Next course begins on January 6, 2013!
ESL Course Information
If calendar does not appear here, click on "Course Length"
One course at Agape is nine weeks long. This calendar has all the start dates and end dates for 2013 and 2014. On the start date, the student takes a placement test to determine their levels. After one course, the student will move to the next level if he or she performed to satisfaction.
If class schedule does not appear here, click on "Class Descriptions"
Speaking & Listening: This course teaches students how to speak and understand English as it is spoken in North America.
Reading & Writing: This course teaches students how to recognize and use language appropriate for standard written English.
Grammar: This course focuses on English grammar in context.
Pronunciation & American Slang: This course is designed to help students speak more natural-sounding English, including proper rhythm, stress, and intonation, and to be able to understand and employ American idioms/slang in appropriate contexts.
TOEFL Preparation: Intermediate or advanced students interested in pursuing college/university studies elsewhere in the United States can take advantage of our course designed specifically to prepare you to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
All of the courses at Agape English Language Institute will help you to do better on the TOEFL. However, Agape also offers a TOEFL designed especially to help eligible students prepare for the TOEFL.
Tuition & Fees
Downloads & Links:
Option One: PayPal
Option Two: Western Union
Find a Western Union near you and send us money. Please email us for instructions.
F-1 Visa/I-20 Information
If you want to stay in the U.S. for more than a few months (3-6 months, for example), or if your course of study is 18 or more hours per week, you need a student visa. To get a student visa, you MUST have a form I-20, issued by a DHS-authorized school, college or university.
To receive a form I-20 from Agape English Language Institute, please complete these steps:
- Complete the online Application for Admission.
- Pay the 100 USD Application Fee on our website or via bank check, Western Union, or Wire Transfer (please contact us for details on sending money by Western Union or wire transfer).
- Submit a copy of your passport data page (the page with your name, date of birth, etc.).
- Send Agape a copy of a bank statement (or a letter of financial support) showing that you have more than 3,700 USD for each 9-week session at Agape. Please include the current exchange rate and the balance of your account in American dollars (USD).
If the bank statement belongs to someone who is not in your family, and he/she will be supporting you during your studies in the U.S., then we will need a notarized letter from that person with his/her name, address and phone number, saying that he/she will support you during your entire time of study in the U.S. If the person who will support you is living here in the U.S., then he/she must pay for one session (1,700 USD) in advance before Agape can mail you the I-20. This money is refundable.
Optional: If you need us to send your I-20 by DHL or United States Postal Service express mail, please include 100 USD for the express mailing fee. We highly recommend this form of shipping as it is the only way we can guarantee arrival of your I-20. You can send this together with your application fee.
Downloads & Links:
Live with an American host family and learn English faster!
Every session it's the same story: Students who live with American families seem to learn English so much faster.
What is a host family? Agape's host families are all personal friends of our management. They were selected because of their oustanding reputation for being concerned for the safety and well-being of international students.
What does a host family provide? A host family will provide you with a comfortable, private room, meals when you are at home, a quiet area to study, transportation and friendship.
Application for Admission
- If application does not appear below, please click here: Application for Admission
Request for More Information
President/Owner - Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rajarathnam S. Aluri. I go by Raj as my first name to make it easy for everyone. I grew up in India as one of seven children in my family. I completed my undergraduate studies in economics, political science, and public administration, and earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in 1973 from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India. I did further studies at the same university and received a Master's degree (M.A.) in Political Science in May of 1976.
In September of 1976, I came to the United States as an international student to pursue further studies in International Relations at the University of South Carolina (USC) in Columbia, South Carolina. Here I received my second Master of Arts degree in International Studies in 1979, and a third Master's degree in Media Arts (M.M.A.) in 1982. I went on for further study and received a doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) degree from USC in 1987.
As you can tell by now, I loved being a student, especially a foreign student in the U.S.A.--from 1976 to 1987. But I know from personal experience some of the struggles and adjustments international students must undergo when they first arrive in the U.S.A. Most of the students coming from other countries to the U.S.A., need assistance from the day they arrive, from reception at the airport to finding a place to live, getting the telephone and electricity connected to the rental apartment, finding out where to shop for the necessities of life and how to get there, where to find social and emotional support, as well as the general orientation to a new country.
