Find answers to frequently asked questions about English language study at NESE. For more information, or if you need support, please contact us at [email protected].

  • General Information
    • How old do I have to be to attend NESE?
    • 16.
    • Are textbooks included in the tuition fee?
    • No. Textbooks cost approximately $140 per session.
    • When is NESE closed?
    • NESE is closed for seven national holidays each year. It is also closed for student vacation four weeks each year: one week after the April session, one week after the August session, and two weeks after the December session. Please note that during these NESE vacations, NESE administrative staff continue to work. Students are, therefore, welcome to come to NESE every day during the NESE vacations to use the computers or to watch movies. Please note that there is an extra housing charge for students who choose to stay in their NESE housing during the vacation periods. Please click here to view NESE’s holiday and vacation schedule.
    • Does NESE have a gym?
    • As NESE is in the center of Harvard Square, where space can be limited, it does not have its own gym. NESE students usually take advantage of the special relationship NESE has with MIT and join their gym, or join one of the many gyms in the area.
    • What is the weather like in Boston?
    • Temperature averages are 10°C in spring, 22°C in summer, 13°C in fall, and -1°C in winter. Extremes, however, can range from 37° in summer to -18°C  in winter.


  • Homestays
    • How can a student best be prepared for his homestay experience?
    • Having realistic expectations about what it really means to live in a foreign country will make a huge difference. As a tourist in the United States, it is easy to immediately notice all the differences from a home country. These differences are greatly increased when living with an American family. For example, the food will be different, meal times will be different, and what is considered “tidy” will be different. However, the friendships made will be as wonderful as those made at home. Overall, in order for a student to be happy in his homestay, he must understand that life will be very different – without this understanding, students can easily suffer from culture shock upon arrival.
    • Special Note: It is especially important to bo prepared for the type of food that is eaten in the United States – it can be quick and heavy and very different from what students are accustomed to.
    • How many students will be in the homestay at the same time?
    • Some families accept only one student at a time, while others might receive more. If a family accepts more than one student, NESE makes every effort not to place students who speak the same language in the same homestay, whenever possible.
    • Which meals are provided?
    • Although breakfast is provided every day, in the United States, breakfast is often a meal that is eaten “on the run”. Students should not expect a cooked breakfast, and may, in fact, be expected to help themselves to this meal. Students should also know that from time to time a homestay might go out for an evening, and dinner will be left for him in the fridge. When dinner is eaten together as a family, it is often eaten early, for example around 6:00 pm.
    • What is the food in an American homestay like?
    • Americans do not place as much importance on dining as people in many other countries do. Meals are often quickly prepared, quickly eaten and the food may be heavier than what you are accustomed to. Although the food and customs may be different, you will learn about life here in the US both by eating as an American does and by spending time talking with your host family during meals. Please know that for breakfast, you can expect cold cereal and breads, and you will probably eat this meal alone. It is important to know that Americans usually eat dinner early (approximately 6:00 or 6:30 PM).
    • Is smoking permitted?
    • Every year, smoking becomes less and less common in the United States. Because of this, NESE has only a few homestays that permit students to smoke in the home. A number of homestays still accept students who smoke but students are required to smoke outside. It is critical that a student not lie about his smoking as this would provide the homestay with grounds to ask that the student be removed from the home and the student would be charged $250.
    • How far are the homestays from NESE?
    • NESE is aware that distance to the school is a very important criterion for students, and NESE does its best to find high quality homestays as close to the school as possible. However, as Harvard Square is a university area, appropriate homestay families do not tend to live in the immediate vicinity. Given this understanding, students should expect that it takes, on average, 30 minutes to get to NESE via public transportation.  This transportation is usually a combination of bus and subway. Most NESE homestays are located in the suburbs of Boston and Cambridge in areas such as Newton, Somerville, Belmont, Arlington, and Brookline.
    • To whom should the student pay his homestay fee?
    • Students make all homestay payments to NESE, and NESE, in turn, pays the host family. NESE specifically requests that host families do not make private payment arrangements with students.
    • Can a student make a special request?
    • While NESE makes every effort to accommodate students’ special requests, certain requests can be very difficult to meet. Examples include a request for a family that will allow an hour of piano practice each day, a family that provides Kosher food, a family that provides a private TV, a family that lives very close to NESE, or a family with young children.
    • How new (modern) will the house be?
    • Most houses in Boston are at least 100 years old and most are built of wood. Although all of these homes have modern conveniences, the houses probably will not have a modern design. In fact, most people in the Boston area consider old houses to be special. In addition, most families do not use professional interior decorators when furnishing their homes. Further, if you are planning to come to NESE in the summer months, please know that many host families don’t have air conditioning. Many host families have Internet, but please understand that not all of them do.
    • How clean will my homestay be?
    • Homestays will be clean and livable according to US standards. It is helpful to remember that these standards can be different from those in your country. You can expect to see clutter (books, papers, shoes and toys around the house and on the floor) in most homes. In other words, a typical house is clean, but cluttered. Host families don’t have servants to clean and manage their homes and the family itself is responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of the house.
    • What will my host family be like?
    • Most host families are busy working or middle class people. An American host family may consist of one or two working adults and/or older, retired people. The family may or may not have children of its own and may be of any race or religion, as Boston is a diverse city. It is also very common for host families to have pets inside the home. Finally, most families have more than one student living in their home.
    • Why is the family hosting foreign students?
    • Host families enjoy opening their homes to international students, and learning about the world from the students they host. The families also seek to add to their household income by hosting students.
    • How will my host family behave towards me?
    • Your host family will welcome you and enjoy getting to know you. They will expect you to follow certain practices that are common in the US and to be respectful of the family’s rules regarding meal times, water use, conserving electricity, etc. (For example, it is common in the United States to take one shower per day rather than two or three.) Your host family may also introduce you to their own extended families and friends and you will increase your understanding of the United States by spending time with your host family. It is also very possible that you will remain friends with your host family for many years in the future.
    • I am a parent and my teenager is coming to NESE. Will a host family take care of my child the way I would?
    • In the United States, adolescents are given a great deal of freedom and they are expected to be quite independent. Therefore, if you are a parent considering what housing your teenager should have, please know that a host family will not require that your teenager report what he has been doing in his spare time. The host family will not bring your teenager to and from school and your teenager will need to commute to and from NESE using public transportation. The host family will not stay awake if your teenager arrives home late (after 11PM) and will expect that he can take care of his own basic needs. NESE understands that if you are sending your teen to live in an American family, you trust that he will make intelligent choices for himself while living in Boston.


