2-week, single-centre; 3-week, 2-centre programmes.
Stay in the West (California) or the East (Massachusetts) – or see both!
Our season runs through the month of July.
In the West (California), stay at the famous Santa Clara University and see San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Study visits include the University of San Francisco, Santa Clara, UC Berkeley, Stanford, San Jose State and 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)
Our centre in the East – 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.
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!)
Santa Clara, California (West)
Our centre in the West – Santa Clara University (in the heart of Silicon Valley, near San Francisco, California)
The city of Santa Clara grew up around the Mision Santa Clara de Asis – a historic church which is now at the centre of Santa Clara University. The University is in fact the oldest operating institution of higher learning in California. The main buildings are constructed in the so-called Mission Revival style – which some might see as typically Hispanic. It is in any case a very elegant and attractive campus.
The University is conveniently located close to main transport links: highways, railways (Santa Clara station is almost in front of the campus) and an airport (San Jose International Airport is within easy reach). Shops, cafes and a supermarket are just a short walk away, yet the whole area has a quiet and safe feel to it.
The campus is not very big, and all the facilities we use are there. The bedrooms are in a fairly modern building called Campisi Hall. Most students will share a simply furnished, but comfortable, air-conditioned twin room; bathrooms are on the corridor, and shared, but accessed by key. Boys and girls are accommodated in separate parts of the building. The teaching takes place in well-equipped, modern classrooms. There is also open space which we can use for informal sports and activities.
Santa Clara – the city (population: 120,000; location: about 70km south-east of San Francisco)
Santa Clara 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, also to the nearby city of San Jose, which, with a population of more than 1 million, is the unofficial ‘capital’ of Silicon Valley. A number of leading Silicon Valley companies are based in Santa Clara, the best known of these possibly being Intel, which employs around 8,000 people in the city. Still more of the famous names, like Google, Facebook and Yahoo!, have their headquarters in neighbouring cities.
Santa Clara has a different climate from that of San Francisco city: it’s sheltered from the cool, foggy winds blowing in from the Pacific Ocean, and so in the summer it’s a lot warmer and sunnier.
Students travelling to/from Santa Clara may be able to use San Jose International Airport, which is much closer to the campus than San Francisco International Airport, and very convenient.
Santa Clara University
The University is not large by American standards, but then it is quite selective, with just 50% or so of applicants gaining entry. It offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate opportunities. Most undergraduates will join one of three schools and colleges: Arts and Science, Engineering or Business.
Santa Clara is highly regarded in Silicon Valley, and is well-known for its relatively small classes and the quality of its undergraduate teaching (the Princeton Review of 2012 rated it as one of the best in this regard; in 2017, Forbes ranked it very high at number 64 overall in the USA).
Santa Clara alumni have included Rhodes Scholars and Fulbright Scholars, and some alumni have gone on to become senior figures in Silicon Valley companies, leading politicians (including the current – as of 2017 – governor of California), also leading figures in sports and the arts.
Santa Clara is a private university with a religious affiliation (Jesuit). However, applications are welcome from all talented students, regardless of their beliefs. Tuition fees are quite high, but it is possible to apply for scholarships.
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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Kingdom Education Group (UK) Ltd/Kingdom Education Group LLC/Kingdom Education Canada Ltd are independent companies trading in any country in which they operate as ‘KE’/‘KE Foundation’ or (previously) ‘Kingdom Education’. They are all 100% owned by or affiliated with the Kingdom Education Foundation, a non-profit/not-for-profit organisation. None of these entities has any religious or political affiliations, or any links with any other organisation which may have a similar name.
We organise accommodation, meals and classrooms with various universities in the UK, the USA and Canada. But we arrange our own programmes, and these are completely independent of the host universities.