experience truly exceptional. The friendships and connections I formed added immense value to my journey, and I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity.

Would you recommend that other students participate in International Academy?

Absolutely, without a doubt! I would wholeheartedly recommend other students to participate in IA. Whether you're looking to enhance your English language skills or simply explore the university environment, IA offers an incredible experience. It's a place where everyone can learn and improve, while also having the chance to connect with a diverse group of interesting people from various cultures. It's a valuable and enriching opportunity that I believe every student should consider.

For students interested in gaining similar experience, language learning at a world-class university is more accessible than ever! UT Austin’s English Language Center is accepting applications for the upcoming session of the International Academy, which is offered on campus for Winter 2024.

This program will transition to become the Global Summer Institute in the Summer 2024 term, but the International Academy will continue to be offered in its current form each winter term in January-February. If you have questions, email or call (512) 471-2480.