Global Leadership Summer Program

Inspiring tomorrow's great leaders through a project-driven English program for teens

This program is designed to engage students in their learning process and transform them into active learners.  Students will reinforce language skills, as well as develop new ones which will help them succeed in a post-secondary setting. Through a variety of projects and task-based activities, including debates, presentations, research, and teamwork students will improve their communicative and leadership abilities. 

The Global Leadership Summer Program will not only provide students with an amazing academic experience, but also offer an opportunity to develop international friendships during an exciting, fun-filled summer!

Traveling to the beautiful University of San Diego campus to learn English is a life-changing experience for international students aged 13–17 who attend the annual ESL summer camp adventure hosted by our highly-regarded English Language Academy.

In addition to receiving top-quality instruction delivered in small classes by experienced, engaged English language instructors, students make lifelong friendships as they join in fun-filled excursions to nearby beaches and such landmarks as Disneyland and the San Diego Zoo.

The intensive classroom work — combined with unique opportunities to bond with peers while exploring and learning about American culture — helps students develop life skills and gain confidence while working to master their ability to communicate in English. This popular English language summer camp program — designed for non-native speakers and running from early July through mid-August — features a family-type atmosphere in which students feel safe, comfortable, and cared for. Most students live in university residences or with an American family in homestay settings during their time here in San Diego.

Who Should Attend?

Our program is for international students (13-17) who are non-native English speakers, and who are seeking a unique, highly effective English summer camp program that will enrich their lives long after the time spent learning English and developing new friendships here at USD.

Parents who want the best English language-learning experience for their children can be assured that their teens are extraordinarily well-cared-for as they participate in a campus-based academic program that also gives them a hint of what their future college experience might be like.

Program Highlights


  • Small class sizes (average of 8 students, maximum of 10), with personalized instruction
  • Experienced instructors who are passionate about teaching English to young students
  •  Through a variety of projects and task-based activities, including debates, presentations, research, and teamwork they will improve their communicative and leadership abilities. 
  • Students will reinforce language skills, as well as develop new ones which will help them succeed in a post-secondary setting. 
  • Emphasis on valuable analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Flexible program options (2, 3, and 4 weeks)


  • Opportunity to live in campus housing or homestay with an American family
  • Friendly, attentive program staffers on hand to help students with whatever they need
  • A family atmosphere that provides an ideal, supportive learning environment
  • Special events (fun, educational field trips to the Aquatica water park, San Diego Zoo, Disneyland and many more!)
  • Opportunity to build lifelong international friendships with fellow students
  • Safety (San Diego is a clean, friendly, multicultural city and USD is a very secure campus)

Case Studies: Mateo’s Story

One testament to the quality of our summer program for junior students is the fact that many have such a positive experience that they return for a second or even a third summer. Some also influence younger siblings to follow them to San Diego. As an example of how our English summer camp for international students can enrich and change a student’s life — meet Mateo.

He and his sister came to our junior summer program from Mexico and were joined by their two cousins from Spain. Mateo had such an amazing time that he decided to enroll as a full-time student in our Intensive English Language Program (IELP), which is for students 18 and older. After one year of IELP, Mateo transferred to a local community college. He now plans to return to the University of San Diego to earn his undergraduate degree in business. 


“From my perspective, the summer program was such a great experience, not only because of the academic content, but because of the whole experience of living for one month in the U.S. This program gave us a chance to improve our English skills, and to meet new and interesting people. The USD facilities are great, and the professors have a lot of knowledge and personal skills to work with the group.”

