What is CofC SAS?
The program offers university students an opportunity to study abroad in Charleston, South Carolina in the English Language Institute Intensive English Program. Students are integrated into the regular ESL program where they have an opportunity to meet international students from many countries. They also have an opportunity to meet local students through the various campus clubs and student life activities.

What does CofC SAS stand for?
The College of Charleston Semester Abroad in the South (or SAS, for short).

Where do the students live?
The students are housed in university dorms and affiliated Charleston apartments. These are fully furnished and amenities include Internet, cable, and laundry facilities.

What is the duration of the program?
Programs are generally 17 weeks in length (two 8-week sessions, with a week off in between); beginning in August and January of each academic year. However, students may participate in a 10-week program beginning in May each year. In addition, the CofC works creatively with universities abroad that require a more flexible schedule.

What is the goal of the program?
The goal of the program is to allow students to use and improve their English abilities in both an academic setting as well as a different cultural setting. Through real and meaningful use of English, students will obtain confidence, gain understanding of the world outside their own country, and become familiar with the culture of the southern United States. With such an experience, students will be able to return to their home country with a larger world perspective and even greater motivation for continued study.

Are there any special events/activities through the CofC English Language Institute?
The CofC ELI hosts an excursion every eight weeks. Typically, students participate in seasonal field trips that introduce the rich cultural heritage of historic Charleston. Every field trip is faculty chaperoned.  At the end of each eight-week session, students participate in a certificate ceremony and university hosted festivities. SAS students may also take advantage of all campus services and clubs, including attending sports and cultural events.

Are there any special services specifically for the SAS students?
Yes. Although the SAS students are integrated into the regular program and enjoy all the benefits of student life in Charleston, there are student services that include an airport pickup, shopping, a campus orientation, and ELI testing and placement. Each SAS program concludes with a farewell party and certificate ceremony.

Do SAS students take regular CofC credit classes?
No. The SAS program is for students who wish to improve their English language skills with instructors trained to address the specific needs of second language learners.

What do the students study?
ELI classes are both skill-based courses (Writing and Grammar, Reading and Vocabulary, and Speaking and Listening), and content-based (where English is applied to other subject areas such as Film Studies and American Cultural Studies). The classes are lively and experiential, and students have ample opportunity to engage in a variety of practice situations ranging from role-playing, to small group discussion, to public presentations and performances. The total number of contact hours over the 17-week period is 288 (two 8-week sessions with a week off in between.)

Who are the SAS instructors?
The SAS program is taught by the regular faculty of the English Language Institute, all of whom are TESOL certified and/or hold Masters or Ph.D. degrees. The instructors are seasoned ESL instructors with years of experience working with in the second language field both in the United States and abroad.

How are students evaluated?
Standard US university methods of evaluation are used at the ELI such as tests, class participation, presentations, homework, and essays. Students should expect to have approximately one-to-two hours of homework each day. Private lessons are also available through the ELI, though they are generally not required.

What is the typical student schedule?
Typically, students are in class between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, classes run from 9:25 am – 12:05 pm.

How do students gain credit for the courses?
Universities from abroad assess the content of the ELI curriculum and the contact hours to determine equivalencies in their own credit curriculum. Decisions must be made with regard to which courses students will be credited for in their home universities, and how many credit hours will be allotted for the CofC ELI courses. For example, the CofC ELI’s Intermediate Film Studies course, with an emphasis on listening, might be deemed to be equal to a listening course at the sophomore level in the home university. The ELI works closely with the universities in providing curricular materials, textbook references, and assessment methods. Students receive a progress report at the end of each eight-week session with grades and comments, and a copy is sent to the home university. Hours of attendance are also recorded and reflected on the students’ certificates of participation.

How does your university get involved?
Contact David Mcintosh
Director of the English Language Program
Email: mcintoshdk@cofc.edu