I know what you will go through when you first arrive in America for English language study at Agape English Language Institute, because many years ago I came here as a student just like you. Therefore, my staff and I are prepared to help you in every possible way we can from the day you arrive until you leave our program.
In addition to providing high-quality instruction in English, we will do our best to provide the other support services that are necessary to make your life here smooth and enjoyable.
Program Director - In 2001, some of my friends talked me into going to Haiti with them for a week to help open a medical clinic. It was a wonderful adventure, and since then I have been traveling. I've been to several countries in Europe and South America. I decided to teach myself Spanish several years ago. It was then that I realized that I had a knack for understanding languages and teaching them. I began to teach ESL and basic Spanish as a volunteer while living in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In 2007 I moved to Guadalajara for year where I received a certificate at International Teacher Training Organization to teach English as a second language. I taught in Mexico for a year. I then discovered Agape in Columbia, and decided to move here to be closer to family. Teaching at Agape has been a great experience. There is such a positive attitude among teachers and students which makes a Agape a pleasant place to teach and learn.
In 2010 I moved from a teaching position into management as the Program Director of Agape. I very much enjoy the challenging opportunity to strive towards excellence in English teaching by overseeing our schools.
Administrative Assistant - I am originally from Chicago, Illinois, although I have called Virginia Beach, Virginia home for over 30 years, ever since moving there to attend graduate school. I have over 20 years experience in administration, having worked for different types of offices since I was in college. I have always loved travelling and meeting people from other cultures. I have travelled a lot over the years, to places like Mexico, Italy, Malta, Thailand, Tunisia and Qatar. When I decided to make a change and live overseas for a time, I moved to Amman, Jordan and lived there for five years before returning home. When I came here to Columbia a short time later, I met the folks here at Agape and it seemed like a good fit. The staff here all have a similar passion for working with internationals, and a welcoming, caring spirit that I admired. I could work anywhere doing the work that I do, but I have chosen to work here at Agape because I believe in what we are doing here, and I LOVE our students!
Instructor - Hola! Ni hao! Hi! I have been teaching English to international adults since 2007. For three years, I taught university English majors in the icy, snowy, fascinating city of Changchun, China. In August 2010, I started teaching at Agape. I have a B.A. in journalism, an M.A. in English and a TESOL Certificate from Oxford Seminars. I speak some Chinese and, having married a wonderful man from Barcelona in September 2011, I am now working on my Spanish.
My favorite part of teaching at Agape is the diversity of the students. Students come to Agape from Asia, the Middle East, South America, Europe and Africa. In one small class, we can have college students, business professionals and even grandmothers. But what Agape students have in common is a passion for learning and using real-life English. As we practice English, we share our cultures and our lives.
Instructor - I began working at Agape in August of 2007. In 1983, I graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Economics, after which I completed a Masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from Georgia State University. I taught English in Japan for three years, before graduating from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS with a Masters degree in Biblical Studies. While in Mississippi, I taught English at Mississippi College in Clinton. In 1991, I married Curtis DuBose, and after graduation we moved to Africa. I taught English in Malawi and Uganda while my husband taught in seminaries there. In 2006, we returned to the USA, where Curtis is a pastor and I am a teacher of English. We have two sons and two daughters.
Instructor - Hello to all!
My name is Tiffany. I have been teaching for 7 years, and have enjoyed every bit of it. Part of that teaching was in South Carolina in the Public School setting and a little bit of that time was teaching over seas in Peru, South America. I have learned and grown from my experiences! I was born and raised in South Carolina, a true southerner (if there is such a thing)- which includes liking grits and eggs (when my father makes it)!! If you haven't ever tried it, you need to! :) Speaking of "true", I am a true follower of Christ as well.
Dance was my minor in college; therefore, I enjoy it a lot. I also like running, hanging out with friends and family, cooking, reading, studying the Bible, teaching, and watching funny YouTube videos! I also like learning new things about every culture. This is something I really enjoy about teaching at Agape English Language Institute!