— Alejandro, Spain

“The English Language Academy was a perfect opportunity to improve my English in a friendly atmosphere and small group setting. I enjoyed the variety and usefulness of the courses and meeting new friends from all over the world. The instructors were great, always open to helping me even if it was not related to my course work. The time I spent in the program is unforgettable.”
— Cvetanka

What You’ll Learn:

  • English language abilities resulting from practicing speaking in an intensive all-English environment
  • Cultural awareness, gained from field trips in the local community
  • Reading, writing, listening, and speaking aptitude
  • Analytic and critical thinking capabilities
  • How to gain confidence in life skills as well as English language proficiency

Experienced Instructors

Our Summer International Junior Program is taught by highly skilled English language instructors who are passionate about helping international students develop their English abilities, and who encourage and challenge them to excel. Additionally, our small class sizes mean that teachers have plenty of time and attention to devote to each student.

Campus Facilities

Residential students have the unique opportunity of living, studying, and participating in a variety of outdoor activities on the beautiful University of San Diego campus (voted the nation’s Most Beautiful Campus by the Princeton Review in 2017). The accommodations are spacious, modern, suite-style dorms. All students (residential and homestay) are impressed by the stunning views of Mission Bay, the Pacific Ocean, and San Diego, which they can see right from the campus! Students also enjoy access to libraries and study areas, pool, basketball courts, and soccer facilities.

A Day in the Life 

Students engage in approximately 17 hours of instruction per week, while also participating in cultural workshops and activities. One of the unique features of the program is that students also get to take part in field trips and social events that provide opportunities to practice their English outside of the classroom. Of course, for many, one of the highlights of the summer is a group trip to Disneyland.  

Tuition, Housing, Etc.

Tuition amounts vary based on whether students are enrolling in a 2-, 3- or 4-week program. Group rates are available upon request.

Most students live in university residences or with an American family in homestay settings during their time here in San Diego. Students who reside on campus stay in the University’s student residence halls — clean, modern, spacious apartments, generally eight students to a floor, two students per room, with two rooms sharing an en-suite bathroom. Each residence has its own reception area, round-the-clock security, laundry facilities (fee payable), and free Wi-Fi. Residential students have full board which includes three meals per day, or 21 meals per week (homestay students are provided with 20 meals per week)

The Program Director is happy to answer questions about tuition and housing, and to assist students and families with the enrollment process. Please contact:

Francine Chemnick,
Director of International Programs
Call: (619) 260-7621

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why should I choose the Global Leadership Summer Program for my child?

The English Language Academy at USD is proud to offer a top-notch academic language-learning summer camp program that is also focused on creating a family-type atmosphere in which students feel safe, supported, and engaged in their studies.

What do students do on Sundays?

Are Sunday activities included? On Sundays, staff members accompany students on optional excursions. The Program Manager provides a list of some activities (with prices) to choose from by Thursday prior to the Sunday activity. If students choose not to go on one of the activities, they can remain on campus to study, do homework, rest, or participate in supervised on-campus activities (such as swimming and field sports). All Sunday activities are at the student’s expense.

May students leave campus unsupervised?

Students are not allowed to leave the campus unsupervised. If a student requests to go off campus, they must be accompanied by a staff member.

How much spending money should my child bring?

Spending money varies based on each student’s spending habits. Students should plan to bring about $100 per week for laundry, souvenirs, snacks or other personal items they may need.

About University of San Diego


The University of San Diego’s English Language Academy is a member of the American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP) and the Association of International Educators (NAFSA). USD’s Division of Professional and Continuing Education is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Senior College and University Commission (WASC).


The Princeton Review has ranked the USD campus — located on 180 acres overlooking the city of San Diego, Mission Bay and the Pacific Ocean — among the most beautiful in the nation. Additionally, USD is:

  • A Top 100 nationally ranked university (U.S. News and World Report)
  • A member of Ashoka’s Changemaker Campus Consortium
  • Recognized as a Community Engagement Institution by the Carnegie Foundation

Area Attractions

The Summer International Junior Program includes workshops, field trips, activities and social events in the afternoons and on weekends. The activities calendar typically includes visits to nearby world-class attractions like Disneyland, the San Diego Zoo, the Aquatica Water Park, and Hollywood.

Additional Details

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