Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

American Culture Experience Program

American Culture Experience Banner Ocean

American Culture Experience Banner Group Friends

American Culture Experience Banner Garden

Program Overview

The American Culture Experience Program (ACE) is a short-term English and sight-seeing 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.

To find out how your students can join this program, contact Associate Director Rogers Walker at rogers@miis.edu.

Curriculum Overview

The American Culture Experience program provides students with daily English lessons. Students will also participate in weekly teacher-guided activities in Monterey and the Monterey area. Students will build confidence speaking English and interacting with their teachers and local people in Monterey.

Program Highlights

  • 12 hours per week of conversational English classes
  • 4-week long immersive English and tourism program
  • After class activities and visits to attractions
  • Can participate using tourist visa or a visa waiver
  • For students groups age 15 and older
  • interaction with local Americans and other international students
  • Program can be customized in collaboration with your group

Proposed Schedule

Can be adapted to fit your group’s needs.


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
9:00–10:30 Practical Language Use Practical
Practical Language Use Practical Language Use American Culture Excursion

Longer Field Trip

(e.g., San Francisco)

10:35– 12:05 American Culture Class Community Interaction
American Culture Class Community Interaction Class Continued Continued
12:05–1:05 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Continued Continued
1:05–2:05 Independent Activity Guided
Independent Activity Guided Activity Continued
5:00–7:00 Conversation Partners Hour Friday Evening Social Mixer Continued


Program Features

Extended Excursions to Sites near Monterey

Each Friday, program instructors will lead students on an excursion to a location of cultural significance in the Monterey area.

Each Saturday, students will go on a daylong field trip to a location outside of Monterey. Some of the possibilities:

  • San Francisco sightseeing
  • A tour of a U.S. university, such as Stanford
  • A visit to Big Sur

Guided Activities

Qualified activity guides will take students to participate in shorter activities in Monterey each week. Activity guides will ensure that students have a fun, safe experience, and will also help students use English to interact with local Americans during the activities.

Sample activities:

  • 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 will interact with the community in several ways:

  • Local guest speakers will speak with students in the Community Interaction class
  • Students will have the chance to practice English with and learn about American culture from a local conversation partner
  • Students will interact with Americans during the guided activities and Friday excursions
  • During the Friday evening social event, students will interact with other students who are studying in different programs
  • Students will have a membership to the Monterey Sports Center, where they can play sports and take classes with locals

This full-service program includes everything from airport pick-up and drop-off to local transportation and bus passes—even refreshmentsfor 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.


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; payment is due 60 days in advance.

For more information, visit www.isphomestays.com.

Homestays include breakfast and dinner for students.

Service Agreement

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 for the total cost of all students in the program to the Middlebury Institute.

For questions or a quote request, contact Associate Director Rogers Walker at rogers@miis.edu.