  • NESE Student Residences
    • What are NESE’s student residences (dormitories) like?
    • NESE’s student residences provide comfortable, safe and affordable living options for NESE’s students and professionals. and are located near NESE. Each room is furnished with a bed, a desk, a chest of drawers, and a closet. They also offer WIFI (free of charge) and provide breakfast and dinner each day. Please keep in mind that, like all student dormitories in the United States, these residences are not hotels.
    • When can I arrive at the dormitory?
    • You are welcome to move into the dormitory between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on the Sunday before Registration Day. Please know that if you wish to arrive after 9:00 p.m., special arrangements must be made prior to your arrival in Boston.
    • Will someone be there to meet me when I arrive?
    • Dormitory Managers are given your flight information prior to your arrival in Boston, and will be waiting to greet you when you arrive at the dormitory. Please call NESE at 617-864-7170 if your flight is canceled or delayed so that your Dormitory Manager is aware of your new arrival time.
    • Can I arrive early/stay late?
    • If you wish to arrive anytime before the Sunday before Registration Day, you will need to make arrangements with NESE’s Housing Coordinator. Kindly know that it is not always possible to arrive at the dormitory early, and that if you are able to do so, you will be charged an additional fee. If you wish to leave the dormitory anytime after 11:00 a.m. on the Saturday after classes end, you will need to make arrangements with NESE’s Housing Coordinator. Kindly know that if you remain in the dormitory beyond the regularly scheduled departure date, you will be charged an additional fee.
    • Will someone help me carry my luggage to my room?
    • Kindly know that NESE’s dormitory managers are unable to assist students in carrying their luggage. This is due to US liability law and we apologize for the inconvenience.
    • Do I need to bring linens?
    • NESE’s dormitories provide students with sheets, blankets and pillows, as well as large bath towels and hand towels. It is not necessary for you to bring your own linens or towels.
    • Will someone clean my room?
    • NESE’s dormitories have housekeepers that will clean your room on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Thursdays, the housekeepers will change your bed linens and towels. Kindly know that the housekeepers will not move your belongings while they are cleaning. Please keep your rooms tidy so that the housekeepers can clean your room as thoroughly as possible.
    • Where can I do laundry?
    • NESE’s dormitories provide coin-operated washers and dryers for student use. Kindly know that students must provide their own laundry soap.
    • What kind of food does the dormitory serve?
    • Your dormitory provides breakfast and dinner Monday through Friday and brunch and dinner on the weekends. Breakfast is a self-serve meal that includes foods such as cereal, toast, yogurt, fresh fruit, milk, coffee and juice. Brunch is a self-serve meal that includes the breakfast foods listed, as well as waffles, eggs and breakfast potatoes.
    • Can I cook in the dormitory?
    • Students are not permitted to cook in NESE’s dormitories due to local fire laws. We apologize for the inconvenience. Each student room (or suite, if you are staying in Green Hall) contains a microwave for students to prepare microwaveable meals.
    • Can friends visit me in the dormitory?
    • You are welcome to have friends visit you during designated visiting hours. All guests must sign-in when they arrive and sign-out when they leave.
    • Can friends/family stay with me overnight in the dormitory?
    • Students staying in single rooms in Lee Hall and students staying in Poppet Hall may have guests stay overnight with permission from NESE’s Housing Office. Please know that arrangements must be made at least one week prior to a guest’s arrival, and there is an additional fee to have someone stay with you in your room. Please know that it may not always be possible to accommodate guests.
    • Can I have mail or packages sent to the dormitory?
    • All mail and packages should be sent directly to NESE. Please use the following address:
    • The New England School of English
      36 John F. Kennedy Street
      3rd Floor
      Cambridge, MA 02138
    • When do I need to check out of the dormitory?
    • Your housing reservation ends at 11:00 a.m. on the Saturday following your final day of classes.
    • I love NESE and want to stay longer than planned! Can I extend my housing reservation?
    • Because NESE housing is limited, please contact the Housing Office as soon as possible if you think you may want to stay longer than originally planned. NESE’s Housing Coordinator will extend your reservation, if possible. If we are unable to extend your reservation because the dormitory is fully booked, she will place your name on a waiting list for the requested session and speak with you about alternative options.


