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SPECIAL WEEKEND COURSES FOR AU PAIRS

Special Weekend Courses for Au Pairs

Our adult ESL programs make language learning fun, flexible, and affordable! We offer on-campus courses such as Business English, ESL for Better English, Grammar & Conversation, and Public Speaking with Confidence!

Want to learn language for travel or cooking? Need help with some pesky grammar points? We also offer Special Weekend courses that focus on engaging topics related to life in the United States.

For au pairs, our Saturday museum trips to the Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC take place every Saturday year round, with the exception of major holidays. Students will spend a day at a different museum each week and participate in an interactive, themed museum class facilitated by one of our ESL instructors.

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Non-Intensive (Two)
Saturday Classes
Fall I
Sep 3 – Oct 10
Fall II
Oct 28 – Dec 12
Class Schedule Tuition
Raising Issues through American TV (must attend both days) Sep 7 & 14 Nov 2 & 9 (1.5CEUs)
Saturday
9:00am-3:00pm
$120
English and Culture through American Short Stories (must attend both days) Sep 21 & 28 Nov 16 & 23 (1.5CEUs)
Saturday
9:00am-3:00pm
$120
Delicious English (must attend both days) N/A Nov 30 & 7 (1.5CEUs)
Saturday
9:00am-3:00pm
$120
English through U.S. Travel (must attend both days) Oct 5 & 12 N/A (1.5CEUs)
Saturday
9:00am-3:00pm
$120

There is a $20 application fee for new non-intensive ESL students. (see the FAQs below for more details).

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Course Descriptions

Raising Issues through American TV (15 hours)

In this course you will explore popular American TV shows while focusing on what these programs say about American culture, and how Americans view issues like family, money, relationships, and work. You will also improve your critical thinking, listening, speaking, and vocabulary skills through viewing, discussing, and critiquing selected programs. Instruction includes 10 hours in class and 5 hours of assignments.

English and Culture through American Short Stories

English and Culture through American Short Stories is a special two-part weekend course for au pairs. By reading and discussing various short stories and by viewing short movie adaptations, you will learn more about American culture and values. The course is designed to help you to improve your critical thinking, writing, reading, and listening skills. By working together in the company of other learners, you have the opportunity to become better at English communication and to appreciate literature. In short, along with the instructor’s attentive assistance, you will help each other to improve. The course includes 10 hours in class on 2 consecutive Saturdays and 5 hours of assignments.

English Through U.S. Travel (15 hours)

This is a special two-part weekend course that takes students on a travel adventure while developing their language skills. Students will learn about America’s greatest travel destinations including the people, customs, and culture of different vacation spots. This course was designed for intermediate to advanced level students and incorporates listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Instruction includes 10 hours in class and 5 hours of out-of-class assignments.

Delicious English (15 hours)

This course explores the connection between U.S. food and culture by taking a closer look at various factors that shape Americans’ approach to food. Topics include traditional and regional American dishes, food proverbs and idioms, cooking and nutrition, eating out, shopping for food, and famous U.S. food companies.  Through these themes, students participate in reading, writing, listening, and speaking activities at the individual and group level while developing critical thinking, interpretive, and research skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? Please contact us at nonintensive@viu.edu.

QDo I need to take a placement test to take the museum classes?

A: No placement test is required for the museum classes.

QI registered for a museum class, but how will I know where the meet the teacher and the other students?

A: On Friday before the museum class, you will receive an email with instructions on how to get to the museum and where to meet your teacher and the other students.

QI need proof that I took the museum classes and earned continuing education units. How will I get this proof to send to my au pair agency?

A: When you take your first museum class, the teacher will give you an attendance sheet. You bring this sheet to each museum class and your teacher will sign it. When you have taken all the classes that you want, you hand in the attendance sheet to the teacher and we will issue a certificate of completion to you with the CEUs that you have earned. With each museum class you take you earn 0.5 CEUs.

QI looked on the website and I don’t see any museum visits for next month. Will you have more museum classes?

A: Yes, we have museum classes every Saturday year round, with the exception of major holidays such as New Year’s or July 4. There are too many classes to list them all at the same time, so we post 8-10 classes at a time on the website.

QWhat time are the museum classes?

A: Most of the museum classes are from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. However, museum classes at the American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery are from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. because these museums open later.

QHow long will it take for me to receive my certificate?

