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International students get a taste of American life at an outdoor market in Monterey.

The American Cultural Experience (ACE) is a short-term English and sightseeing program.

ACE is an excellent option for students to experience American culture while improving their English skills in safe, friendly Monterey, California, an open-minded and accepting community where your students will feel welcome. The program offers a combination of classroom English lessons and teacher-guided visits to locations in Monterey and surrounding areas.

Contact Associate Director Rogers Walker to find out how your students can join this program.

Curriculum Overview

Designed for students age 15 and older, ACE provides daily English lessons and weekly teacher-guided activities in the Monterey area. The program can be customized in collaboration with your group goals and needs. Students build confidence speaking English and interacting with teachers and local people.

This full-service program includes everything from airport pickup and drop-off to local transportation and bus passes—even refreshments for events. Faculty are knowledgeable and experienced English teachers. Program staff include a program coordinator to help plan travel logistics and program details; activity guides to lead fun and educational activities; and student services staff to help your students obtain travel visas.

Program Highlights

  • Twelve hours each week of conversational English classes

  • Four-week immersive English and tourism program

  • After-class activities and visits to attractions

  • Participate using tourist visa or a visa waiver

  • Interact with local Americans and other international students

Extended Excursions to Sites near Monterey

Each Friday, program instructors lead students to a location of cultural significance in the Monterey area. Each Saturday, students go on a daylong field trip to a location outside of Monterey, which may include San Francisco sightseeing, a tour of a U.S. university such as Stanford, or a visit to Big Sur.

Guided Activities

Qualified guides lead students in shorter activities in Monterey each week, ensuring that students have a fun, safe experience. Guides help students use English to interact with people during the activities, including some of the following:

  • Kayaking in Monterey Bay

  • Visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium

  • Taking a bicycle ride on the Coastal Recreation Trail

  • Volunteering with local organizations

Interaction with Local Americans

Students interact with the community in several ways:

  • Local guest speakers in the Community Interaction class

  • Practicing English and learning about American culture from a local conversation partner

  • Guided activities and Friday excursions

  • Friday evening social events with students from different programs

  • Membership to the Monterey Sports Center, where they can play sports and take classes


Middlebury Institute collaborates with a local homestay company, International Student Placements, to place students with host families for the period of the program, giving students an opportunity to learn firsthand about American culture. All families are required to complete a rigorous inspection process. Contracts for homestay accommodations are made directly with ISP Homestays and include breakfast and dinner for students. Payment is due 60 days in advance.

For more information, visit International Student Placements.

Service Agreement for Custom Programs

In order to finalize a custom program for your organization, we require a service agreement. This agreement explains program costs and details, payment policies and deadlines, and refund policies. Please note: Students who are paying for this program themselves should submit their individual payment to your organization; you can then make payment to the Middlebury Institute for the total cost of all students in the program.

For questions or a quote request, contact Associate Director Rogers Walker.