Frequently Asked Questions


  • Can you describe your ESL program?

We have four levels of instruction from beginning to advanced. We work on all skills - reading and writing, listening and speaking, pronunciation, vocabulary development, and general conversational ability. In addition, our program provides academic preparation for the U.S. classroom. Any student who has not yet become fluent in English language skills (both speaking and writing) will find the courses very useful. Students accepted into a degree program in the top two levels can take an academic class at SUNY New Paltz along with their ESL courses. We also offer special topic courses such as TOEFL preparation, Cross Cultural Interactions, and Community Interactions. For more information on the courses and program, please see other links on our web page.

  • What additional activities are offered that introduce ESL students to American culture?

The Haggerty English Language Program (HELP) plans trips for our ESL students to New York City and other cities as well as local points of interest. Also offered are a Conversation Partner program, a Games and Speech Club as well as informal Conversation Table lunches.

  • Do you have an orientation program for new ESL students?

SUNY New Paltz provides an orientation program for all new students each semester. The orientation introduces the services and facilities of the school so students can get the most out of their studies.  In addition students receive testing and placement services as part of their orientation.

  • What are the starting and ending dates for your ESL program?

We offer two semesters of 15 weeks study in the fall and spring.  We also offer a five-week intensive summer program.  For exact dates, please go to: Dates and Costs

  • What countries do the ESL students come from?

Over the past year, students have come from 22 different countries: Albania, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Greece, India, Iran, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Korea, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Venezuela.

  • What is the usual class size?

A typical class would have between 8 and 12 students.  However, advanced levels may be somewhat larger.

  • Who teaches in your program?

For a full description of the faculty, please go to: Meet our Faculty & Staff and Learn Our Professional Affiliations


  • What are the application requirements?

Complete an application available online: How to Apply
$50 application fee  (payable with credit card online with application)
Original school records (records showing that you have completed or will complete high school)
Original financial records (showing that you have the funding to pay for your studies in the US. This is required by the US government and you will need similar records to take to the Embassy when you apply for a student visa, so please get an extra copy or make copies before you send documents to us)
A copy of the identification page of your passport (with your name and picture shown).
*You must mail your original documents to the address given in the link above: How to Apply

  • Can I be admitted to a degree program without the necessary English proficiency required?

Yes. Conditional admission is possible for degree programs. You can get accepted to the University program, and then enter and be tested for language proficiency upon arrival. Your score on our tests will determine if you take all university courses, some university and some English, or all English.

  • Is a TOEFL score required to be admitted to the Haggerty English Language Program?

No. You will be tested upon arrival to determine your placement.

  • Can I attend HELP part-time?

Students in F-1 and J-1 visa status must be enrolled as full-time students to maintain visa status. If you are on another visa you may have the option of part-time study.


  • What is the estimated cost for studying ESL at SUNY New Paltz?

You can find costs for each semester at: Dates and Costs

  • When do I have to pay?

Students are billed when they register for classes. Payment is due by the first day of classes. Students may prefer to use a Time Payment Plan which allows students to make equal monthly payments to cover the costs of their education.

  • Does SUNY offer Health Insurance for international students?

International students in F-1 and J-1 visas status must purchase SUNY's health insurance plan while studying. SUNY offers an affordable Insurance Plan with excellent accident and illness coverage.

  • Is financial aid available?

Scholarships and other financial aid is unavailable for intensive English study. All F-1 student applicants must document that they have all funding needed to cover living and school expenses before being accepted.


  • I'm currently studying ESL at another U.S. academic institution, and I want to transfer to SUNY New Paltz. How can I transfer?

You can get information on how to transfer at the following link: Transferring to SUNY New Paltz

  • How long may I stay in the US after I finish my studies?

Students on an F-1 visa may stay in the US on their I-20 for up to 60 days after the program's end date.

  • I have other questions. How can I reach you?

Please email us at or call us at 845-257-3595. We are also happy to speak with you
through Skype if you would prefer.


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