  • Academics
    • How many levels does NESE have?
    • NESE has 10 levels, as well as electives in Business English and TOEFL Preparation.
    • How long does each class last?
    • All NESE classes start punctually, and last for 90 minutes (1.5 actual hours) with no break.
    • How long does it take a student to complete each NESE level?
    • One of NESE’s special characteristics is that the school recognizes that each student is a unique individual, with his own specific needs and goals. Students are promoted from one level to the next every session (4 weeks). However, some students require more time at each level to ensure mastery of the targeted skills, and the NESE curriculum accommodates these individual differences.
    • Can I start my NESE course on any Monday?
    • NESE offers 10 levels of language instruction in each skill area, and each one of these 10 levels has a specific starting date and lasts for 4 weeks. Each level also has a well-defined curriculum, and students start learning level-specific material on the very first day of each session. If a student arrives late for a session, he will miss the material that has already been presented, making his mastery of new language points more difficult to accomplish. Learning a language is like building a pyramid, and on day one at NESE, the first layer of stone is laid. Every day later that a student misses his class is a brick missing from his pyramid. NESE is aware that some ESL schools do permit students to start their program on any Monday. However, because of NESE’s high academic standards, we simply do not permit this.
    • Will I have homework at NESE?
    • NESE has a reputation as one of the top schools in the world. It has earned this reputation by providing exceptional teaching and student support services, and upholding high standards for students' performance. Students are expected to attend class every day, expected to be on time for class, expected to participate in class, and expected to do their homework. As a result, NESE students rapidly succeed - and have fun while doing so.