A: We ask that you allow two weeks for us to issue the certificate. We will scan and email it to you.

QI only need 0.5 CEUs to complete my educational requirement. Is it okay if I only take one class?

A: The museum program is very flexible, and you can take as many or as few classes as you like. You can also choose the classes that you want to take, so you don’t need to take class every week.

QI took another non-intensive class at VIU, for example an evening non-intensive course. Do I need to pay the $20 administrative fee if I want to take the museum class?

A: No, since you are a returning student you will not have to pay the $20 again.

QI previously took another course at VIU, but NOT in the non-intensive class. Do I need to pay the $20 administrative fee if I want to take a non-intensive class?

A: Yes, since you have NOT taken a non-intensive course before, you will have to pay the $20 again.

Q: I signed up and paid online for a museum class, but now I am unable to attend. What can I do?

A: There are no refunds for museum classes; however, if you contact us before the registration deadline, we can switch your class to another one. Please email nonintensive@viu.edu by noon on Thursday before the Saturday class. We are unable to switch a class after the deadline has passed.

QWhat is the deadline to register for museum classes?

A: The deadline to register is 11:59 p.m. on the Thursday before the class. You must also complete the payment by this deadline in order to be registered for the class. We are unable to take late registrations.

QI am not an au pair. May I take a museum class?

A: We recommend these classes for au pairs, but they are not restricted to au pairs. The classes are different from other language classes since there is no formal instruction. If you would like to take an ESL class we suggest that you take one of our evening ESL classes.

QWho should I contact if I have questions?

A: You may email nonintensive@viu.edu if you have questions. Office hours are Monday-Friday 7 AM to 4 PM.

Q: Should I take the intensive classes or the non-intensive classes?

A: This depends on your needs, goals, and budget.

The non-intensive program is best suited for part-time students, such as au pairs, other working adults, and tourists. The university does not issue visas for part-time study; therefore, students in the non-intensive program must already be in the US and have visas, permanent residency, or US citizenship. Students in the program receive certificates of completion with continuing education units (CEUs) and contact hours for the courses they complete. Tuition and fee information can be found here. Classes are offered in the evening, daytime, and on weekends. This program is best for low intermediate to advanced English speakers.

The intensive program is best suited for full-time ESL students who have an F1 Visa. The intensive program focuses on English for academic purposes, as most of our students plan to pursue university degrees after they have completed the ESL program. The intensive program is not exclusively for F1 students; students with J1 Visas can also take classes. To apply to the intensive program, students are required to apply to the university. Tuition and fee information can be found here. If a student would like to take fewer than 20 hours of classes, the tuition would be pro-rated. The classes are typically offered from Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. This program offers classes from low beginner to advanced.

Q: Will I receive a certificate with my continuing education units after I complete my course?

A: Yes, following the last class, certificates of completion are issued to the students who successfully complete the course.

QI took another non-intensive class at VIU. Do I need to pay the $20 application fee if I want to take another class?

A: No, since you are a returning student, you will not have to pay the $20 again. The application fee is waived for you if you take any other non-intensive course with us. For example, if you take a museum class and then want to take an evening non-intensive course, you do not need to pay the fee again.

QI previously took another course at VIU, but NOT in the non-intensive program. Do I need to pay the $20 application fee if I want to take a non-intensive class?

A: Yes, since you have NOT taken a non-intensive course before, you will have to pay the $20 fee.

Q: Where are non-intensive classes held?

A: All on-ground non-intensive classes are held at VIU’s Village Drive campus, located at 4401 Village Drive, Fairfax, VA, 22030.
Our museum classes meet at various museums in the DC area.

QWhat if I am unable to come to class?

A: We ask that you email your teacher in advance and ask for any work that you missed. However, if you miss many classes, you may not be able to receive a certificate of completion.

Q: Can I switch classes?

A: Please see our Refund and Deferral Policies on this page.

QWho should I contact if I have questions?

A: You may email nonintensive@viu.edu if you have questions.

For more information see our promotional materials here.

* Textbook prices are not included in the tuition, and tuition is always subject to change. Each class is offered upon reaching required number of student enrollment.
** If you are a returning student who took a class in VIU’s Non-Intensive ESL program since January 1, 2018, you do not have to pay the $20 application fee again.

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The School of Language Studies at VIU welcomes you to join our ESL community and looks forward to helping you reach your higher education or professional goals.