I have a Chinese international student who lives with me and attends high school in the states. She is precious. I have learned a lot about the Chinese culture since she has been with me! I also have an adorable dog who can do tricks, such as HUG, shake, sit, run REALLY fast, speak (but not on command), dance, and jump REALLY high!
Well, there is much more, but I was told to write a small blurb! :) Have a blessed day!
Director, Greenville - I am originally from the Charlotte, NC area. I moved to Greenville seven years ago to teach Spanish and fell in love with the Greenville area. The people are very friendly here, and Greenville is a beautiful city to live in. After teaching Spanish at a local high school for two years, I began working with international students at Greenville Technical College. I served as the project director for international exchange programs and assisted students in fulfilling all of their program requirements including academics, community service, cultural presentations, and internships. In this position, I realized I have a passion for working with international students and learning about new cultures. I recently began serving as the Greenville Director for Agape English Language Institute. This has been a great experience for me, and Agape is a great place to work and learn. The teachers here are amazing and will help you improve your English rapidly. I look forward to meeting more students from all around the world and helping them to have a great experience at Agape!
Instructor - Darren taught English, writing, and media at a college in Northeast China for eight years. In addition to teaching, he also volunteered at an after-school character development program, travelling with participants and lecturing on topics including coffee and media. Shortly after returning back to the United States, he began teaching English at Agape. Although his address has changed back to his home country, he retains a strong interest in Chinese affairs and language, reading Chinese news and books, maintaining a Chinese microblog, and translating classic literature.
Instructor - Although I grew up in Florida, I attended universities in Florida, Kentucky, and Chicago, IL, to complete my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education. My student teaching requirements were completed in Ankara, Turkey, where I got my first taste of international living. I fell in love with the culture and spent the next 6 years of my life teaching the children of doctors in Yemen, where I learned the beautiful Arabic language. After acquiring my Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language (TEFL), I began working at Agape in July, 2011, where I enjoy hosting Game Nights once a term.
Instructor - Hello! My name is Veronica Palmer. I grew up in Columbia, SC, but I now live in Greenville, SC. I have had the opportunity to teach at Agape in Columbia and Greenville. To tell you a little bit about myself, I attended college at Charleston Southern University and received a Bachelor's degree in Spanish, Religion, and Business Administration. I kept busy by participating in Intramural Sports, Spanish Club, and Psi Delta Phi sorority. In 2006, I had the opportunity to spend four months in Cartagena, Colombia. Before I left, I did not know what I would be doing there, so I decided to take a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) class at the local university in Columbia. This turned out to be a very wise decision. While in Cartagena, I taught English to students from ages 6 to 18 and fell in love with it and them. When I returned to Columbia, South Carolina, I continued to study TEFL and received a Graduate Certificate from Columbia International University. Shortly after that, I began working at Agape in Columbia. After a couple years, I decided to go to Beijing, China, for a year. While there, I taught English, Math, Science, and Leadership to local Chinese middle school students. After coming back to SC, I continued teaching at Agape in Columbia until I moved to Greenville in May of 2013. I enjoy experiencing the differences in the two schools, and as always, I enjoy seeing students grow in their knowledge of the English language and overcome the obstacles that a new language can pose. When I'm not in the classroom, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I also like playing ultimate frisbee, contra dancing, and teaching people about health and nutrition. I also like to travel. I have visited the Bahamas, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, China, Cambodia, and South Korea, as well as various states in the US. I hope to see you soon at Agape!
Instructor - I'm Debbie from Pennsylvania. I've always enjoyed being around internationals, and after graduating from college with a BS in Secondary English/Biology, I had the opportunity to teach at the Amazon Valley Academy in Belem, a large city at the mouth of the Amazon River in Northern Brazil. I lived in Brazil for over 25 years, and understand what it means to be transplanted to another country where the culture and language are different from your own. I came to love the Brazilian people and still adjusting to living in America, even though I've been here since 2010. In Brazil, I had the opportunity to teach English to Brazilian young people. Since then I've been able to get some training in teaching English to speakers of other languages through Oxford Seminars. I understand the difficulties in learning another language and enjoy teaching English to internationals from all over the world.
Columbia, South Carolina
1600 Park Circle, Unit 116
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
Greenville, South Carolina
3-D Cleveland Ct.
Greenville, South Carolina 29607