  • Visa Information
    • Can I study part-time on my F-1 (student) visa?
    • No. United States law requires all students who enter the United States on a student visa be full-time students. Also, please note that NESE cannot issue an I-20 until all legally required documents have been submitted to the school. For more information on United States immigration law, please click here.


  • Harvard & MIT
    • Is NESE part of Harvard University?
    • Although NESE’s founder and president, its director, its academic director as well as some of its board members and staff have degrees from Harvard, NESE is not formally associated with Harvard. Because NESE is also located in Harvard Square, it is surrounded by Harvard University, and NESE students enjoy the proximity of such a prestigious university.
    • Can I take classes at Harvard or MIT?
    • Harvard and MIT are two of the most competitive universities in the world. Students who are accepted into degree programs at these universities have been able to demonstrate that they are academically superior and have an interesting background. However, Harvard, like many colleges and universities in the United States has a division that is non-competitive, meaning that the public can take courses led by Harvard professors and access many of the resources of these universities. At Harvard, this program is called the Harvard Extension School, and details including prices, can be found here: Harvard University Extension School is located only a block from NESE's own building.
    • Harvard and MIT also offer many lectures and events open to the public. In addition to their museums, these universities offer lectures, panel discussions, concerts, and a host of other events. To learn more about what you could do at Harvard while studying at NESE, please click on and for MIT.
    • Finally, some of the Harvard and MIT buildings are open to the public (so you could go there to do your NESE homework). Here is a link to a list of buildings that are open to the public.


  • Business English For Professionals
    • What is NESE’s Business English For Professionals Course?
    • NESE’s Business English for Professionals Course consists of two elective classes: Business Conversation & Listening for Professionals and Business Reading & Writing for Professionals. Each of these two classes includes two sessions’ worth of distinct curriculum designed to improve students’ fluency, accuracy, and comprehension with regard to business English language and materials.
    • Are there additional fees for these classes?
    • No, there are not. These courses are elective class alternatives to the classes included in NESE’s regular Intensive and Semi-Intensive Programs. Qualified students can choose these electives for either Conversation & Listening, Reading & Writing, or both.
    • Who can participate in these classes?
    • NESE asks that students who join these classes have at least five years of professional experience and have placed into NESE’s Level 8 or above. By requiring both work experience and an advanced level of English, NESE creates a collegial and challenging classroom environment where students can interact with professional peers from around the world.
    • Do I have to be a business person to take these classes?
    • No, you do not. In fact, professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds have benefited from these classes. While most participants are business people, doctors, professors, scientists, lawyers, researchers, and politicians have also enjoyed these classes and their perspectives are enriching for others.
    • What will I learn in Business Conversation & Listening for Professionals?
    • NESE’s Conversation & Listening for Professionals will help students develop, practice, and refine their business communication skills through discussion of various business topics. These topics include global marketing, negotiation, entrepreneurship, corporate structure, brand management, prices and commodities, social skills outside the workplace, and innovation in business. In addition, the instructor will focus on the professional and special interests of those enrolled in the class. By learning phrasal verbs, idioms and jargon related to business, students will gain a greater understanding of the business world and improve their ability to intelligently and clearly express their views on a wide variety of business topics.
    • What materials will be used in Business Conversation & Listening for Professionals?
    • Throughout the session, students will use a variety of case studies and business publications, including current articles and DVDs. These materials are designed to improve comprehension of sophisticated business terminology, stimulate discussion, and allow students opportunities for lively debate.
    • What will I learn in Business Reading & Writing for Professionals?
    • Students will increase their knowledge of business vocabulary and their ability to comprehend ideas, expressions, and jargon commonly used in business journals and documents. In addition, students will improve their ability to write logically about a variety of business issues and will review the basics of professional writing. Although the vocabulary and readings are taken from a business context, their focus will benefit all professionals who wish to increase their general English comprehension.
    • What materials will be used in Business Reading & Writing for Professionals?
    • NESE’s Business Reading & Writing for Professionals course focuses on helping students understand and respond in writing to contemporary business materials and articles. Students will explore a combination of case studies and articles from BusinessWeek and other business journals in order to expand their understanding of both business trends and the English terminology used to describe them.


