American Language & Culture


Program Dates: August 5 - September 1, 2018
Open to: Undergraduate & graduate university students from Asia (must be 18 or older)
Location: Standford University
Application Deadline: May 27, 2018 (please check Timeline tab for specific university deadlines)

The American Language & Culture (ALC) program combines academic English classes with educational activities aimed at exploring contemporary American culture.


For over 40 years the ALC program has been bringing East Asian students together to improve their English skills, experience the American lifestyle, and build long-lasting international friendships.



How to learn more!

Click on the blue tabs below for more information about the programs. If you have any other questions, check our ALC FAQ Page for more details. If you still have other questions, you can email us at

The program fee includes:

  • Stanford tuition (approximately $3,400)
  • Dormitory housing
  • Full meal plan
  • Organization visits and volunteer activities
  • Guest speakers & panel discussions
  • 24-hour support from on-site VIA staff

Total: $7,350 USD

The program fee does NOT include:

  • Airfare
  • Visa or ESTA application fees
  • Fees associated with international payment (e.g., international bank transfers or credit card fees)
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional activities
  • Personal shopping expenses


ALC 2013 Participant Masaya“Although the program is called “American Language and Culture,” I’ve certainly learned a number of things about the cultures of other Asian nations as well. During the month at Stanford, I spoke with many of the other Asian participants about the similarities and differences between our cultures. I was fascinated every time when I found differences between our cultures even though we are all from Asia, and also when there were similarities despite the fact that there are also aspects where we feel we come from completely different worlds. The daily conversations we had with each other are what built the everlasting bonds among us, and also what gave me an open mind towards different senses of values and ways of thinking that people from foreign countries have.” – Masaya Tatsuta, ALC 2013 Participant, Doshisha University


ALC 2012 Participant Denise“The ALC program opened the door to a summer school with diverse students and opportunities for thorough English practice and social communication. ALC was exactly the kind of program I was longing for. And in fact, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. After the program, I decided to study Japanese. Every time when I hear myself speaking in Japanese, I feel closer to my ALC friends from Japan. Through the program I experienced that close human connections is what can make things different.” – Heng (Denise) Tang, ALC 2012 Participant, Peking University

Information Sessions in Asia

Please check our Events Calendar to find info sessions in your area. Sessions are held late March through mid-April.

Application Deadlines

  • National Taiwan University (NTU) – April 30
  • National Taiwan Normal University – April 30
  • National Taiwan University of Science & Technology – April 30
  • National Taipei University of Education – April 30
  • Shih Chien University – April 21
  • Other universities in Taiwan – April 27 | May 27
Hong Kong & Macau
  • Hong Kong University of Science & Technology – May 27
  • Lingnan University – May 27
  • Macau University of Science & Technology (MUST) – May 27
Mainland China
  • Peking University – May 27
  • Renmin University – May 27
Japan and all other regions
  • Doshisha University – April 16
  • Hitotsubashi University – May 7
  • Rikkyo University – May 12
  • Meiji University – May 16
  • Keio University – April 21 | May 27
  • Waseda University – May 21

All other universities – April 27 | May 27

Application Process

To apply to ALC, you must be 18 years or older by the first day of the program. If your online application is accepted, you will be invited to participate in an interview with one of the program staff.

Online Application

  • Part 1: Basic Information
    • Personal & Contact Information
    • Academic Information
  • Part 2: Essay Questions
    • Reason for applying to ALC: Why do you want to participate in the ALC program? What do you hope to learn or achieve?
    • Potential Research Topic(s): In your English class, you will do a project on a particular aspect of contemporary American culture that interests you. You can look at past topics here. You can choose topics that are NOT on this list as well. Please describe 2-3 topics you are interested in, and why.
    • Tell us about yourself: We would like to get to know you better, so that we can tailor the program to your interests and needs. Please write 1-2 paragraphs describing your hobbies, your personality, and your plans after graduation.

Essay-writing tip: Review the questions and begin writing your essays in a Word document. You can take your time and check your English while writing them. When you are finished, you can copy/paste them into your application. This way, you will also have a backup copy of your essays.

After beginning your application, you will be able to save your progress and continue working on it later.


If your online application passes the first round, VIA or your university will invite you to the second round interview stage shortly after the application deadline. Interviews will be conducted by Skype or phone. The interview will last about 15 minutes – about 10 minutes of answering the interviewer’s questions, and 5 minutes for you to ask questions and learn more about the program.

After the interview round, VIA or your university will notify you if you are or are not selected for the program within about three weeks. If you are selected, you will receive instructions for the next steps to enroll in the program.

Special Instructions

  • Waseda University students, please first apply through the Center for International Education (Ryugaku Center).
  • Doshisha University, National Taiwan University, National Taiwan Normal University, National Taiwan University of Science & Technology, and National Taipei University of Education students, if your application passes the online selection, you will sign up for interviews through your school.
  • Applicants from VIA’s partner universities in Taiwan should contact their university administrator in charge of study abroad programs for assistance – National Taiwan University, National Chengchi University, National Taiwan Normal University, National Taiwan University of Science & Technology, National Taipei University of Education, and Shih Chien University. 
  • Students from Taiwanese universities not listed above can contact Luke Liu (luke @ of the Ming Shin International Education Center for support ( or contact VIA directly.