USA

  • 2-week, single-centre; 3-week or 4-week, 2-centre programmes.

  • Stay on the West Coast (California) or the East Coast (Massachusetts) – or see both!

  • Our season runs through the month of July.

  • In the West (California), stay at the famous UC Berkeley and see San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Academic visits include the University of San FranciscoBerkeley, Stanford and, where two weeks are spent here, UC Davis.

  • In the East (Massachusetts), stay at the prestigious University of Massachusetts (UMass) and see New York City, Boston and Providence. Here the universities you’ll visit are UMass, Amherst College, Harvard, MIT, Yale, Columbia, NYU and Brown

     

Amherst, Massachusetts (East Coast)

Our East Coast centre – University of Massachusetts (Amherst, Massachusetts)

UMass is an ideal setting for KE programmes. The campus in Amherst occupies a very attractive, green setting on the edge of the beautiful New England countryside. The town is a 20-minute walk away, or you can take a bus. You’ll soon feel very relaxed and comfortable in this environment.

The facilities on the Amherst campus are excellent, with well-equipped classrooms and plenty of space for outdoor activities.

Accommodation is in a modern part of campus, with very pleasant twin-share rooms. Bathrooms are shared between four people, in an apartment-style arrangement. The buildings are fully air-conditioned (Amherst can get quite hot in the summer).

Breakfast and dinner are included, and are generally taken in one of the main dining halls, where the choice for meals is really exceptional – you’ll be amazed! For lunch, there are various choices on the campus.

Amherst – the city (population: 40,000; location: about 150km west of Boston, 270km north of New York City)

Amherst may not be a famous city, but the University of Massachusetts is ideally placed within easy reach of New York and Boston. So from here you’ll be able to visit a selection of the Ivy League universities of Harvard, Brown, Columbia and Yale, together with the prestigious MIT and Amherst College. Plus you’ll see the highlights of Boston and New York City…

Amherst itself is a fairly small place, a classic university town dominated by two very different universities: the huge UMass, where you’ll be staying, and the small, elegant Amherst College – both prestigious, but with a completely different feel. Amherst has a relaxed and friendly town centre, with a number of cafes and speciality shops perfect for browsing. It’s also a very green, open, healthy sort of place.

University founded

1867

Number of students

29,000

The University of Massachusetts (usually known as ‘UMass’), is a very large organisation, with over 70,000 students in total. Its operations are divided across five campuses in different parts of the state of Massachusetts: Amherst, Lowell, Boston, Dartmouth and Worcester. The largest of these is Amherst.

UMass is one of the highest ranking public universities in the USA, consistently appearing in the top 100 in the world. The Amherst campus has an extensive range of facilities, as you might expect, since it’s home to around 29,000 undergraduate students (the library, for example, has more than 6 million items!). Just in Amherst, it’s possible to choose between more than 80 bachelor’s programmes. However, entry is pretty competitive, and high scores in entrance examinations are required.

(We should just say that, in the USA, the terms ‘West Coast’ and ‘East Coast’ usually refer not to ocean coastlines, but to the two distinct sides of the country. So Amherst is not actually on the coast – but it very much belongs to the East side!)

Berkeley, San Francisco (West Coast)

Our West Coast centre – UC Berkeley (near San Francisco, California) (pronounced: ‘burk-lee’)

Berkeley is a great base from which to explore the San Francisco area. The campus is situated on a hill rising steadily from Berkeley city centre, and your accommodation is in shared rooms, sometimes for two people, sometimes for three, and with shared bathrooms, in student apartment buildings. The accommodation is not air-conditioned (but then the San Francisco area doesn’t usually get very hot in the summer).

Classrooms are usually in the same building as the accommodation, and we also have access to a large common room there.

Breakfast and dinner are taken close by, at the University cafeteria called ‘Crossroads’, and there is an excellent choice for both meals. You choose your own lunch in the city, which is just a short walk away.

University founded

1868

Number of students

36,000

Berkeley – the city (population: 115,000; location: about 20km east of San Francisco)

Berkeley is not technically part of San Francisco, but it is part of the San Francisco Bay Area, and there are good transport links by road or rail into the centre of San Francisco from Berkeley.

Berkeley itself is a very lively, student-oriented city, and a tourist attraction in its own right.

The University of California, Berkeley is large, with 36,000 students, and it dominates the city centre. The campus is a very green and attractive place, yet the lively city centre is just on its doorstep. Berkeley is actually a branch of the University of California, and was the first of the various branches to have been established. It’s a top-ranking university, famous in particular for its strengths in science and engineering, and it has strong links with the companies of Silicon Valley. Many students go to Berkeley for postgraduate study, and the University actually produces more PhDs than any other in the USA. Back in the 1960s, Berkeley was known as a centre of student protest, but today most students are more interested in their studies than in protests!

San Francisco – the city (population: 850,000 – the whole Bay area: about 8.5 million)

The city of San Francisco is located at the tip of a peninsula, and the city proper measures about 7 miles (12 km) from north to south, the same distance from east to west. The city is very hilly, but the streets go up and down the hills in straight lines, almost as if they weren’t there; cable cars are used to get up and down. San Francisco is famous for its beautiful houses, about 100 years old, and the way they cover the hills. When you visit the city, you’ll see Fisherman’s Wharf and the much-photographed Pier 39. You’ll also see, across the water, the former prison island of Alcatraz. On the west side of the city is the Golden Gate Bridge, perhaps one of the best-known bridges in the world; you’ll have the chance to walk onto the Bridge.

San Francisco has an unusually mild climate, where heat and cold are quite rare. The relatively cool summers are created by the sea mist which often rolls in from the Pacific Ocean bringing cool, fresh air. Most years, it doesn’t actually rain in the summer – so you can leave your umbrella behind! The city is usually regarded as one of the pleasantest places in which to live in the USA.

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