  • Legal English
    • What Legal English is; What Legal English isn’t.
    • Legal English is an After-School Course designed to introduce students to the American judicial and legislative systems. Its focus is the vocabulary and terminology of the U. S. legal system. Students will discuss various branches of law, study landmark cases and visit a local courthouse to view legal proceedings. Legal English is not a law course and therefore, students can expect their instructor to focus on legal language and know U. S. law in general terms, rather than in detail.
    • Who teaches Legal English?
    • Legal English is taught by an experienced English language instructor. Although this course is taught by someone who may not have a legal background, it will be taught by a skilled NESE teacher who is able to give you an understanding of legal language.
    • I am a lawyer in my country. Is Legal English right for me?
    • Because the instructor of this class does not have a legal background, you can expect to know more about legal matters than he does. However, you will enjoy discussing U.S. legal terminology and cases as points of comparison. Although Legal English is not an introductory law course, it is appropriate for those who plan to study law in the future.
    • How do I register for the Legal English?
    • To register for the course, simply go to NESE’s Admissions Office. Please remember that except during NESE’s January, July, and August sessions, five students must register for Legal English or the class will be cancelled. During NESE’s January, July, and August sessions, Legal English is always offered, regardless of the number of students who register. In the case of cancellation a full refund will be given. Please be advised that completion of Level 7 or initial placement into NESE’s level 8 is required to take this course.


  • Cancellation Policy

    All refunds are given in the same form in which payment was made.

    If NESE rejects your application, or cancels a class, a full tuition refund will be made within 45 days. In the case of visa denials, non-refundable fees will also be returned. Further, tuition for all future sessions is fully refundable. Please note that representatives may have refund policies that are different from those of NESE. Please consult NESE or your representative for further information.

    Cancellation Date:

    More than 2 Weeks before Session Starts

    Less than 2 Weeks before Session Starts

    After Session Starts

    Application Fee




    Tuition Deposit

    Fully Refundable

    Fully Refundable

    Fully Refundable

    Tuition Payment

    Fully Refundable

    Fully Refundable

    Pro-Rated by Week

    Housing Deposit Guarantee

    No Forfeiture

    Forfeiture in Full

    Forfeiture in Full

    Housing Payment

    Fully Refundable

    Forfeiture of US$250     Housing Guarantee

    Pro-Rated Fee plus Forfeiture of US$250 Housing Guarantee

  • Medical English
    • What Medical English is; What Medical English isn’t.
    • Medical English is an After-School Course designed to teach students common English medical terminology as used in a variety of settings. In addition, teachers will highlight some of the ways in which medicine and public health services are conducted differently here in the US than in many other countries. Students will learn vocabulary needed when greeting patients, discussing symptoms and diagnoses with them, as well as language used in discussing prognoses. Medical English is not a medical course and therefore, students can expect their instructor to focus on medical language and common medical situations in general terms rather than in detail.
    • Who teaches Medical English?
    • Medical English is taught by an experienced English language instructor. Although this course is not taught by someone with a medical or diagnostic background, it will be taught by a skilled NESE teacher who is able to give you a strong understanding of medical language.
    • I am a Doctor/Nurse/Medical Technician in my country. Is Medical English right for Me?
    • Because the instructor of this class does not have a medical background, you can expect to know more about medical matters, anatomy and physiology and treatments than your instructor does. However, you will enjoy discussing US medical terminology and situations as points of comparison. Although Medical English is not an introductory medical course, it is appropriate for those who plan to study medicine in the future.
    • How do I register for Medical English?
    • To register for the course. simply go to NESE's Admissions Office. Please remember that five students must register for Medical English or the class will be cancelled. In the case of cancellation, a full refund will be given. Fees for this class are listed on the NESE Application form and on the NESE website. Please be advised that completion of Level 7 or initial placement into NESE's level 8 is required to take this course.

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