This story originally appeared in the spring 2014 Harker Quarterly.
Applications are now being accepted for Harker’s long-running and highly successful English Language Institute (ELI), held on both the lower and upper school campuses.
ELI provides overseas students with the opportunity to learn and practice their English skills, enabling many participants to go on to attend top American and international schools.
New to the program this year will be an optional “Very Interesting Places” (VIP) tour available to all ELI students (ages 6-16). After receiving a number of requests, Wood decided to introduce the VIP program, to allow students to discover California outside the classroom. The tour will take place at the end of the regular five-week session and will take students around Silicon Valley and the Bay Area to visit theme parks, museums, companies, school campuses and more, capped off with an overnight trip to Yosemite.
Wood said that enrollment for the VIP tour is expected to fill up quickly. He also noted that ELI teachers will accompany the students on the tour and provide a specialized curriculum to continue with their language learning.
To help get the word out about ELI, current Harker and alumni families are sponsoring receptions around the world including Russia, Turkey, China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan.
Joe Rosenthal, Harker’s executive director of advancement, who directed the school’s former elementary boarding program for 20 years, will be on hand as well. Rosenthal is a frequent guest lecturer at the current ELI program on the topic of studying in the United States.
ELI initially began as a year-round boarding school program, which closed in 2001 due to Harker’s upper school expansion. It evolved into the current summer program, which launched in 2004. Last summer, more than 60 students enrolled for the secondary division and a record-breaking 55 enrolled in the primary division.
“The goal is to keep the program small and offer a very high-quality experience,” explained Wood.